Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Looking for perspective

I'm sitting here entirely charged up, although my energies aren't directed toward blogging right now.  Actually, I feel a podcast coming on, so you should stay tuned for that this weekend as it will certainly be interesting and amusing.

As far as the Cubs go ... meh.  Look, I'm so sick and tired of panicking - and of panicking people - every time the Cubs hit a bump in the road.  We know that this is a solid team with good pitching and offense.  We know that even the best teams in baseball lose and lose often.  On any given week in any given season, the World Series champions can look like absolute tools.  And before we spout our inherent concerns and fears about our shaky set-up man, or our lack of starting pitching depth, I would heartily recommend that all Cub fans study the best teams in the NL and AL.  They all have holes, they all have flaws, and they all suffer from ridiculous losing streaks.

Now, the Cubs are headed into St. Louis, where they will be doing battle with the second place team in the division, the Cardinals.  It won't be an easy series, but I submit to you that it actually doesn't mean all that much one way or the other.  Put it to you another way - if the Cubs sweep the Cardinals, who here thinks that St. Louis is as good as dead and buried in the division?   Anybody?  Anybody at all?  I mean, sure, you'll feel a hell of a lot better about things and you won't be dancing on the ledge anymore, but I think we're all smart enough to recognize that a Cubs sweep of the Cardinals means nothing right up until the Cubs win the division in late September by 3 games.

Therefore, if the worst case scenario happens and the Cubs are swept straight into second place, I'd recommend that you maintain some perspective.  If you wouldn't be ready to declare the Cardinals dead and buried if they get swept, then you shouldn't proclaim that viewpoint if the Cubs get swept.  

Fie on you

Hey Kurt, if you don't want to read opinions that are different than your own, then remove the ability for anyone to post here. And don't bother reading any other blogs. And don't listen to Chicago sports radio as a lot of people there question whether the Cubs are a solid team. I know that you probably can't get the Score's radio signal, but they do stream over the Internet.

If you want to have a discussion regarding the Cubs, then you have to welcome other points of view. I think people have a right to be worried about this team. Until Zambrano makes 3 or 4 good starts in a row and Marmol shows that he can pitch in a high leverage situation, this team's pitching is in danger of sliding downhill. And one does have to be concerned that the bullpen is going to wear out because they've logged so many innings. And it is reasonable to assume that Theriot is going to stop hitting. Will Soto be able to stay strong through the long grind of the season? Will age catch up to Jim Edmonds? Will Soriano get on a good, long hot streak when he comes back from the DL or will it take him weeks to be productive? Will Dempster be able to maintain his level of performance when he hasn't pitched 200 innings in several seasons?

So let's see...so far on this solid team I have legitimate questions about your ace, your number two pitcher, your shortstop, your left fielder, your center fielder, your best reliever, catcher and possibly the entire bullpen. Now maybe all those questions will be answered in a positive manner and the Cubs will steamroll their way to the World Championship we've all been dreaming of. Or maybe some of those questions will turn out negatively, but the Cubs will remain competitive and maybe win that World Series. Or they could all be negative and the team free falls into the second division.

I'm not saying that sky is falling, but I will say that I've been around a bit longer than you and I've seen more Cubs teams fall on their collective faces than have succeeded. And that's where a lot of Cub fans are coming from.

...uh...

So, I have a perspective contrary to yours and you're annoyed because *I'm* annoyed about people with perspectives contrary to mine, and I'm voicing that annoyance. Except you're voicing your annoyance, while telling me basically that I shouldn't voice my annoyance, and implying that I'm telling you not to voice your annoyance. Apart from the whole range of talking in circles, it's the biggest case of pot-kettle-black-calling that I've seen in a long, long time.

With all respect, Frank, of COURSE you can continue to proclaim your SKY IS FALLING JUMP OFF THE LEDGE mantra, if that's how you feel. And I will scoff you. I will scoff you loudly and regularly, because much as you have the right to proclaim that the sky is falling, I have the right to tell you that you are a very *unnecessarily* paranoid self-defeatist, at least when it comes to the Cubs.

Maybe you are simply preparing for the worst - typical Cubs fan mentality - so that, should the worst happen, the blow will be softened a little because you weren't letting your hope hang out all willy-nilly.

Again, that's fine. I never said "hey, don't feel this way." I believe I said, and I'm quoting myself directly, "before we spout our inherent concerns and fears about our shaky set-up man, or our lack of starting pitching depth, I would heartily recommend that all Cub fans study the best teams in the NL and AL. They all have holes, they all have flaws, and they all suffer from ridiculous losing streaks." Care to contest that assertion? I invite you to. I then added, "I'd recommend that you maintain some perspective. If you wouldn't be ready to declare the Cardinals dead and buried if they get swept, then you shouldn't proclaim that viewpoint if the Cubs get swept."

It's a recommendation, Frank, not a command. It's a caution. It's me saying, "before you do that, consider this."

Should you have a problem with that - and it appears that my refusal to panic and insistence to express that refusal IS a problem for you - then consider where you are. The name of the blog is: Goat Riders of the Apocalypse. The implication of that name is that we believe the Cubs are going to win. This isn't an idiotic belief without merit - we were plenty hard on the Cubs in '05, '06, and even in early '07 - but if you are looking for a place to quit early on supporting this team, it's not here.

Put it to you another way. I'm saying clearly and loudly, "if the Cubs exit this weekend half a game out of first, don't give up on them." And you are apparently PISSED at me for saying that you shouldn't give up on your team if they get swept on the road by their biggest rival in early July. Hey, you can feel however you want about it, but I have a problem with that. If you look at it without emotion - a difficult thing to do when talking about as passionate a subject as the Cubs - then you just might understand why.

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