Series Preview: Cubs vs. Brewers; last man standing
It would appear that real life* has gotten in the way of blogging for most of us Goat Writers this year. Frankly, I'm still burned out from the many, many articles I wrote last year and I don't think I'll ever be a daily Cubs writer again. (Unless you happen to represent a major newspaper, such as the Des Moines Herald, or the Flint Times; if you are, call me.**)
(*Yarbage with Grad School and fatherhood, Rob with work and teaching, AJ with real life and wimmin, Pete with the back pain, Mike W with vacations and road trips, and me with other projects unrelated to baseball and work
**Don't actually call me)
Besides, as busy as we are with real life, the Cubs are busy with being, well, a pretty shitty baseball team. But I'm okay with that -- as I've hit the age of 30, I've realized a few things. You probably aren't going to like many of them, but here they are:
1. Teams will be good, teams will be bad, there's no point in stressing over when one or the other occurs, because -- believe it or not -- your life will not be better if the Cubs win a World Series, and your life will not be over if they don't.
2. Your hair is going to turn grey, and fall out, possibly at approximately the same time.
3. This is a blog. Why should we take it so seriously? Back in the day, GROTA was a place to crack bad jokes, make terrible puns, and have lots of fun. Then we Got Serious About Blogging, and consequently we Got Mad About Losing, and before you know it we Got Angry With Each Other. It happens to anybody who invests so much time thinking and writing about sports, especially when they do it for free, but it's still pretty dumb all around.
Blogging should be silly. If you read a sports blog that isn't silly, that doesn't have fun, and that gets mad at the team they follow (and at the other blogs they disagree with) then, I have news for you. You're reading the blog of some pompous, self-important douchebag who probably enjoys smelling his own farts. You don't want to do that, now do you? I know I don't.
4. If you're a man or a woman, your private bits are going to start sagging. Sorry, just being honest.
5. See #3. that's the important one.
Anyway, the season is long since over, but like a loveless marriage it just keeps on going, at least until the children turn 18. There is some good news, however: some of these guys look like they might be good next season. I'm talking, of course, about Carlos Zambrano.
I always knew this about myself, but you could be a murderer of children, and I'd root for you on the baseball field if you won games for the Cubs. (That might be a minor exaggeration, btw.) Carlos is totally mental, but ever since he returned to the starting rotation, he's been the Zambrano of old. The dude is 5-0 with an ERA of 1.60 in his last 7 starts. It's hard to be upset about something like that. Since the Cubs are stuck with Carlos, here's to hoping he builds upon this in 2011. As for the rest...
Saturday, September 11 - Ryan Dempster (12-10, 3.76 ERA) vs. Randy Wolf (11-10, 4.68 ERA)
Back when the Cubs were good, I really enjoyed it when they faced the Brewers. Even the Milwaukee team with CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets tended to have 2 to 4 pitchers who were absolute crap in their rotations at all times. Wolf is kind of one of those guys, but the 2010 Cubs are just bad enough to lose to him.
Ryan Dempster, meanwhile, is trying hard to turn this into a crappy season. It's a shame, really, because when he signed his ridiculous 4 year deal, I felt that he'd likely have 2, maybe 3 good seasons, and while his '09 and '10 haven't been horrid, he's wasted them on some pretty bad Cub teams. Oh well.
Sunday, September 12 - Casey Coleman (1-1, 5.81 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (11-7, 3.80 ERA)
In his last 3 starts, Coleman's gone 1-0 with a 4.42 ERA. That's actually not bad, when you consider that, up until that point, his ERA on the season was 7.82. Remember -- he's 23, he's got some potential, and he's experiencing his growing pains while pitching for a Cubs team that's going nowhere slow. So cut the kid some slack.
Gallardo is 24, immensely talented, and he's got an outside chance of his second consecutive 200 strikeout season. He's also got a history of injury problems. So how come he's not a Cub?
The Cubs haven't been so bad a team since the start of the month. Therefore, I predict ... VICTORY!!!
Now go get 'em!