Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Do they still play the blues in Chicago?

"When the snow melts away, do the Cubbies still play in their ivy-covered burial ground?" - Steve Goodman, "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request"

I know that the season is almost a month old and I haven't said anything about the boys in blue yet, but there are several reasons for that. The NHL playoffs, the political junkie in me, and my offline life are just a few of the reasons I haven't gotten around to the Cubs. However, the biggest reason is, I just can't get real excited about this team right now. Yes, Marlon Byrd has exceeded all expectations so far and, thanks to a sweep of the Brewers, the Cubs are hanging right around .500 which is all you can ask for from April. Still, I just don't see much that gets me thinking that this year will be any better than past years.

I agree that the ownership change is a big reason that not a whole lot was done in the off-season, but that shouldn't be an excuse for the entire season. I'm starting to think that we are going to slip back into the mentality of the '80's. The whole, "Wrigley will sell out no matter what, so why try" mentality could easily return. I'm not saying that it will, but when you try so hard (thanks Mr. Hendry) and spend so much money and nothing really come from it besides a few division championships, you have to wonder if Jim Hendry will stop trying.

On a related note, the no trade clauses need to stop. There's nothing like handcuffing team development because some whiny 'superstar' is paranoid that he may be sent to Pittsburgh, Kansas City, or some other last place team. I'm not going to turn this into a bashfest, but the Cubs wouldn't have had to toss Zambrano to the pen if there wasn't a no trade clause in his contract. He would have been moved in the off-season. How many more "arm cramps" will we fans have to endure?

"When I was a boy they were my pride and joy, but now they only bring fatigue. To the home of the brave, the land of the free, and the doormat of the National League."

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