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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Watching Everyone Else Try

The Chicago Cubs are in first place in the NL Central. I know I should be happy about this. And, you know, I am, somewhat. However, it feels like last year, but without the record to hide the facts about the real quality of this team. The Cubs are good, yes. But not great. They might actually make the playoffs, although they need to win the division to do so, so it won't be an easy run. However, if they get in, I do not see this team winning the National League.

And the Ivory Tower seems fine with this.

Since they seem to be happy not making any trades before the deadline, I think they'll end up watching the Cards pass them by anyway. I'm not trying to be a doom-bringer here. That's just what the Cards do. They win. As the team with the second most MLB World Championships would. If only the Cubbies weren't content simply sitting on their laurels (whatever those are - 1907-08 Back to Back! Woot!!) and watching everyone else actually try to make their clubs better.

With the third highest payroll in baseball, yeah, they've sort of burnt out this year's shot with yesteryear's bad contract decisions. Not to bring up Soriano and Fukudome again. But, to keep with the theme, Good players not worth their Great contracts. While other teams who actually win World Series games are getting their Hollidays or working on their Halladays, the Northsiders are going to say why change a good thing. I mean, they're in first place, right?! And the payroll is pretty high already. So are the Dodgers and World Champion Phillies, and they've spent plenty of cash. You don't see them saying they're good enough. And they don't have Wrigley to pad the books. The Cards had Holliday move in down I-55, and he promptly put a 4 for 5 on the board. They go out and get it done. Not with flash, but with substance. Well, most folks like to seem to get out of Oakland lately. If you need good help, see Pirates and the Athletics for good deals. Nice to have the farm system in the Bigs. The film quality's better up here.

But, I digress. You see the Redbirds, Phils and Bums trying to improve their teams. Why aren't the Cubs at least in the discussion for trades like this? Because if they make the playoffs, or at least finish over .500, the turnstiles turn every night and day. They don't need to try. Kinda sad, actually. Sure, Graham, you might say. But they don't need to try in Boston or St. Louis either. Those fans would keep on filling the stands. True. But at least they try. And succeed, I might add.

There is no try. Only do.

Out of the Cubs Front Office, I'd be pleased if I even saw a frickin' try.

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