Saturday, October 6, 2007
posted by Grizzly Adam at 10:57 PM | Permalink
Your 2007 Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs, 2007 Topps

For some reason, in the late 80's and into the mid 90's I had WGN as part of my TV package. I did not live anywhere near Chicago. But because of that, during the summers in those years I was able to watch the Cubs almost daily. In my memory, the games were on all the time, Harry Caray calling the game in his distinct, quirky, and amazing way. The more I watched the Cubs, the more of a fan I became. Vance Law, one of my favorite players was on the team, and so was Ryne Sandberg, another one of my all-time favorites. Those were the years of Andre Dawson, Shawon Dunston, Mark Grace, Rick Sutcliffe, Joe Girardi, and Jerome Walton.

I am still a Cub's fan. I follow the team with a sort of distant loyalty. Quietly cringing over box scores and 4 inning outings by starting pitchers. This year though, I was given reason to hope, to think, that perhaps something special was going to happen in 2007. After all, sheer probabilities would be in favor of the Cubs right? What are the chances of a team going 100 years without winning the World Series?

Tonight the Cubs lost at home 5-1. Completing an unremarkable 0-3 bow out of the playoffs. Another year gone, another year of could-have-beens for Chicago fans, and another year ahead of "this is our year" hype and hope.

It is interesting to see that in the late 80's and early 90's the Cubs were not a great team. However, in 1989, after posting winning percentages of .438, .451, .369 the previous 3 seasons, the Cubs won 95 games and took the NL Central. The next 3 seasons they posted winning percentages of .478, .481, and .481.

My point?

Last year the Cubs went 66-96, and in 2005 they were 79-83. If history is any indicator, we can expect a string of 3 or 4 years of stinkage for the Chicago Cubs. The team history over the last 30 years reminds me of a humpback whale that spends most of its time in deep water, only occasionally coming up for air before plummeting back to the depths. The Cubs came up for air in 2007. It wasn't pretty, but they got the job done and landed back in the playoffs. They went from 30 games under .500 in 2006 to 8 games above in '07. That is an impressive turn-around. But will it last? Only time will tell.

And in the meantime...

There is always next year.