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Message To Cubs Fans
Posted by Stanley Gibson at 10/3/2008 7:41:00 AM
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A Message To Cubs Fans

Hey, Cubs fans, I have an idea that will ease the pain of another early exit in the playoffs despite having the best all-around team in the National League. It is simple.

Donít act like you won the World Series after a strikeout to end the top of the first inning of Game 2 in a series youíre losing 1-0.

Thatís it. It is exhausting for all parties. You are killing yourselves and draining your team. I canít imagine what you would do if you actually won the real thing. Chicago would have to summon the services of every major cityís police department to help control Wrigleyville and keep you all from burning the entire city to the ground.

Whether you know it or want to admit it, your craziness only leads to more pressure for the squad. Then, after things go wrong, the booís reign in like air-raid sirens. I still havenít figured out if the fans in Wrigley were actually sustaining a non-stop, low-pitched constant boo throughout the entire game or if TBS just doesnít know how to handle the sound. Imagine what your players think. They know you all want nothing more than a World Series. They know you are behind them, but when they go from getting a resounding round of applause for accomplishing essentially nothing in the top of the first inning, to getting ripped a new one for grounding out weakly, where is their heads? This is a complete 180 for a player like Jim Edmonds, who goes from a positive and therefore winning atmosphere in St. Louis Ė to this. I will admit, they deserved to hear it after four uncharacteristic and unacceptable errors.

That said, the best thing that could happen to this reeling bunch of loveable losers is to get out of Chicago and down to LA. Game three on Saturday at Chavez Ravine will feel more like a home game for the Cubs. They go from the favorites (which they clearly canít handle) to underdogs (where they will feel more comfortable). They have the talent and the manager to rally for two wins in Los Angeles, only to come back to the Chicago where it just might feel like they are on the road again.

I have all the respect in the world for the tortured fans on the North side of Chicago. You all have been through a lot. Donít make it any harder on yourselves than it already is.


That pitching staff is just worn down, plain and simple. More of the same on Saturday? Harden has walked 11 in his last 11 innings over two starts.
Posted by vtadave at 10/3/2008 8:04:00 AM
You know, it could also be that (a) literally for the first time this season, the Dodgers have their best team on the field, and (b) that lineup is actually pretty good (Manny, Furcal, Ethier, no Pierre or A. Jones). This was really a dead-even matchup going into Game 1, and not the mismatch some would presume based on the won-loss records. It's also not over yet; the Cubs will have the better starter going on both Saturday and Sunday. (Well, modify that; it's not over yet _if_ the Cubs still think it's not over.) And, Stan, I honestly don't think the Cub fans matter. If you play there long enough, you take the fans for what they are (I'll let others describe what Cub fans are like) and you tune it out as just so much nonsense.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 10/3/2008 8:23:00 AM
I agree with both statements. The Dodgers are putting their best team out there, esp. with Furcal leading off.

I also hinted at it in the rant, but I agree 100% that this isn't over. The Cubs do have the talent and pitching to get this back to Chicago and back in Dempster's hands. The Dodgers are going to have to go Lowe in Game 4 and then back to Billingsley. They can't let it get back to Chicago.

If I am a Dodgers fan, I also have to love the reaction of Torre. Stone-faced and helping keep this team on an even-keil and knowing that they haven't won anything yet. That can go a long way.
Posted by stanley_gibson at 10/3/2008 8:41:00 AM
That Torre comment sounds like bait to me, Liss.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 10/3/2008 9:00:00 AM
I feel like I gotta chime in here. For those of you who don't know me, I'm a die-hard Cubs fan. And no one HATES the average fan at Wrigley Field more than me. I can't stand the cheering for nothing (although I think this happens in most stadiums in the playoffs, to a certain degree). I can't take the boos at the drop of a hat. They have an incredibly low baseball IQ. I could go on forever here. The thing that irks me is that they're the face of Cub fandom to the rest of the nation, and they're not even close to what a real Cub fan is.

However, to suggest that's part of the reason they're down 0-2 is off-base. Cub fans have been acting like this since the middle of May (in fact, the "cheering for nothing in particular" bit has been going on for years), and the Cubs won 55 games at home in the regular season. I know the players inherently feel more pressure in the playoffs, and maybe you could argue that the fans' behavior doesn't mix well with added pressure. I still don't buy it. The offense simply hasn't shown up. Couple that with seven walks from Dempster in Game 1 and those crippling errors by Mark DeRosa and Derrek Lee in Game 2 and, voila, there's your two-game deficit.

Like a few have said, it's not over. To be honest, if they get it back to a fifth game, I think Piniella might give the ball to Zambrano. He'd be on regular rest and he pitched very well last night. None of that, besides the Ramirez homer, was his fault. I could see a scenario where Zambrano starts and Dempster is ready to come in out of the bullpen at a moment's notice.
Posted by uwmichael at 10/3/2008 12:13:00 PM
I agree. I don't think the fans have anything more to do with the Cubs being down 2-0 than the inevitable pressure that comes with a century of not winning anything. I appreciate you stepping up and identifying yourself as a "true" Cubs fan.

One other thing that I think Cubs fans at Wrigley need to get rid of is these two signs I have seen on multiple occasions: "Do You Believe In Miracles?" - Really, other than the 100 years, there is nothing miraculous about the best team (arguably) in baseball winning the Series. 2: "It's Gonna Happen". What exactly is "it"? There can be plenty of subjects that could be represented by that "it". I digress.
Posted by stanley_gibson at 10/3/2008 12:48:00 PM
No big deal. You would have lost to the Phillies in the NLCS anyway.
Posted by dirtydog at 10/3/2008 12:49:00 PM
The Dodgers may just be the better team at this point in time. Including Nomar and Kent on the bench, the Dodgers actually have ten good Major League hitters on the team.

Lowe and Billingsley were as good as any two pitchers on the Cubs down the stretch and they continued that in the first two games of the series.

Soriano beats up on crap pitching during the regular series, but turns into a pumpkin during the playoffs each year.

Posted by mpdclarke at 10/4/2008 4:36:00 AM

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