Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If We Can't Support the Cubs, We Should Be Athletic Supporters

The Athletics are coming, tra la tra la.

The true beauty of interleague play comes with the opportunity for those of us who follow the National League to see players from American League teams play, assuming we don't ever watch ESPN, FOX, TBS, the MLB Network, MLB.TV online, MLB apps for our iPhones or Droids, or any of the MLB packages that are available through our cable and satellite providers.

I recently vacationed in South Carolina for over a week and unless I was driving in the car, I only missed one Cubs game that I could have watched in Chicago on TV, and I only subscribe to the audio feeds on MLB.com so I got to listen to that game, and listened to the two games in the car on my laptop (thank you, Palm Pre wireless hotspot).

Also while on vacation, I got to see the end of Roy Halladay's perfect game and all of the aftermath from Galarraga's would-be perfect game.  I had no shortage of baseball available to me and I was traveling away from my home satellite package.  Am I really missing so much that I need to have a team I could care less about visit my home ballpark?  Bud Selig seems to think it is important.

So here come the Athletics to Wrigley.  Cubs fans get to see the excitement that is the double play combination of Adam Rosales and Cliff Pennington up close and personal.  If it weren't for fantasy baseball, if someone had asked me who Cliff Pennington was, I probably would have mixed him up with Cliff Levingston and guessed he was a back-up power forward on the Bulls in the 90s.

At some point that may or may not be the 2010 season, some guy named Buca? Bola? Bock? gets congratulated by his Athletics teammates, from left to right: Beardo, Ski Cap, Baldy McBalderson, Pre-Pubescent, and Laughing Boy

Fans know who Dallas Braden is because he doesn't like Alex Rodriguez much (and neither does his grandmother) and he pitched the first perfect game of the year.  Cubs fans will get a chance to give a standing ovation to ex-Cubs Eric Patterson and Michael Wuertz, but Jake Fox just got designated for assignment so he'll be missed.  They also have Ben Sheets, who you may remember from Milwaukee's disabled list, but he won't make an appearance despite being healthy enough to pitch for now.

I don't know who the A's manager is and I'm not really feeling inclined to look it up.  In fact, since I don't buy the scorecards anymore, I may never know who managed the Oakland A's in the 2010 season.  Watch how that will come back to bite me in the ass in some future round of Final Jeopardy.

The Cubs are seven games under .500, they are 7.5 games behind the freaking Reds in the division, and last time I bothered to look they were even further behind in the wild card standings.  Unless the Blackhawks become regulars at Wrigley, there are fewer and fewer reasons to drag my ass all the way down to the ballpark to watch them accidentally score one run per game.  The Oakland Athletics being in town isn't doing anything to change my opinion in that regard either.

Maybe I should root for the Athletics.  At least if the Cubs keep losing, the Ricketts will have a harder and harder time allowing Hendry to try to clean up the mess he has made of the roster.  It isn't how things should have to happen, but the Cubs always have to have their failures shoved down their throats before they allow themselves to believe that the miracle just isn't going to happen.

At this point, if the Cubs managed to crawl back to .500 over the next two weeks, it would actually be worse for the organization.  They would convince themselves they are buyers and end up trading away Andrew Cashner and /or Josh Vitters for someone like Octavio Dotel and I'll have to kill myself.

Then they would either get nothing in return for free agents leaving after this season, or even worse, re-signing them  for way more money than they have left in their tanks.  Let's face it, Ted Lilly is going to start regressing soon.  He has had the best years of his career in Chicago.  Can we just leave it at that instead of signing him for another three years where two of them will be spent wondering what happened to the awesomeness?

So I may be pulling for the Athletics somewhere in my brain.  The heart won't allow me to openly cheer for another team, but the brain can make losses seem like a necessary means to an end to the point where I won't be depressed about them.  So go out there and have a good game, Trevor Cahill, whoever you are.


Aisle 424 said...

Apparently, John Grabow is back from the DL so that should definitely help with the "keep losing" part of the plan.

Twostep said...

Spot on, I feel the same way... Ugh. I was offered free tickets (really good seats too) to tomorrow's game and I turned them down. Granted, I'm from Michigan so it takes some effort to get there but still, free tickets are always good!

By the way, keep up the good work on your blog. You make this season feel like a better version of 2006.

Aisle 424 said...

I appreciate the kind words. In 2006, we knew they were going to suck, they knew they were going to suck, and they went out and sucked big time. There really was no disappointment in that team. They performed exactly as we all knew they would.

This team was supposed to be about a .500 team with the possibility that they could be better without Milton Bradley's pouting. So the current deathmarch is a bit more painful for me to endure because it shouldn't be this bad, but there they are bumbling around on the field like the beginning of Major League.

Glad I have eased at least one person's pain a little bit though.

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