Sunday, August 12, 2007

You Know Who I Don't Like? The Cubs

No really, I don't. I've never seen the allure of being a Cubs fan to start with -- is it fashionable to be a loser and wear blue, sit in the stands at opposing parks, and annoy the hell out of everyone else with your completely unwarranted arrogance while cheering for your pack of toerags -- not to mention splashing beer on people, standing up and doing frat-boy fist pumps every time a spawn of your hapless brood happens to make it as far as first base? True-blue Chicagoites who have seen their team through a lifetime of misery are not included in this diatribe, but I must say, there seems to be an awful lot of Cubs fans who have never even been to the city and just decided to root for the Lil' Bears because... why, exactly? "America's Team?" Because Haley's Comet has passed the earth twice since they were hoisting a championship trophy on the North Side? Because it sounds chic to say that you're a Cubs fan, as if you really "know" baseball and truly "support" a comically inept team? Because one day you hope that your bunch of assclowns accidentally stumbles into respectability and causes the world to end? Do you want that on your consciousness? Then again, you are a Cubs fan, so you have nothing better to do. So, really, is all you can do to sit at Coors Field one seat away from me and posture and preen like you really had something to celebrate? Billy Goat. Steve Bartman. Kerry Wood. Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, and no championship rings. Sit down, you porky son of a bitch.

As you may be able to tell, I certainly wasn't addressing that above venting session to anybody in particular. Not at all. I didn't even slip his friend a Rockies sticker to slap onto the back of his Cubs jersey or anything insidious like that. In fact, if I happened to encounter a particulary annoying Cubs fan of any stripe, it was purely coincidence, as they were popping up like poisonous fungi all over my beloved ballpark. They certainly weren't driving me berserk with their beer-fueled bellows and their endless chants of "Let's Go Cubbies!" as if they had forgotten that their ignorant rears had been removed several hundred miles from Chicago and were now unfortunately located in Colorado instead; their stunted intellect could most likely not process this development, so they carried on turning it into Wrigley Field West anyway. The cheers whenever the Cubs happened to get as far as first were absolutely insane. If I was not smarter than your average Cubs fan, I would think that I was the one in Chicago instead.

Now, look. I'm not an entirely unreasonable person. If these people would like to purchase tickets, swell the Rockies' coffers with a hope that this money will be put to a reasonable purpose (Monforts, a Holliday contract extension, for example?) and come out to root on their team, they are perfectly welcome to do so, even if said rooting happens to drive me out of my tree with their consistent and moronic yelling. What I cannot get is why the Cubs have so many fans in the first place. However much I loathe the Yankees, I understand why people root for them; it's easy to support a winner. On the other hand, the Cubs have done nothing but lose, have done so with truly remarkable incompetence, and yet everyone seems to love them anyway. I know, I know, I'm a Rockies fan, I can't talk, but.... hey, at least the Rockies have only been bad for 14 years, with flashes of promise here and there. I also happen to be from Colorado, have been to many many games at my home ballpark, have an encyclopedic knowledge of my team, and don't go to other parks purely to annoy the opposition. The Cubs have been terrible for 99 years and counting (may the curse never end) and they specialize in promising false hope and yanking it away. Lucy and the football. Buy your kids a Bears or a Bulls hat and get done with it. The Bears made it to the Super Bowl, even if they lost to Manning and the Colts and still have Rex Grossman. The White Sox have returned to their customary climes of outrageous suckitude this year, so I guess there's just not a lot of choice if you're born in the Windy City. And let me emphasize, if you're actually from there, then go ahead and root, try not to be such douchebags in our house, and try shutting up for once in your life. If you are not, then don't even show your mug.

There is another reason I hate the Cubs at this point: They appear to either be actively trying to kill the Rockies or just have a bunch of shitty pitchers who can't keep the ball in the zone. Jeff Baker was drilled in the head on Friday night by Jason Marquis, which knocked his helmet off and left him stunned in the dirt for several minutes; he had a concussion and facial bruising and was released from the hospital today. I was at that game (the same one where I didn't meet any particularly annoying Cubs fans) and it was sick; the entire stadium gasped when he went down. He had no time to duck at all and it was as violent and scary as it gets. A few innings earlier, I'd been soundly ragging Baker for throwing an easy double-play ball into center field and wishing that Helton was back for defensive purposes; then he went down and I was just wishing he'd get up or start moving or something. Fortunately, Baker was all right, just a bit worse for wear, but the plunking didn't stop there. Rookie Ian Stewart, called up to play third while Atkins slid to first in the event of Helton not being able to go, took a pitch off the helmet, but payback was sweet when JAMEY CARROLL of all people launched a pinch-hit grand slam. Today, Holliday took a sharp low curve off the foot, and after the Cubs' intentional walk of Matsui predictably backfired when Tulo blasted a two-run double, they threw behind him. Not to mention, there have been near misses on Spilborghs, Taveras, and Helton, just for a start. There has been a lot of ducking to avoid getting drilled, and maddeningly, none of the Cubs have taken it in the ribs yet. Only one inning left. I'll bide my time.

Also, due to extenuating circumstances, the Rockies had Tim Harikkala starting today. Yes, Tim Hur-ick-uh-luh, aka Tim Hara-Kiri, who predictably failed to be good when making his second major league start ever (the last one came 11 years ago when he was with Seattle. Uh, yeah, we're low on options). Now, it's not as if Jason Hirsh (15-day DL, fractured fibula) and Rodrigo Lopez (out for the rest of the season, torn elbow tendon) are world-beaters, but at least you could count on them to go out there every fifth day and give you a decent five or six innings, sometimes even seven if you asked nicely. Now, since they're gone, the Rockies' rotation consists of Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook, Josh Fogg (somehow weaseling his way into being the third starter when calls for his departure, usually from myself, are made often) and a lot of spit, smoke, mirrors, and glue. Rookie Ubaldo Jimenez has allowed fifteen earned runs over six innings (yes, hair-raising) in his last two starts, and if he's hit a wall, we're in trouble. Taylor Buchholz pitched five one-run innings out of the bullpen during Jimenez's most recent debacle, but has looked bad as a starter since he uses only a fastball and curve with any effectiveness; his changeup is, to put it charitably, a work in progress and he doesn't seem to have a decent feel for his slider. Young lefty phenom Franklin Morales, a combined 19-5/3.24 in the minor leagues this year, may attempt to follow Jimenez up if the Rockies can't get the rotation sorted out. So, they're playing Tim Harikkala, who might as well have come from the AARP as from AAA, and who -- shockingly! -- sucked, going 3.1 IP/3 earned runs. This heralds a very worrisome return to the Denny Stark/Scott Elarton/Shawn Chacon days, which I am not happy about. Hopefully they find the right buttons to push, Jimenez re-transforms from a pumpkin into a coach, and perhaps Morales can be given his shot. Tim Harikkala. Cold shudders.

On the bright side, the Rockies did win today. In one of the more befuddling managerial moves in history, Lou Piniella intentionally walked Kaz Matsui to load the bases and face ice-in-his-veins Tulowitzki, who loves clutch situations and already had a solo homer in the game. Tulo did not disappoint, missing a grand slam by about two inches and settling for a two-run double to break a three-all tie. Matt Holliday added an RBI groundout (after they threw behind him, grr, aargh) to make the score 6-3, which ended up being the final tally. The bullpen did not allow a runner from the top of the fourth until Manny Corpas permitted a one-out walk to Jason Kendall in the top of the ninth. All in all, a good day for the Blake Street Bombers v. 2.0 as they improved to 61-56, stayed two games arrears of the Pads in the Wild Card, and now head out west to take on an absolutely crucial set of games versus San Diego and Los Angeles, which could make or break their fledgling postseason ambitions.

Go Rockies!

1 comment:

Whitney said...

Found your blog totally by accident--great to find another Rockies fan out in the blog-o-sphere!

I could not agree with you more about the entire opposing-team-fan issue. I was at a game this year where the Rox were playing against Tampa Bay and there was someone rooting vigorously for the Cubs--and they uh, weren't even in the ballpark. He would do nothing but watch the out-of-town scoreboard and "yack-yack-yack" about Cubs this and Cubs that. Uh, really? And did you have to bring all your Like!OMG! friends with you, too?

Unfortunately he was sitting right behind me and I could not drown this guy out for the life of me. Pretty much cut my evening short, as it were.

Anyway, great to see the Rox rebound like they did. Let's hope we can keep some good juju going for the roadtrip!