Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cubs 2010 in Review: The Half-Assed Conclusion

When I started recapping the 2010 season a million years ago, I thought it seemed like a good idea when I had writer's block and nothing of much substance was happening around the team.  What I failed to understand at the time was what a life-sucking ordeal I was getting myself into.  But since I don't want to leave a job undone, I will do the short short version:

August to December: They sucked and nobody cared.


OK, that may have been accurate, but my reader expects more than an Aaron Miles-like effort.  I remain committed to doing my job as a blogger at least as well as Koyie Hill does his, so I'll just half-ass my way through the short version and wait for someone to give me $850,000 to do so:


The Cubs struggle on and start to lose at a horrific rate, practically guaranteeing a 100 loss season just two years removed from their 97 win high.  Xavier Nady takes over at first base after Derrek Lee is traded and the world miraculously does not explode.  Lou's mom gets sick (probably from watching her son's team try to play baseball), and he decides being a good son is more important than sticking around and having Yellon bitch that this is all his fault, and he leaves the team for good.  The Cubs turn the managerial position over to Mike Quade, insisting that he is a real candidate for the permanent position next year.  Everybody laughs.  Quade stops putting Nyquil in the Gatorade dispenser and the team actually starts to win some games.


Todd Ricketts loses a bet with his siblings when he takes the over (one) on total number of hairs on Mike Quade's body and has to film an episode of Undercover Boss.  Tyler Colvin is stabbed in the chest by a flying piece of a bat and still manages to score on the play, but it ends his season and we lose half of our reasons for bothering to watch at all anymore. 

The Cubs continue to win games under Quade and nobody really cares all that much at this point, but Ryne Sandberg suddenly isn't the assumed front-runner to be the new manager.  My last game as a season ticket holder at Wrigley ends up as a loss to the Cardinals in which Jeff Samardzija gave up eight runs which seemed somehow fitting.  Thanks for that, buddy.  The season mercifully ends a week later in Houston with another loss.


The baseball playoffs start and I honestly am having a hard time remembering specifically what happened and I don't feel like looking it up.  Somehow the Giants managed to get to the World Series and actually win it while being carried by the unstoppable force of Cody Ross and using a wise strategy of not letting Mike Fontenot play.  The immovable object of Pablo Sandoval could also be seen sitting on the bench.  The Cubs were busy planning off-season moves and dragging Ernie Banks and Billy Williams out to Arizona to convince folks to pay for their new spring training facilities/waterpark.  Tom Ricketts wrote a letter to season ticket holders that made Moby Dick seem like a comic strip in which he basically said the Cubs would be going cheap on the field, and more expensive off the field if you wanted to see the Cubs play anyone but Pittsburgh on an April Tuesday afternoon.  They wrapped up the month by hiring Mike Quade as the permanent manager and then reportedly not even offering Ryne Sandberg his old AAA job back to him.  Sadly, this is not the worst thing a member of the Cubs has ever done to Sandberg (I'm looking at you, Palmeiro).


Sandberg takes his ball and goes home, by which I mean Pennsylvania, to manage the Phillies' AAA team and Tom Ricketts says Sandberg will always be welcome to return to the Cubs, provided he doesn't insist on trying to manage them.  Mesa passes the bill to fund the new spring training facilities and gives the Ricketts the idea that maybe people in Illinois will also be more than happy to fork over money they don't have to them.  Tom works out a plan to get money from the state that involves an open admission that he will be jacking ticket prices up significantly in the future and pisses off everyone except one guy eating a baloney sandwich who insists the plan to withhold future money from a state that is $15 billion in debt is a good thing.  For the first time in human history, common sense and good reasoning win out and the Ricketts withdraw their request for public funding.  For now. (Cue dramatic organ music.)


Ryan Theriot signs with the Cardinals and immediately finds a microphone to declare that he is finally on the right side of the Cubs/Cards rivalry, making it the only thing on which Theriot and I have ever agreed.  Ron Santo hears the news and dies laughing. At least, that is how I choose to believe it happened. 

The Cubs forge forward and sign a first baseman coming off a pretty bad year, but he's a good guy, he came cheap, and apparently doesn't mind having his payments spread out over the next decade.  Steve Rosenbloom tells us he was brought in to keep an eye on Castro so he wouldn't grow up like Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, or Carlos Zambrano.  Why Steve thinks the Cubs don't want Castro to be good at baseball is anyone's guess.  The Cubs also sign Kerry Wood back and begin to look for a replacement for Ron in the booth, WHICH HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER WHATSOEVER AND ANY CONJECTURE OTHERWISE IS 100% FALSE.

So that was 2010.  A huge disappointment all around, in my opinion. I mean, Jupiter didn't even explode and create a second sun that teaches Roy Scheider and John Lithgow a valuable lesson about life and friendship with Russians.  But 2011 has to be better, right?  Right? 


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