What Comes Next
We're just a few hours away from the final game of the baseball season. I've been feeling particularly nostalgic this weekend, thinking back on my 2004 trip to New York City where I watched the Cubs lose two crushing games against the Mets. Believe it or not, it was my first trip ever into New York town, and it has remained my last to this point.
In many ways, the '04 Cubs were on paper the best team we've seen. They had a tremendous starting rotation, the offense was ridiculously solid, but there were cracks at the seems that became increasingly visible as the year progressed. In particular, the poor defensive fundamentals and Dusty Baker's abuse of his young pitchers torpedoed that team.
The '08 Cubs, however, are on a different level. With 97 wins, they're the winningest Cubs team ever since they went to a 162 game schedule. More impressively, they did it in a division in which the 4th place team would be playoff bound if they were in the western division. Imagine how many games the Cubs would've won in a division like Anaheim's.
I'm already anxious about What Comes Next. The Cubs will either play the Mets or the Dodgers, and while they've played well against both teams, let's not forget one simple tenet: any squad that makes the playoffs is already some kind of champion. Nothing is easy from here on out. But an 11-game winning streak would be pretty cool.
There will be a few minor things we're going to do differently starting in October. And as you are reading this right now, so are my co-writers and web designer, who are all saying the same thing: "what the hell is he talking about?"
First, the Zambrano Meter has pretty much topped out for the year, so I will be making a new one - the goatriders.org 11-Win Playoff Zambran-0-Meter. Unlike the regular season's 120-win Meter, this one has a chance of being filled.
Second, I don't know how well it'll work, but I plan on game-casting the first game of the NLDS. I welcome all of you to join me not in the shout box but in the comments section of the blog. It's nothing I've really ever done before. Maybe the Cubs will get blown out by a ton of runs and, in an act of total frustration, I will give up on the gamecast. Maybe I'll get distracted by food and will forget to post. Who knows? But I welcome you all to watch the game with me. It should be a nerve-wracking time.