Back towards the end of April CubsChat.com’s own Robert Killen put together a very nice piece on the how the Cubs had come to no longer be the “Lovable Losers”.
At that time the season was still raw and, while the Cubs had shot out of the gates like a medieval midget out of a stunt cannon, the overall sentiment was still that it was too early on to tell if the Cubs were in fact set up as the best team in baseball.
Additionally, some fans were busy celebrating an injury to a player who was thought to be a key component of the Cubs lineup this season in Kyle Schwarber. Insistent on the fact that the injury was further evidence of an inevitable collapse following the Cubs surprising run to the NLCS last season, opposing fan bases would soon find out that this Cubs team was constructed in a way to absorb any unforeseen obstacles such as a horrific injury to a key piece of the Cubs lineup.
Now, a fanbase being vocal in opposition to a team is fine by me. No harm, no foul here. It’s what we do. Specifically within a division or within a city, where much of the Cubs hate has been coming from. It is seemingly a prerequisite to spew vitriol about your teams common foes.
That’s fine. However, the insane amount of hate that has come from opposing team announcers, sports figures, media, or opposing players is reaching laughable highs.
There is a saying that goes as:
“A mans true character is revealed in defeat”
If you believe that to be true then there are quite a few high profile(and low-profile) figures that have some serious character flaws.
For the better part of a century the Cubs had been the model of a losing franchise and abysmal organization. When the Cubs were owned by the Tribune, you could argue that their losing moniker was a great marketing tool and therefore the Tribune found losing to be better (and more profitable) than winning.
The Cubs have lost in more ways than even the best fictional writer could imagine.
From Billy Goat curses to Black Cats running in front of the teams dugout before a historic collapse to baseballs in the stands deflected by fans(or misplayed by Shortstops), the Cubs have lost in every imaginable way for over 100 seasons. However, they have lost with dignity, with character, as an organization.
Never have the Cubs announcing team taken to the Reds or Pirates teams or, more egregiously, it’s fanbases in a way to attack the team or try to excuse themselves for their own poor performance. Nor have one of the Cubs franchises key figures(or their sons) attacked a player on the other team strictly because of that players success.
That’s what has happened in the last month and a half since the Cubs have taken baseball by storm with a historic pace. Yes, historic.
If you take the run differential of all the other 5 division leaders as of Monday, May 16th and add it together you find yourself at +125.
The Cubs are at +109 by themselves.
Heck, if you add the +59 Boston sports in run differential and the +49 that St. Louis currently has (the two closest to the Cubs in +run differential) you find yourself at +108. One less than the Cubs. And this coming the day after a Chicago Cubs loss.
About those losses, by the way, the Cubs have only 9 of them. After 36 games. When it comes to the loss column the closest team is the Baltimore Orioles and they sport 13 losses. The Cubs aren’t just winning games, no, they are dominating games.
So that is the run down on the Cubs success out of the gates. Now how about these character-flawed representatives of rival teams? How have they reacted to watching the pendulum swing the other direction? Poorly. That is how.
First, there was THIS bozo:
For those of you wondering, no, this is not a picture of someone trying to make their facebook profile look as if they were auditioning for a new Scarface movie. It’s Ozzie Guillen Jr., the named Son of the manager for the White Sox 2005 championship team. Without provacation, Ozzie Guillen Jr felt the need to post this meme insinuating steroids following Jake Arrieta’s no-hitter.
National media caught wind of the insane accusation and Stephen A Smith would pose the question on a national level just days later. Don’t worry, though. Stephen A Smith’s vomit of the mouth was debunked the same day by yours truly:
You can see the piece on Chicagostylesports.com here, as well.
That same series, the TV voice of the Cincinnati Reds would make a laughable statement regarding Cubs fans in their stadium. He would ALMOST go too far when indicating a “rub” against…..well, Cubs fans is what he wanted to say. Instead, he simply said “enough already”.
Sorry, Thommy. There are no safe words in baseball.
Brennaman closes his rant about the Cubs fans (featured below): “Enough already.” pic.twitter.com/9lPWyGp41W
— Zach Bernard (@ZachBernardFW) April 23, 2016
Thommy B. A bit of advice for you.
There are TWO ways in which you can STOP fans of opposing teams to CHANT at Great American Ballpark.
Now, you do not need to achieve BOTH of these to accomplish the goal; only one.
- Your fans can buy tickets to the game in a greater number than the fans of the opposing team.
Now I realize this is a foreign concept to some fans. White Sox fans come to mind, the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins, as well. However, YOU CAN have MORE of your fans at a home game. This IS permitted. If you achieve this then there is a greater-than-good possibility that you won’t find quite as many chants going for the opposition in “your ballpark”.
2. The Reds CAN stop the opposition from getting in such an advantageous position against “your Reds”
Again, I realize this is easier said than done, but it is possible.
When it comes to Cubs super-hater, well, what else can I say.
“This one belongs to the Reds”.(and Thom)
Lastly, we had this past weekend. The Cubs vs The Pirates.
The Pirates announcers called the Cubs classless for “running up the score” in the bottom of the 8th inning on Saturday when the Cubs already led 6-2. They ended up winning 8-2 after scoring 2 additional runs that 8th inning. Now, keep in mind for a moment that the Cubs DID NOT bunt to get on base nor steal any bases in that 8th inning.
They simply hit the ball. Now, there is not a “traditional” job description for professional baseball player the same way there is for my regular job. However, if there were one, I imagine it would read somewhat like this:
Individual must possess strong hand/eye coordination and an ability to make better-than-average contact with athletic balls weighing between 5-5.25 ounces and measuring between 9-9.25 inches in circumference.
Now, there would be more to the description, but I am sure something along those lines would be within the description. Additionally, I would say it is safe to assume that this would be somewhere in the “Pitchers description”
Individual must possess a strong enough arm with control and command to be able to get athletic balls weighing between 5-5.25 ounces and measuring between 9-9.25 inches in circumference beyond the bat of a better-than-average contact hitter with consistency and into the catchers glove.
Okay, so, two makeshift job descriptions. Here’s the thing. IF YOU CANNOT DO THAT THEN IT IS NOT THE OTHER TEAMS FAULT! A little FYI for ya, Pittsburgh announcers.
Maybe the lack of that “killer instinct” is why you have been unable to win TWO CONSECUTIVE home wild-card play-in games….just a thought.
Then there was this news after the Pirates squeaked past the Cubs 2-1 Sunday for their first win over Chicago in 6 tries this season(including 3 chances at their home park) of their players reactions.
Gerrit Cole said he doesn’t believe the Cubs are the best team in baseball and Josh Harrison sang “No Cubs, NO” following the win.
Now, let’s REALLY dive into this for a moment. It was not even 2 weeks before that Gerrit Cole gave up 5 runs and walked 4 AT HOME against this Cubs team. That’s not even mentioning the wild-card debacle last October.
Then Josh Harrison becomes a Weird Al Yankovich impressionist moments after winning, again, their FIRST GAME against the Cubs THIS season!!?? In six tries!!??
Ever heard of the phrase: “Maybe you worry about your house, first.”
Yes. There is super-saltiness going on right now against the Cubs. The best part about it is where the true depths of which the saltiness is coming from. Jealousy.
Who can blame these teams for being jealous, either.
The Chicago Cubs have 4 players in the top 10 in the National League for Wins Above Replacement Player. They have 5 of the top 20(Addison Russell, number 16). In short, the Cubs have 25% of the top 20 players in the National League in the starting lineup. That is not changing any time soon, either.
I wrote a piece last week that addressed this, but between Bryant, Russell, and Rizzo the Cubs are going to pay roughly 6.42 million this season and those three are currently pacing to post a combined 23 Wins Above Replacement.. That is just ridiculous. The common belief this offseason was that it cost 7 million to buy ONE win above replacement on the free agent market.
This offense is set through 2019 when Ben Zobrist’s contract is up and Heyward has a chance to opt-out and even then, you still have players in a top 10 farm system ready to come up and Bryant, Russell, and Rizzo under control for two more seasons.
So, Cubs fans. Embrace this hate. It is reaching levels I have never experienced as a fan. I remember being happy to see the Royals, Reds, or Pirates beginning to succeed for the first time in 2-3 decades. I didn’t want them to win over the Cubs by any means, but it was nice to see an underdog there and I could relate to the anguish their fanbase had experienced.
That is not how it’s going to be for the Cubs, however. Opposing fans and teams have used the Cubs as a crutch for decades now. Forget the fact that the Cubs have had more success the last 20 years than EITHER the Pirates or Reds, we were their excuse to suck. That is excuse is gone. They realize that their small window for a championship is all but shut and that the Cubs have the best team in baseball not just this year, but set up for years to come.
So enjoy this hate Cubs fans. We have been waiting years to be the enemy!