‘Aint so Loveable Anymore?

Posted on May 28, 2011

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photo courtesy of: refrigeratorlogic.com

Written by: Sam Babitsky

With the ivy almost fully green and June just around the corner, the Cubs find themselves seven and a half games behind the Central Division leading St. Louis Cardinals. This placement is far too familiar for them as they have struggled to lead the division heading into June for the past three seasons.

Optimism is always a factor for Cubs fans as the season gets underway but this year was a little different. Lethargic ‘ole Lou Piniella is back in his time-share in Tampa and the energetic and enthusiastic  former third base coach, Mike Quade, is handling the managerial duties of the Cubs. According to General Manager Jim Hendry, Quade was brought in because of his down to earth charisma and his ability to connect with the players, something Sweet Lou could never do. Though the second coach Q of the town (first one being Quenville) seems to make a positive impression on the team, too many seats are vacant for a Saturday day game at Wrigley.

So as it seems, team chemistry is O.K considering the majority of the team converse in Spanish , so then yet again the questions that are posed, Where are the fans and why isn’t the team winning?

Well the answer to the first question is a direct result from the second. I firmly believe that I have found the answer to the never ending Cubs saga. This team is facing an identity crisis. The basis on which this theory is comprised of is the fact that with a booming farm system and young talent already on the Cubs major league roster, the Cubs insist on sticking around washed up players such as Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez and perhaps, Carlos Pena. Though nagging on Soriano is not well deserved at this point because of his somewhat productive season at the plate but his defense in left remains atrocious. Ramirez is having the worst season of his tenure with the Cubs and his age is certainly not helping him either. Pena still deserves some of the benefit of the doubt because of his first year in the “sacred” Wrigley Field. I’m sure he misses Tropicana Field as much as Lou does.

Looking into the outfield, speed is present. All three outfielders wearing their socks up to  their knees like it’s some sort of  fasion statement is also seen. The struggle on defense, however, lies with the infield. More specifically Starlin Castro and the catcher of the day. Quade cannot teach pure defense. He can teach techinques and ways to make a play but the burden is on the fielder to actually do so. Still though, Quade can teach discipline and he can teach teamwork. Not everyone is on the same page and the page for the Cubs season is slowly turning.

With the attendance rate the lowest it’s been in years, the local Wrigley community is clearly losing revenue. No longer is the line for Murphy’s out the door on any given night, and this Cubs fans is a reason to worry.

To Jim Hendry: Figure out which approach you want to take. No, trading for over seasoned veterans is not much of an option. Realize that these fans are not eternal and that patience, in this case, is not a virtue.

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Posted in: Baseball