Gamecast: September 24th at San Francisco
Ryan Dempster (10-8, 3.72 ERA) vs. Brad Penny (10-9, 5.35 ERA)
Dempster and Penny have both had disappointing seasons, but if you want a sense of perspective you should compare their lines. Neither will be bragging about 2009 to their family, but at least Clownsevelt has a respectful ERA.
Of course, all of this remains over-shadowed by the saga of Milton Bradley. Something that we are prone to forget about is how it's not just the Cubs that are seriously dysfunctional. It's pretty much any organization that takes winning seriously. Don't believe me? Just take a gander at the Mets, who are about two incidents away from building an octagon and fighting it out in there.
I'm sure there will always be people who disagree -- those arguing that they have no financial reason to feel this way -- but the Cubs want to win. They really, really do. They want to win badly. Their players want to win, their fans want to win, everybody wants to win. And when winning doesn't happen, like this year, everybody goes a little crazy. It's really not unusual, and it's not prone to happen only to the Cubs.
So, yes, it sucks that they've lost, and it doubly sucks that Milton Bradley has turned out to be the nutter we all denied he was, but I don't feel ashamed about it. I'm not embarrassed by the organization for trying to win. I suppose that that is a step up from previous seasons when I felt humiliated.