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So, the Cubs lost their 100 game of the season yesterday. This is the third time in their history that they have lost 100 games in a season. This is the first time it has happened since 1966. It is safe to say that this is the worst I have ever seen from my beloved Cubbies.
So, this season has seemed like an exercise in futility. In spite of all of this, there are some things that I liked about this season. Here they are in bulleted format:
- Dale Sveum is going to do great things for this team
I was really disappointed when Ryne Sandberg was passed over for the manager position, but I think Dale Sveum was a great choice. Sure, he lost 100 games in his first season, but no one expected a winning season. He has led the team to better defense. He has built a team atmosphere. I expect good things
- The Cubs are committed to young talent
Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson did not put up near the numbers that I hoped for. They struck out more times combined than most the other team. OK that was a slight exaggeration. They may not have been ready to compete on a Major League level, but this season was a wash and I think it was wise to give them some meaningful Major League experience. I expect good things next year.
- Darwin Barney can play second base really well
This season Darwin Barney tied the Major League record for errorless games at second base with 141 in a row. Considering he started off as a shortstop, this is great. One of the reasons I loved Ryne Sandberg was his superior fielding (.989 career fielding percentage). Glad to see a golden glove at 2B again. (There is no reason why Darwin Barney should not get the Golden Glove btw. Brandon Phillips does not deserve it this year)
- Alfonso Soriano can still hit
If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the season that Alfonso Soriano would hit 30+ homeruns, and have a career mark for RBIs, I would’ve made fun of you. Apparently Soriano can still hit. Hopefully this means we can deal him and his bloated contract in the offseason.
- Anthony Rizzo is going to be a Cubs hero
Rizzo was called up halfway through the season. If you take his current stats and extrapolate them to a full season, you have a 30 homerun/100 RBI hitting first baseman. This excites me to no end.
So, this season was awful. We probably won’t have a winning season next year either, but we certainly won’t lose 100 games again. This may be exactly the depth the Cubs needed to sink to in order to rise to the top. I have high hopes in the next few years. With consistent young stars in Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, and Anthony Rizzo, and with the potential of guys like Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters, the Cubs’ future is bright. And it sure can’t get any darker than the present.
Until later friends…
My Cubbies are doing pretty awful this season. Currently they are sporting a record of 43-64, and they are sitting 22 Games Back of 1st Place. Yet, for all of the bad this season, there have been some exciting developments. The Cubs have debuted a lot of young talent this year. Chief among these is our future-star First Baseman – Anthony Rizzo.
“Since making his debut June 26, Rizzo was second among NL rookies with a .314 average behind the Rockies’ Jordan Pacheco (.327), but led in home runs (eight) and RBIs (20)” (source). Rizzo has been a blast to watch. I haven’t been this excited about the promotion of one of the Cubs’ prospects since this kid named Starlin Castro got called up.
Starlin has been to the All Star Game twice already. I predict Anthony Rizzo will join him there next year. While they are no Tinker, Evers, and Chance, I expect great things from Castro, Barney, and Rizzo.
All of us (Cubs fans) knew this season was not going to be great. It was pretty obvious it was going to be a rebuilding year. This was confirmed by our abysmal first half of the season, and left no room for doubt at the trade deadline. Thus far this season, we have traded away Marlon Byrd, Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm, Geovany Soto, Jeff Baker, and Ryan Dempster for a heap of minor league players. It was hard to see most of those guys go (even though Marlon Byrd has subsequently fallen from my graces for testing positive for PEDs). I was a huge fan of Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm, and Ryan Dempster. All three of those guys were super classy. I am thankful that the Cubs traded them to the Braves and Rangers respectively. The Braves are my second-favorite National League team, and the Rangers may be my favorite American League team (close contest with the Red Sox). I’ll admit…it’s a little difficult to see a bunch of quality players traded for players you’ve never heard of. But then, I remind myself that players like Ryne Sandberg and Fergie Jenkins came to the Cubs via trades. Maybe one of these anonymous minor leaguers could be the next Cub legend.
As a result of all of this trading (and an unfortunate injury to Ian Stewart – a very classy player in his own right), the Cubs made a big move on Sunday. They called up two of their prospects that Cubs fans have been begging to see in the MLB for years: Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters.
I am excited about these guys. I am especially excited that they get to play 50+ games this season without any pressure of a playoff run. I personally don’t think they’re ready to shine at the MLB level yet, which was evidenced by Jackson’s 4 strikeouts yesterday. People are worried about Jackson’s strikeouts and Vitters’s defensive play. I think calling them up now is great. Let them work on those things at the MLB level, and then they can produce like crazy next season.
Overall, in spite of the fact that the Cubs are terrible this year (and will only get worse since we traded our best pitchers and Matt Garza is hurt), I am enjoying the developments of this season. An infield of Vitters, Castro, Barney (who just broke Sandberg’s single-season errorless game streak), and Rizzo is very exciting to me. The influx of young talent (14 rookies debuted this season) on this Cubs team has me hopeful for the future. It makes me feel like we are getting back to our winning roots, because the Cubs earned their name for having so many young players back in the day when they dominated the National League. Here’s hoping
Until later friends…