We have nothing to fear...but fear itself
Kurt sent us all an e-mail this morning, trying to exhort the rest of us to bigger and better things. The content of the e-mail was basically this: the Cubs are having the best season of our lifetimes, and as such we need to celebrate it with a bunch of posts, or at least posts from more sources than just himself. And yeah, he has a point.
This IS the best Cubs season of our lifetimes, so far. Even mine. ESPECIALLY mine. One thing I noticed that makes this even more remarkable is that, even though the Cubs have been accused the past two years of achieving success by throwing Tribune money at the problem, turns out...the Cubs are currently eighth (8th) in payroll. The New York teams, the Red Sox, the LA teams, you might understand. Detroit, sure, they've been spending money like a drunken crab fisherman on shore leave.
How about the White Sox? The downtrodden heroes of the proto-ethnic and the meth-lab crowd? The traditional Second Fiddle? Yep, spending more money on salaries in Fiscal Year 2008 than the Cubs. And although that particular venture is tied for its divisional lead, with its young starting pitching and its sledgehammer power, fact is, they spend more money than we do, have fewer wins than we do, and.....
....why can't I say it?
Although the odds that the two teams will meet again this year are remote at best, as we sit today, it could happen, it is possible, and is more probable now than any other point in the past 100 years. (Don't 1977 me, the Cubs were a fluke and the Sox had less pitching than your typical Mexican Little League team). In fact, as I sit here today, this is the very first time in my entire life I have actually allowed myself to honestly consider the Cubs' chances against the White Sox in a World Series. Deep down, what do I think?
Unsurpisingly, I think the same thing the rest of you do. But I can't even bring myself to put it down on paper. I know as you do that the Sox would have home field advantage. I know that in order to win the World Series this way, the Cubs would have to win at least one game in US Cellular FoodCourt. So....I think.....
...I think even after the last four months of come from behind victories, even after leading the league in On Base Percentage, for Christ's sake, even after seeing Ryan freakin' Dempster become one of the NL's best starters, even after seeing Ryan Theriot become a viable (even valuable) major league shortstop, even after considering the fact that it is August 18th today, and Kerry Wood is still standing, in one piece, and still able to throw a baseball....
...I still cannot form the words in fear of sounding presumptuous. It really is a matter of someone who has been disappointed too many times, has had their hopes crushed time and time again, to the point that it is impossible to sound confident. It is impossible to boast, to thump your chest, to talk tough and piss on everyone under us. I guess once IT happens, then we can be just like the fandom of nearly every other "normal" team, and call attention to ourselves when we take 5 game leads with 6 weeks left in the season. To pull out our shirts, woof like the big dogs and strut around like we actually won something months before we actually HAVE.
And I guess, once again, this is why I myself haven't been out here every day. Like I have said on here again and again, if we were 20 games out, you bet I would be on here day in, day out, whining about what was wrong and putting my two cents worth in on how to right the ship. But look at our team now...all I can find to bitch about now is our 7th inning reliever, and our left handed pinch hitter. And I've done that, and the fat kangaroo goes out THAT NIGHT and hits a game-winning bomb.
Now isn't the time to complain, obviously. If anything, now is the time to brag. But I'm not going to brag, my friends. Not now. Not yet. I'm afraid to do it until we've done it. I'll leave that to the younger people, the less invested people, the people who still have Cubbie Hope in their hearts. This is as close as I am going to come, for now. FDR was right, I fear fear itself.