Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Expectations Game

Sometimes it seems that Cubs fans are starting to learn lessons about over-valuing their own players abilities. For instance, Rich Harden is a phenomenal pitcher when he is healthy.

But there is almost no buzz about Harden leading the Cubs to the promised land. There is only hoping and praying that he can stay healthy enough to be a factor in the playoffs.

I'm not quite sure why the expectations for Harden are so much lower than they were for Prior or Wood. Perhaps Cubs fans have had their fingers burned over the years too many times to give their hearts over to a guy with tons of promise?

It would seem that would be the case, but there has been an awful lot of love for Mike Fontenot this Spring. Don't get me wrong, but I'm still not 100% sold on Fontenot just yet. He has yet to accumulate enough major league at-bats to get a real read on his abilities (especially since he has never been a regular player). I'm pulling for him to win the job, because I DO NOT want Aaron Miles playing any roles on this team other than defensive replacement, pinch runner, and injury insurance.

So Cub fans are jumping on the Lil' Mike Fontenot bandwagon when everything that is being projected is based purely on projection and speculation from what we have seen from part-time playing and his good Spring Training showing so far.

Meanwhile, hardly anybody is hitching their wagon to Rich Harden. Normally, I would be finding myself compelled to remind folks, that Harden has actually never won more than 11 games in a season (remember that people used to disparage Wood for never having won more than 14), and started as many as 30 games only once as well. But there has been no need.

Maybe Cub fans, as a group, react to what is in front of them at the moment because that is what the media writes about. The media has pretty much only been discussing Harden's past injuries and a shoulder that probably needs surgery trying to get through one more year by doing more strengthening excercises.

Perhaps after today's Spring debut from Harden, the Rich Harden Bandwagon will join the parade behind the Ragin' Cajun Fontenot Fans and the Micah Hoff-POWER Man-Crush Express.

It will be interesting to see, but maybe we are taking baby steps to get away from crowning Cubs Messiah's every year. Perhaps we have stopped swallowing every sugar-coated puff piece that Vineline runs about their players. Maybe, just maybe, Cubs fans are becoming more pragmatic about giving over their full love and loyalty.

Now please excuse me, I have to start building my gold statue of Sean Marshall. 1.80 ERA this Spring! Put him down for AT LEAST 16 wins. WOOOOOOO!!!! Sean Marshall!!!!


Anonymous said...

Ahhh, Sean Marshall. The second coming of Rich Hill. -- Seat 106

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