By: Kyle “Juice” Michalski
Alright, here we go, pull up a stool and come listen to your Uncle Juice. Today launches the beginning of the On Tap Sports Network and I am your entertainment for the night. As an introductory article, this will be on the lighter side and serve as a welcome edition of The Corner Stool. The Corner Stool will be my weekly blog title which will cover Chicago sports that are more in season. As a diehard Chicago sports fan, I picture the corner stool as the misfit spot of the bar, the seat where Frank Gallagher always seems to spit enlightening facts from. While my blogs will have some sports analytics, I will most likely appeal to casual readers. My hope with this blog to put Chicago sports into a simpler form for my audience. A wise man named Isaac Newton once said “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things”, this quote always stuck and I never understood why it was never applied to the sports world. Many of us playing T-Ball had our parents or coaches say “see the ball, hit the ball”, it’s funny how the simplest things always end up being the most intelligent. This approach has helped me be successful in the business world as well as my social life so why change now?
Often times at my day job my boss urges us to embrace the idea that we make things far too difficult. As a 28-year-old traveling salesman, I have often found myself getting lost in one hundred different tasks, only to be redirected by the soft tone of my boss. He calmly answers the phone, listens to my freak out and will always respond “it’s just Coffee and Juice”. That simplistic motto is exactly what I wish to capture with this blog, a clean simple take from a fan who really just loves the city of Chicago and its teams. So if you’re looking for exit velocity articles or who’s leading in the league in BABIP, I am sure one of our other talented bloggers will suffice. As I look at the state of my favorite Chicago sports teams, I am chomping at the bit to make things simple for you. My heart wants to reveal my bag of tricks but I will save thoughts for future articles. Just because I am a gracious host, I will make sure to leave you with a chat about my neighbors.
My apartment on the Northside resides a half mile north of the friendly confines and while the last few years have been fun this year has silenced the chaos. The once loud and crazy neighbor has become quite the model tenant this month. Through 14 games the North siders find themselves in route to Miami with a 5-9 record and what appears to be a lack of rhythm. While many writers will harp on Kris Bryant’s lack of production or the brutal road trip to start the season, a simple stat is one that bodes the largest. The Cubs find themselves currently 26th in the league in team pitching ERA. The struggles of the starters early and bullpen late has plagued this team from the beginning. Just like real estate, only one thing ends up being important in baseball and it’s PITCHING, PITCHING, AND you guessed it PITCHING. So my elementary analysis is the Cubs will continue to struggle until the starters go deeper and the pen becomes more shutdown. See that isn’t hard now is it kids? The problem with this is there seems to be no help on the way. This offseason the Cub’s front office was told by their daddy that they had spent their piggy bank. The lack of moves created the stance that all problems needed to be solved from within. This strategy works in theory, the organization is riddled with talent from Schwarber to Edwards well so far so not so good. The members of the team who the Cubs expected to bounce back years have struggled early. Ian Happ could not make the opening day roster, Edwards was sent down due to early struggles, Schwarber continues to struggle in big moments and Yu Darvish has a lack of fastball control. These struggles are the reason for the slow start and if these players don’t right the ship, the Cubs are looking at a long year. Did I make that simple enough? This is the vibe and outlook I hope to capture with each article. So pull up a stool and grab a brew, you have entered the Corner stool and I am your host Uncle Juice.