I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: This season is going to be a lot more like 2007 than 2008.
Now does that mean it’s time to panic? Does it mean we should bum rush the stores and steal as many perishables (mostly vodka) as we can in preparation of a disappointing season? Does it mean we should start calling for Koyie Hill to be a full-time starter? Does it mean we should write idiotic articles grading the season 20 games deep into the season? Does it mean Nick V should post nonsensical symbols in the shout box out of utter frustration?
No, but it’s going to be a test in patience.
We got spoiled last season. The ’08 Cubbies pretty much rolled through the division and remained relatively healthy throughout. Ah yes, those were the days. A simpler time really. When men were men and when Jason Marquis had a $21 million contract.
But this season is going to be a struggle. Think back to 2007. The frustrating start...the nagging injuries...the excessive amount of Jason Kendall. It’s was quite terrifying. But the Cubs did win the division, right?
No one said 2009 was going to be easy (Oh wait, EVERYONE said 2009 was going to be easy), but this team is going to have to play its way out of this early season slump.
There is no doubt in my mind the Cubs will still win the division, perhaps even with ease, but it isn’t going to be a stroll in the park. At 10-10, the Cubs are one legitimate win streak away from being at the top of the NLC with the Cardinals. So things really aren’t that bad Phil Rogers.
But there are some 2007 issues that need to be fixed again in 2009...
When Alfonso Soriano calls out his own team for lacking energy and a sense of desire then you know something is effed up. I love Sori’s leadership in the early part of the season (and he is backing it up on the field), but it looks like we have an answer to the kind of effect all the preseason hype would have on the players. It has made them complacent. Lou, please go murder an umpire or take a shat on second base after a bad call to get this team fired up.
You can’t really stop a player from being injured, but you can take precautions. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if guys like Aaron Miles or Reed Johnson were hurting, but when five of your top players (Lee, Rami, Milton, Marmol, Geo) are all having health issues, then maybe it’s just safer to put them on the DL and move on. I’d much rather see this team struggle now so they can be at full strength for the rest of the year.
Remember how much we all complained in 2007 about Lou’s inability to find a stable, day-to-day lineup? There was a concern the same thing would happen in 2008 (I believe we even had an over/under for the number of different lineups Lou would feature in our preseason prediction article), but it wasn’t that big of an issue last season. In the early part of 2009, it has returned. Granted, many of the changes have been injury-related, but the move to put Soriano in the three spot and the talk of bumping Bradley down to No. 6 was out of frustration. Stick to your guns Lou. Let the lineup develop. This team was built to be balanced, right?
On April 30, 2007, the Cubs were 10-14. Today they are 10-10. We’ve seen this story before and we know how it is going to end: With the Cubs at the top of the division. I’ll concede that this squad probably isn’t as good as last season, however that does not mean they can’t make it to the playoffs.
Now that I think about it, I guess we don’t want this season to end up like 2007 or 2008. They didn’t exactly produce the results we were hoping for.