It’s only August 11th, but the Cubs are well on their way to being C.U.B.S. (Completely Useless by September). Sure, the guys that tow the corporate line on TV will say the Cubs are only three games behind St. Louis and they have the best NL record since the All-Star break (well they did before this weekend; they may not have that distinction anymore), but anyone watching the games can’t be fooled. I feel a need to debunk five common myths about the Cubs right now.
1. The Cubs are 15-9 since the All-Star Break. They’re playing their best baseball of the year and are the hottest team in the NL since the All-Star game.
If you watched the Cubs on TV this weekend you would have heard something like the above statement. Really? Out of their 15 wins, 9 of them are against the Nationals and the Reds. The Nationals are an abomination and the Reds completely quit after the All-Star Game. The Cubs have lost a series to the Phillies, the Marlins, and the Rockies and have looked horrible in each of these series. The Cubs are better than the Nationals, Reds, and the Astros. They are much worse than the Phillies, Marlins, Rockies, and Cardinals. If the Cubs did make the playoffs, who would they be playing? Not the Nationals or Reds. The Cubs can not compete with the Phillies, Rockies, or Cardinals. Can you actually see them winning a playoff series against the Phillies? No. I don’t event want to see them make the playoffs if that’s the case. Another three and out like the last two seasons. Why bother? The White Sox are in the same position in their division that the Cubs are. But at least if the White Sox make the playoffs, it is conceivable that they could reach the World Series. They just beat up the Yankees and Angels. For the Cubs, winning the Central would just be a booby prize.
2. Milton Bradley is now red hot and has brought his average up to .266 and his on base percentage to .401.
It seems like we should be excited about Bradley. I’m not. He’s been a bust. It seems like Milton goes 4-5 only in games that the Cubs are losing 11-1 or winning 11-1. His hits are completely meaningless. It’s kind of like when Juan Pierre led the league in hits in 2006. You couldn’t find 200 more meaningless hits than that. Yeah, Bradley has raised his average to .266. Do people think he needs a medal? If the Cubs lose 2-1. I’ll bet Milton was 0-5.
3. The Cubs minor league system has saved their season with stand outs like Jake Fox and Sam Fuld.
These two guys are middle aged minor leaguers. If the Cubs are depending on them this year, GOOD LUCK. Aside from their ownership questions, the Cubs could not pull off a decent trade this year because they have nothing to move. How many of the Cubs minor league prospects are coveted by another team? Ryan Theriot is the best position player the Cubs have produced in I don’t know how long. Teams like Boston and Philadelphia can orchestrate big trades because their farm systems are loaded. The Cubs can’t. The minor leaguers the Cubs have will produce for the short term, but over the long haul they won’t once teams get their scouting reports on them.
4. The Cubs will win the division because the other teams are not good.
St. Louis has re-energized their team with the additions of DeRosa, Lugo, and Holliday. Pujols will always be the man, but now he really doesn’t have to be the man night in and night out. Someone tell me the Cubs now have a better lineup than St. Louis, with or without Aramis Ramirez. I don’t see it. The Cardinals pitchers have quietly put together a great season. They’ve found a closer, something they haven’t has the last two years. Dave Duncan is probably the best pitching coach in the business. Tony LaRussa will out manage Lou Piniella any night of the week. Right now, as much as it pains me, I’m seeing visions of 2006. It would not surprise me if the Cardinals won the pennant.
5. None of the Cub injuries right now (Zambrano, Ramirez) look that serious.
Yeah, I’ve heard that one before.
I couldn’t end this entry without a comment about Patrick Kane. I don’t think too much of him right now. 20 cents? Really? No tip? I do have one question for Mr. Kane, where was all that toughness in the playoffs against Detroit?