Goatriders of the Apocalypse

A look at things to come

You know, I never feel my own mortality except for when the Cubs fall out of the playoff race. Every time that happens, I feel a year older, and I begin to wonder if they'll ever hold on and win it in my life time. Of course, I'm probably overreacting. I'm only 25, after all. I might have 50 more years of inevitable disappointment before I'll really have to get worried.

But are the Cubs really out of it?

Well... yeah. Probably. Almost certainly.

But that's the hilarious thing about baseball. Nothing is ever etched in stone. Especially not in April, or May, or hell, even early July. I mean, you could have a really good baseball team - borderline great, even. You could even be 9.5 games ahead in the standings by as late as August 13th and still fall out of the race and miss the playoffs.

So, are the Cubs out of it? Is the season over? If they were the Yankees, would you be so sure of your answer?

Look, I'm not saying that things will get turned around. They probably won't. But whether you realize it or not, we have a great GM. We even have a pretty damned good manager, even if I personally think he's a moron. We have a solid lineup and what should be the most dominating pitching staff in all of baseball.

I know there are a lot of nay-sayers out there who want to see Hendry fired. After all, the guy loves his prospects too much to trade any of them away, even in this moment of desperate need. After he lost Dontrell Willis, he became gun-shy and won't pull the trigger. He waited so long to trade Sammy in the off season that the Cubs weren't able to adequately upgrade the team, and he didn't get prime value for the slugger, either. He stuck us with Macias. Right? Right?

Wrong. Jim Hendry is a godsend to the Cubs. Look, do you know how hard it is to trade a guy on the decline, in his mid-30's, who's making almost 20 million a year? Hey, neither do I, but I bet you it's really, really hard! You're upset because he didn't get top value for Sosa? Look, Sammy is the equivilant of a stinky old ho. It was amazing that Hendry was able to pimp out one final bang to begin with! Have you seen how Sammy's performed this year in Baltimore? Trust me, we got the better end of the bargain!

As far as making trades this season, all we've read is about how impossibly difficult the trade market is right now. There are too many buyers, and way too few sellers. The fact is, we haven't seen any big trades by any team, have we? That doesn't mean Hendry isn't on the phone 26 hours a day. He probably is. He's probably begging, pleading, and fellating. But it takes two to dance, and right now Hendry is the equivilant of that one creepy guy out on the dance floor swaying away to the music and desperately looking for someone to join him.

So, let's give Jim a chance. If he sits on his thumbs once the deals start going down, I'll change my tune. Until then, we're overreacting. (That, by the way, might be a reason why none of us will ever be GM's of a sports franchise.)

Anyway, the point is, none of us really understand baseball. Although everybody probably is right. The season is over. But in reality, I believe that the next 20 or so days will be very telling.

And I think they might even be a little surprising.

Tom

There's still every chance that the Cubs will go 118-44 this season.
It's simply too early to say.

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