Goatriders of the Apocalypse

History repeating?

Do you know how tall the tallest building in Champaign is? Let me tell you, it’s not that tall. I would know too, because I went to it last night after the Cubs lost to the Cardinals. I looked over the edge, thought about it for a second and then decided I probably would just roll an ankle if I jumped. Damn you Central Illinois!

Anyway, I know a lot of Cubs fans have entered the “Doom and Gloom” portion of the season that usually happens considerably earlier than mid-September, but I’m hear to stop everyone from rolling their ankles. Here’s why: the 2005 Chicago White Sox.

Yes, we sure do think the Sox suck around GROTA (We have scientific polling data to prove it!) but we can learn a little lesson from the ’05 Sox. On August 1, 2005, the White Sox had a 15-game lead over the second place team in the ALC. On September 1, 2005, the lead was down to 7.5 games. On September 22, 2005, the lead was down to 1.5 games. As most of us know, the White Sox went on to finish the regular seaso winning their last 5 games and winning the division by 6 games…plus there was that whole World Series thing.

In fact, we can even go beyond the ’05 White Sox. It seems the latest trend in baseball is division leaders blowing late season leads only to go on to win the World Series.

In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals were up 7 games on September 19 before barely winning the division and then rolling through the playoffs. In 2007, the Boston Red Sox had a 7-game lead on September 4 and won the division by only 2 games. Of course, they went on to tear up Rocktober in the World Series.

So what might this tell us about the 2008 Cubs? Two thoughts:

-Things are probably going to get worse before the get better.
-A little adversity seems to do well when going into the playoffs.

Personally, I find this both stressful yet somewhat reassuring. It’s stressful because I don’t know how much more of this losing I can take before I’m forced to burn my eyes out with hot coals. On the other hand, it’s reassuring because if the Cubs can overcome this slump then I believe they will have the mentality to finish the job we all know they have the skill to do.

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