Monday, April 06, 2009

Opening Day! Hooray! And Ho Hum...

The Cubs are back in action today for their 133rd season. All the usual platitudes apply. Hope springs eternal. Baseball and spring are a sign of renewal and rebirth. Hell, you can even throw Terence Mann's speech into the mix. It's great to have baseball back.

That said, this Cubs season has all the appearance of waiting in line for the real show. Given the last two post-season results, Cub fans are focused pretty heavily on post-season success. There would be few genuine fans out there who will tell you that they would be satisfied with anything less than a season that included at least advancing past the Divisional Playoff Series.

So, with post-season success the determinant of the whole season, the regular season really becomes nothing more than a big dress rehearsal. We don't want to see a bunch of mopes just going through the motions 162 times, but we really need to see the play on the big stage before we give out anything more than tepid applause.

The drama for this year will be all about how this team can best compete come October. The record should take care of itself given how piss poor the rest of the division looks. That means we get to focus on Derrek Lee's bat and Rich Harden's pitch speed and Kosuke Fukudome's ballet moves and Alfonso Soriano's hop and Milton Bradley's mental spasms.

With the ownership still in flux and the credit markets not helping the Rickett's family buy the team, there's little reason to think that Jim Hendry has any bullets left to add payroll this year. That means that what we see is what we fans are going to get. Reinforcements in the event of injury are in Iowa, not San Diego.

Regardless, it's great to have the season back. Call me when the leaves start turning brown.

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