Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Change of Thought

I planned on writing something about how the Cubs’ umpire problems stem from their early season bitching and moaning. But two other bloggers already hit that topic, so I figured that I shouldn’t be redundant.

What I will say is that a loss tonight and I’m calling the season over. This team seems to be hell bent on not one, but two death spirals. They were a few outs from tying the Cardinals for first place back on June 23rd. In the ensuing 47 games, the Cubs lost 15 games on first place. That’s almost impossible. But, hey, these are the Cubs.

What I will also say is that the Cubs are suffering from mini-Houston syndrome: A team that gets old overnight. While Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou are not showing the drop offs that Jeff Kent and Craig Biggio showed (who seemed to fall into retirement mode on April 3rd), Sosa and Alou both seem to be fading slowly into oblivion.

We who thought the Cubs would be a great team never saw this coming. We also seriously over-evaluated the talent. Only two players have played above expectations: Aramis Ramirez and Michael Barrett. Everyone else has played at or below expectations. And some of those players have played so poorly at times (Corey Patterson, Kyle Farnsworth, short stop as a whole -- or is it hole?) that they have dragged the rest of the team down with them by either killing rallies or by starting rallies for opponents.

When that many players play below expectations, you are lucky to have even an average team. Average teams get swept by Milwaukee like the Cubs did just before the All-Star break.

Ben Sheets goes tonight and I expect another loss. Should this happen, the Cubs will likely be swept again. And that would pound one of the last nails into the Cubs 2005 coffin.

Which can now be purchased at Costco.

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