Alright, full disclosure: I was advocating for nabbing Greinke in the off season. But six years at $206+ million? Jesus Christ isn’t worth that, and he could walk on friggin’ water!
Well, my friend, it turns out that, so far, Greinke’s not worth it either. He got hit pretty hard by the Rockies this week and tonight, after we disposed of him for our 4th win in 5 games, his ERA is an odoriferous 9.90. To be fair, the former Dodger, Angel, Brewer, Royal did run into the carpet bombing offense that is the Cubs. But hey, if you’re making $31 million (this year) to work every 5th day, and you only gotta do that for 7 months, I think your ERA ought have nothing but zeros in it. Know what I’m sayin’? Anything higher than that and you better be able to do the walk on water thing. Or change water into wine. Better yet; Old Style.
You know, when I was a kid, my parents used to get National Geographic. I used to thumb through it (for the articles, pal) and now and then there’d be a piece on volcanos. There were these awesome photos and fancy diagrams explaining how all this pent up raw power, buried inside the Earth, has to get out once in a while. And when it does, you got yourself a major league natural disaster.
Well, my friend, I think what we’re lookin’ at with this year’s Cubs is exactly that: the geological equivalent of Mt. Vesuvius or Mount St. Helens or Krakatoa or something. I mean the Cubs have been dormant for 107 years. Yeah, we shook up the Richter Scale in 1945, and had a few minor rumblings over the last 30 years, but it wasn’t until last year that people started wondering if the tremors on Chicago’s north side are for real. Based on pure scientific observation so far this season, I’d say it’s time to sound the Amber Alert system, cuz it’s looking like there’s a Prince Fielder-sized butt-load of molten Fowler, Rizzo, Zobrist and Arrieta that’s starting to explode on the rest of baseball.
Hey there carrot tops. Bad news for the Angels tonight: they ran into Bugs Bunny — the alter ego of Jake Arrieta, who didn’t miss a beat since last season while giving the Angels a little taste of hell. I mean he was filthier than a gas station bathroom. He made the Angels look like a team of Elmer Fudds. In fact, he had a better strike to ball ratio than in any of his starts last year. And LAST year he took home the friggin’ hardware. To quote Bugs, he “perplexed them.”
Now I realize you can’t get any earlier in the season than one game, but we hung a 9 spot on a pretty good ball club tonight, had 11 hits, played stellar defense and didn’t give up a run. Which is to say this team feels noticeably different — like a fresh pair of boxers after a week in the desert. I’m not (1, 2, 3, 4) counting any chickens (5, 6, 7), pal. I’m just saying tonight was awesome. Arrieta was awesome, too. And we’re in first place.
Happy day, cheese doodles. April 4, two-oh-sixteen. Opening-freaking-Day. Stupid new rules and all, nothing gets me down today. Not even the fact that we’re opening up with … with … INTER-LEAGUE PLAY?! You kiddin’ me? Please tell me the Cactus League schedule just got extended. Bud Selig, you were then, and remain today, the devil. Ah, well. Not even you and the stupid schedule you left behind for Robbie Womanfred can get me down today, pal. Day One. Old Style in one hand, Red Hot in the other, listening to Jake mow down the Angels of Anaheim, or the Edison Internationals, or whatever those jabronies call themselves.
This is it. Our year. The Cubs’ year. The year of living dangerously. At least for every team that dares to cross the foul lines with the Cubs. It’s the year of the monkey, my friend; that nasty, smelly, furry little f–cker that’s been on our backs since Henry Ford introduced the Model T. THAT monkey is about to get swatted like a Kyle Schwarber moon shot across the great divide that’s separated the Cubs from the phrase “World Champions” for the past 107 years.
This is the year we make like the Bosox and bury our curse; the year we put that friggin billy goat on a spit and serve it up with a sixer of Old Style and a lip-smacking, artery-clogging, basket of curly fries. Besides … if I happen to go down for a dirt nap cuz of a celebratory, junk-food-induced coronary, I will have died a happy man, headed to the big locker room in the sky knowing the Cubs finally hung a W on their last game of the playoffs.
So enjoy the season, peanut shells. It’s gonna be fun.
Hey there, dust covers. Unless you’ve been vacationing on Jupiter, you know that it’s Spring Training time in Mesa. (Everywhere else, too, but Mesa is the only place that matters.) So, while the Cubbies are doing wind sprints, practicing pick-offs, and are still tied for first, I thought it would only be fair that you and me got into ‘fan shape’. And I’m not talking about wait-until-next-year shape. I’m talkin’ about in-your-face, trash-talkin’, we’re-not-gonna-take-this-gettin’-broomed-in-the-playoffs-crap-anymore shape. WARNING: Do not drive or operate heavy machinery for 12 hours afterwards.
Alright, Step 1) Pour yourself a nice, frosty adult beverage — Old Style if you got it — and put that La-Z-Boy in full recline, my friend. This step is actually common to many important activities, and happens to be one of my favorite parts of gettin’ in fan shape, because I get to make those faux farting noises that accompany even the slightest butt adjustment against my chair’s fine corinthian leather. Always entertaining.
Now that we’ve got that “Back to the Future II” prediction out of the way, here are a few truths (and not-so-truths), from the Sun-Times perspective, about the ’16 Cubs. I’d like to note that the Sun-Times likens Maddon’s “embracing the target” approach this season to George Custer embracing the target of the Sioux Nation in 1876. I’m canceling my subscription.