Alright. So you know how when your team wins the Series (I actually have no first-hand knowledge of this but I’ve seen it on ESPN) it’s expected that the city throws a big party, right? And you gotta have a parade down the biggest street with bands and confetti, and a buncha people screaming like Jesus himself is in the lead car and has just agreed to a 10 year contract for a dollar a year. So I wanna know … where’s the other side of that coin, my friend?
Leading off, Alphonso Soriano:
I am — and anyone within a few blocks of my house will confirm this — pretty miffed about what I’ve been hearing out of a few of the Cubs who allegedly ‘played’ in the NLDS. Leading off, for example, we have the always eloquent Alfonso Soriano. The other day he says, “We’re a good team for  games, but we don’t do nothing after that. That’s the difference. We’re not put together for [a short series].”
First off, Mr. 1-for-14, Mr. I-got-one-less-hit-than-I-got-in-last-year’s-sweep, Mr. I-make-Mendoza-look-like-Babe-friggin-Ruth, (Sorry, I just gotta say it straight to him) it sounds like you weren’t paying much attention in English class with that quote. About as much as you did in Gettin’ On Base class. Second, if you think we’re not built for a short series, how the hell do you think we’re gonna get past the first round of the playoffs, let alone win the big one?! You think Bud’s just gonna give us a free pass? “Yeah, uh, Jim? Selig, here. You can call me Mr. Commissioner. I have it on good authority that you guys are not a short series team. That, and Soriano couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. So I’m waving the NLDS and, uh, you know … just take the rest of the week off.”
Hang on a second. There’s more. Mr. April also said, “I think we had too much time to relax [after clinching the division with 8 games left], and we got a little surprised at how the Dodgers played.” ………. KEEE-riste.
So riddle me this, batless man, how come it is, then, that the ’55 Brooklyn Dodgers clinched the National League pennant earlier than any team in the history of the sport, and then beat the Yanks in the Series? Are you friggin’ kidding me with this ‘too relaxed’ thing?! I can’t think of anyone with a REAL job who gets worse at it after they’ve had some time off. It wasn’t really time off anyway, but the way you’re talkin’ about it leads me to believe that it’s ok with you to coast. You know when a good time to coast is? AFTER YOU WIN THE WORLD SERIES, pallie. Before that it’s just being lazy. And I don’t wanna hear anything about an emotional let down either. Thanks to guys like you hittin’ .071 in the playoffs, it’s us fans that oughta be bringing that up.
Oh yeah, and let’s be surprised at how the Dodgers played. Cuz they ended the season like a Saturn V rocket-equipped freight train. Yeah, I totally get it. Shocker. With Torre at the helm? Manny? Ethier? You oughta be surprised at how you played, my pinhead friend. Disappointed, even. Embarrassed. Sick to your stomach. Awash in self-loathing. Maybe standing on Chicago street corners apologizing to everybody (at least those who don’t take a swing at you) until it’s time to report to Mesa. Oh, and for those that do take a shot, go ahead and swing back. You’ll probably miss.
Finally, in the spirit of ‘anything you say can and will be used against you’, I quote Alfonso once more: “2008 is over. 2009 is coming.” Well, Mr. who-gives-a-crap, it ain’t over for the fans. We gotta listen to our buddies around the country dish it to us for the next 6 months. And I’m pretty sure if I try whistling that Alibi Ike tune of yours, I’d be kicked out of my fantasy league. So, alright, 2008 is over and 2009 is coming. But unless you can motivate yourself to play more than 162 games, I hope 2009 is coming with a new left fielder.
Up next, Bob Howry:
I’ll make this one quick. The other day Howry says, “It’s all who plays good at the right time.” No caca. You think he figured that one out all by himself, or did he have to look in the back of the book? If the playoffs aren’t the right time, pal, when is the right time? You know one of the things that gets under my Cubbie blue skin is that a guy with that kind of electrical activity between the ears is makin’ four and a half million bucks.
Then there’s Dempster:
When asked if he’d like to return next year for a 6th season, he said, “I love the city. I love playing here. Hopefully, everything works out. For right now, I’m worried about making a tee-off time somewhere.” Well that’s nice. Now this is gonna sound cruel, and I have loved Ryan all season long. I mean he was tough. We could count on him. But in the playoffs (when great teams distinguish themselves) he’s looking for the strike zone with a white cane. I think if he worried as much about getting the ball over the plate in Game 1 as he does about a friggin’ tee-time, we might possibly still be in this thing. Then again, maybe not, right Alfonso?
I could go on, but I think my medication is finally kicking in. In time. the obvious frustration will pass. Maybe. Someday. I’m really not sure. And, the truth is that some of our guys looked pretty darn good. And some sounded contrite almost, and personally sad that they let us down. Which brings me back to the beginning of this whole long-winded thing, where I’m wondering why is a city expected to treat these guys like war heros when they win the Series, if they can’t be stand up guys when they F-up? Personally, I’d like to see something other than a bead to the links.
A personalized, written apology would be nice.
Like that’s gonna happen. But wouldn’t it be great — even just good manners — if they at least acted like there’s a difference between a good performance and the one they gave against the Dodgers, which totally and completely and entirely sucked. The first two games, anyway. Wouldn’t it be nice if it even sounded like the fans mattered? I’m telling you, I get another ‘whatever’ attitude from these guys and I could become a Sox fan.
Did I just say that?