For those who wish to see the fire sale
The other day somebody posted on the ShoutBox that he hoped the Cubs would get swept and subsequently be broken apart.
I get that. This team has been nothing but frustrating, and much like the narrator from Fight Club a lot of us probably just want to destroy something that's beautiful right now. But there are a handful of things we need to consider before we advocate the dismantling of this disappointing Cubs team.
First -- do we really want to be the fans that supported the fire-sale of a baseball club that is, as of July 23rd, 1 game behind the division lead in the NL Central, while actually having 1 less loss than the first place Cardinals?
A little perspective from Rob - recall the 1997 season, when the Sux pulled off their infamous "White Flag" trade at the deadline - pawning off Wilson Alvarez, Danny Darwin and Roberto Hernandez - their top two starters and their closer - for six prospects. Three of the prospects actually saw big league action - most notably Keith Foulke and Bob Howry (yep, HIM). The Sux were 3 1/2 out at that point. But 12 years later, the mopes on the other side o' the tracks STILL moan about the White Flag trade, how Reinsdorf lost faith in his team, that could have and "should have" won the division.
So the answer is NO, as shitty as we are right now, we are kind of stuck by our place in the standings. If we can improve incrementally, we should. But blowing it up, even if we COULD (read on), is hysterical.
Second -- let's say the answer is "yes." I'll reserve my judgment for anybody who'd feel that way until the end of this post, but how? What kind of moves do you propose the Cubs make to break up this team? Is anybody going to accept a trade for a 33-year-old left fielder who has struggled all year long and will be earning 18 million a year until 2014? Will anybody take an underperforming Asian sensation who's making 12 million a year? Does anybody want an angry, underperforming right fielder who has just reached his vested option to collect an additional $10 million?
Rather than just post about how the Cubs need to blow the team up, please, tell us how. You are welcome to use the Reader Blogs feature to do this -- I'll even promote your article to the front page of GROTA. And if you don't have reader blog access, EMail me and I'll set you up.
Back to the "yes, blow 'em up" mentality. Let's be realistic here. If the Cubs decide to rebuild for another run, it won't be until the new owner steps in. It won't be with Jim Hendry -- nor should it be. He's had more chances than I believe he should have gotten. It won't even be with Lou Piniella -- he's here to win now, and he's not going to hang around to wait for a new squad to grow into winners. Whether or not it should happen, it can't happen. There are too many factors against it, the least of which being that Jim Hendry does not want to surrender his job so easily. He very well may burn the village to save it.
Besides ... they are 1 game out of first place. I know, I know, the offense sucks. Surely, if they manage to sneak into the playoffs they will only disappoint us again. Clearly, they are not likely to win a World Series in 2009. But if you truly want the team to be blown up right now with the team 1 freaking game out of first place, then you are not a Cubs fan. Sorry, I'm not trying to piss you off or anything, but you need to stop following professional sports if you don't have the stomach for an agonizing year like this one. Go take up calligraphy or something.
Kid has a point here, one that I myself should probably take to heart. The chances are slim to none that this is the Team that will Lift The Curse. But Cub Fan-ness is not a cheap thing. It is a privilege that is earned, and by gawd, we are going to earn it by sticking with this bunch who can't hit straight. What you see is what you get for 2009, save a relief pitcher or two. What does not kill us will make us stronger. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Maybe next year, the team will be sold, another GM will be brought in, and some great trades made. All right, this is me, signing off...
Anyway, I'm not at this point saying the Cubs will get to the playoffs, I'm not even saying that they are likely to, but the situation determins the course of action and whether we know better or not, the course of action cannot be a fire-sale. But like I said before -- if I'm wrong, explain to me how.