All aboard! Your onboard entertainment has returned from his most recent bender, filled with company outings and weddings, but I digress. Uncle Juice is alive and well aware of how spoiled we have become as Members of the Cubby Chubby Express (winks at Chris Kimmel).
Often times on this page, we have flashed back to a time in Cubs history during rival weekends. Articles about the Cardinals rivalry in the early 1990s and 2000s all recapping the one time we managed to defeat our division rival. They are filled with tales of day-long triumphs that are quickly debunked by a simple Google search. This Google search confirms my speculation as I see that the historic heroics pulled the ball club within nine and a half games of a wild card birth. This rant isn’t to debunk the great work our bloggers do for each article or to poke fun at the Cubs teams I remember watching while growing up. No, this rant is for you boys and girls, the new age of Cubs fans. The spoiled child at the toy store jumping up and down when they don’t get their way.
As I am writing this, the North Siders find themselves in first place, but still, my timeline has been littered with negativity. Usually, I can drown it all out with a beer and a sidecar, but I’ve honestly had enough. The Golden Age of Chicago Cubs baseball has us all with unattainable expectations. Let’s use one of my favorite players Kris Bryant as an example. As I type this from a hotel room in Detroit, Bryant grounds into a critical double play in the eighth, squandering a scoring chance and barring a late-inning rally handing the North Siders another loss. My frustrations lead me to social media as an escape, only to read asinine statements. “Kris Bryant should have bunted runners over,” “KB is so overrated,” and my personal favorite, “Kris Bryant is trash.” Unbeknownst to these keyboard warriors, Kris finds himself on track to meet or exceed his 2016 MVP season in many of the important baseball categories. I believe Bryant serves as the poster child to what has become a new age of Cubs fan. The type of fan that expects every year to be as easy and magical as 2016.
While driving to my destination this morning, I happened to catch an interview with Albert Almora and Willson Contreras on 670 The Score. Albert did a great job of breaking down what the game of baseball is in comparison to the other three major sports. Albert explained:
“This is the only sport where you are on offense and you have no control over what is going to happen. In basketball you control your shot, in football you control the pass you, and you control catching. In baseball you can do everything right and not have any success for a week or two.”
This quote should serve as a building ground for all those young ballplayers, but for future baseball fans. Not every player comes up and hits a home run, not every pitcher throws a shutout, but most importantly, not every team will win every game. The 2016 Cubs were a sight to see; I was lucky enough to view 17 games from the historic confines of Wrigley that season. I attended the parade to celebrate and following that celebration, I knew we would never see a baseball team quite like that one ever again.
The point I am trying to drive home to you is baseball is hard, folks. It’s a grueling 162-game season filled with bounces and turns that leave you loving at hating this game all at once. The roller coaster ride that is a baseball season has become my favorite part of this great American Pastime. So hop on board the Cubby Chubby express and enjoy the ride. Our motto for the journey is, RELAX.
Featured Photo: MLB.com