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I just need to rant about the Chicago Cubs…

[Warning: Takes on here can come off as overreacting or bold statements, but I am going to share anyway.]

Trying to be rational about this team gets harder and harder by the day. At this point it feels like being rational is just admitting the “Golden Days” of the Chicago Cubs are gone. I truly believed after 2016 this team was going to remain dominant for a long time. Ugh.

The 2021 season is only a few weeks old, but it feels like we are in the dog days of a classic pre-contending era season. Those long summers in the early 2010s when the team was well out of a playoff spot and there were few answers on how to realistically make them better. I remember those gross feelings, and I hoped to never feel them again after 2016…but here we are.

Yes, it might seem silly to talk about this in mid-April, but we see the trends. The offense has been “broken” since 2018 and the players who have contracts expiring are not exactly helping their cases to get extensions. It has been a gradual decline and we might be seeing the final plunge before us.

I mean…going into Friday’s game the Cubs offense was slashing .163/.254/.307 with a wRC+ of 57, fWAR of -.8, and OPS of .561. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!?!? HOW?!? Even by “slow start” standards that is historically TERRIBLE! They had 59 hits vs. 122 strikeouts. AGAIN HOW THE FLYING FUCK!?!?

I mean (Chef Ramsay voice) LOOK AT THIS!

LOOK AT IT!!!^^^^^^^^

Remember last season? Remember when they got absolutely blown away by the freaking Marlins in the playoffs? Remember how they pulled a division title out of their ass in a bullshit 60-game season despite a .220 team average and 92 wRC+? That is not going to fly in a regular season. Sadly now the Cubs decided to trade Yu Darvish, the CY YOUNG RUNNER-UP, for lottery tickets and Zach Davies. It does not help that the rest of the rotation outside Kyle Hendricks has been put together with old parts from the bargain bin.

This was supposed to be a window of contention. We were supposed to be having fun. I am having zero fun so far in 2021. Even when things have looked better the past two seasons, it never felt like anything near what we got in 2015-2016, and it all just feels so…stale.

They are sloppy in the field…the one area where they have typically been superb at. The hitting does not exist. The starting rotation is not good enough. You see things day-in and day-out that make you scratch your head. How can a solution be found if nobody can contribute?

I think about a lot of these players and wonder what their future will be like. Anthony Rizzo is over 30 with a bad back. Javier Baez seems to have peaked and is missing the ball SO badly. Kris Bryant has flashes of being like his old self, but then will have some really rough games. Ian Happ and Willson Contreras can rip a ball every now and then, but not enough. Joc Pederson, a guy who I was REALLY excited for, could not be off to a more horrific start as a Cub. Is he injured? Who knows. All I can say is that this is not working, and has not worked for a while now.

Also…HOW MANY FASTBALLS RIGHT DOWN THE DICK CAN ONE TEAM MISS?!?! Serious question. It happens way too much.

But what about the future. I scream to myself, “WE NEED A REBUILD” after every strikeout, error, multi-run inning by the other team, and final out of a loss. Yet how will that come about? You need your guys to have value and honestly even if they do have some, it appears the days of Quintana for Eloy, Chapman for Torres, etc. are over. Expect more like the Darvish trade. Those trades (including the Darvish one) CAN payoff, but it will take years before we know. The Cubs farm is not exactly filled to the brim with top prospects…this is a pretty horrible situation to be in.

I am going to go back to 2015-2016 again. Theo Epstein had the plan in place from day one after he was hired in 2011. It took him a remarkably short time to turn a franchise from zeros to heroes. The way the plan came together so flawlessly in 2015-2016 was incredible. Looking back at what the team has become, and how they did not progress as anticipated, one could say they caught lightning in a bottle. A team that was supposed to contend for championships for years to come, might have ended up just catching a few bolts on lightning in a bottle. That is not to necessarily discredit them from at least playing competitive baseball from 2018-2020, but those teams had many warts and were never nearly good enough to make another run. They have won zero playoff series or game since 2017, and have been shutdown and overpowered in every loss since their last playoff win.

The league caught up to the Cubs fast, and the Cubs never caught back up to the league again.

Listen, I cannot hit a baseball coming at me at 95+ MPH. I cannot scout a player like experts can. I cannot throw a pitch off a mound over a plate 60 feet and 6 inches away. I cannot be the GM or owner of a ballclub. I also do not want to make it too personal against these guys. I know they want to win and try hard, I understand. They are human and I would never wish bad things to come upon them in their lives. However, the reality on the field is that this team is just not good at all right now, and I think they ran the course a while ago.

I will ALWAYS, ALWAYS, AWLAYS be thankful for 2016 and the joy it gave me. Those guys will live in our hearts as Cubs fans forever. But going forward, you have to look ahead and not behind.

It is time to stop being sentimental. It is time to stop being delusional. It is time to realize that what we want is probably not coming.

This team could legit lose 90+ games at this rate. Who would have thought a core of Rizzo, Bryant, Baez, Contreras and Hendricks could be part of a team where that was a legit possibility? Who knows what will happen in a few months, but I am just not hopeful. I miss getting excited for games when I could watch. Now it feels like a chore to watch one inning. It is to the point where if they are down two runs, I just leave and do something else.

2016 = 1985 Bears (sorry I had to say it, but it is kind of true)

My biggest fear of all is that the Chicago Cubs are just going to morph back into being the perennial losers they had been for decades before Epstein took over. Like it was a blip in the franchise’s radar to be good and now they are maneuvering around it and it is back to business as usual…sucking. Let’s hope not…

I would advise fellow Cubs fans to buckle up for the next few seasons, because I believe there are some very dark days ahead. I got nothing else to say now. I am just so disappointed and over it all.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk. Go Cubs, I guess :/


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