Hey there, tire irons. I’ll say this; since comin’ back from the break, the Cubs have been flashing a bit of last year’s magic. And if you’re gonna do any flashing, San Francisco is definitely the place to do it, my friend. They showed just enough of their former selves to beat the G-men last night, which was one helluva lot better than the Sunday spanking we took at the hands of a real team — the Nats. The Cubs were this close to takin’ the home series against Washington, thanks to the nuclear powered bat of Wilson Contreras (again) and a little Lackey wizardry. But instead, the Cubs decided to reach into that black hole of surprises they call a bullpen and pull out a whimpering defeat. I bet Lackey was thrilled. It was another crap performance by what continues to be one of the biggest question marks in baseball — the Cubs relief staff. Even worse is how this kinda play is rewarded. Yep … another Joe Maddon costume party. Incredible. I mean is this a Major League baseball team or a bunch of Girly Scouts on a sleep over?!
I hate beatin’ a dead horse — unless it friggin’ deserves it, like if it keeps wanting to dress like a donkey or somethin’ — so I just gotta re-register my position on the nine kinds of stupid this themed road trip thing is.
First, I love Joe Maddon. I coulda given him a sloppy wet kiss last November 2nd. Without Joe, I think we’re on a 109 year losing streak. And I think the way he’s able to relate to players has worked pretty well. We’re Series Champs, after all, and you can’t argue with that. Still, I can’t get past the fact that these themed road trips come from the same mind that drove the Cubs into the winner circle, nor the stated reason for them — Joe wants his players to have more fun. MORE FUN?! These guys play a friggin’ game for a living. And by “living” I mean you’ve got over 160 million bucks gettin’ split just 25 ways. Not equally, but holy craptoids … if they’re not havin’ enough fun playin’ a game and makin’ a king’s ransom for doin’ it, something is rotten in Denmark, not to mention Wrigleyville. Dressin’ up like Ken dolls ain’t gonna fix that.
Second, we’re just a half game up in the Central. Now if we had … say … a 15 game lead and everything was going along swimmingly (By the way, what the hell does swimming have to do with somethin’ doing good. Never understood that one. Of all the exercises I’ve ever done — swimming is maybe the toughest. Bowling, for example, would be way easier. Like we should say “bowlingly” rather than “swimmingly.”) Anyway, like I was sayin’, if we’re basically on autopilot cuz we’re obviously the class of baseball, like we were last year, then maybe … MAYbe … you can do the Pretty, Pretty Princess thing. But if you’re grasp on the Central Division is limited to your fingernails, what the hell are you doin’ prancing about the country like bikers? (The theme for this trip is “Easy Rider.”) Not to mention the fact that this season has been about as “easy” as gettin’ to third base with Sister Mary Whatchyamicallit, so it’s not even is the same zip code as reality.
Or is the whole “Easy Rider” thing an arrogant slap in the face to the Giants who, at 44-69 are stinkin’ up all of northern California. Other than the Cards and the White Sox, I can’t think of another team I’d like to slap in the face more than the Giants but, to me, this would just be tempting fate. Are we a better team that San Francisco? Yeah, sure we are. We’re we a better team than the Pads the last time we played dressed up on our ride to the west coast? Also yeah. And what happened? We got SWEPT, pallie.
I’m also wonderin’ if anyone gave some thought to the fact that biker gangs — not all of ’em, but some — tend to be associated with things like chains, brass knuckles, knives, guns and words like “melee.”
But what the hell do I know? After all, I picked the Cubs to win 110 games this year so no one is gonna confuse me with Bob Costas or anything. Still, if the Cubbies go undefeated the rest of the season, my prediction is still golden. There’s a zero game margin of error, which is thin, I grant you, but it’s still matheMAtically possible. Of course it’s also mathematically possible for Scarlett Johansson to deliver my next Malnati Classic wearin’ nothin’ but her smile. I’m not countin’ on either one. (Full disclosure; if I was forced to pick between the Cubs repeatin’ and the human lollipop pizza delivery, I may have to do with the latter. I’m just sayin’.)
In the end, all I can hope is that this “biker” thing continues to do somethin’ for the Cubs in San Francisco. Besides gettin’ them a free pass to the Castro.
PS. And in reference to Maddon’s comment, “For the group that doesn’t understand it, that’s too bad that you forgot what it’s like to be a kid,” I say bit me, Joe. What I understand is that you think playin’ dress-up games is gonna help you get back to the Series. I say drivin’ in runs and not giving up grand salamis in the 9th is a better strategy. I also remember just fine what it’s like to be a kid. And in my neighborhood, you could get the livin’ crap beat outta you by playin’ dress-up.