I’d like to start this post by stating that I know the Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series title since 1908. I’m fully aware that they haven’t even appeared in a World Series since 1945. Yes, I was a witness to the craptastic 2011 season and I will sit through what I assume will be an equally craptastic 2012 season. No, I don’t think that Theo and Co. means the Cubs will win the next 78 World Series titles, nor do I believe that the Cubs are the center of the universe. I just wanted to clear that up for those of you who assume that there’s no such thing as a Cubs fan who isn’t the epitome of gullible.
The original tweet above was posted by me after an alleged Pale Hose fan tweeted an admission that the upcoming 2012 Major League Baseball season will be a rough one for the Hose, and asked how Cubs fans deal with 162 games of crap. Now, as anyone who has followed Major League play since the start of the 2009 season can attest, things haven’t exactly been bright and sunny for the Chicago Cubs. There was the underachieving team in 2009, the 2010 team that was slightly less crappy, and the 2011 Cubs team that was led by a manager who was in over his head, trying to lead 25 somebodies through 162 games to the tune of a 71-91 finish. Ignore the grammatical error by the person who retweeted my tweet and then commented. He was not wrong in his sentiment, either. Not only have the Hose compiled a 497-476 record since the beginning of the 2006 season to the Cubs’ 477-493 mark, they also have one playoff win. However, that’s about where the South Side superiority since 2005 stops.
After winning the 2005 World Series, Hose GM Ken Williams decided to remix the team, and it almost paid off. The team finished 90-72 in 2006 and barely missed the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Dusty Baker Era came to an ugly halt, as the Cubs finished 66-96 and Baker, his toothpick, wristbands and watch were shown the door. Besides a smidget of on-field success, I’m not sure what Pale Hose fans are hanging on to. Former skip and face of the franchise, Ozzie Guillen lashed out at opposing players, managers, newspaper columnists, and even threw his own players and coaches under the bus. While the Cubs haven’t put out a very good product, attendance wouldn’t show it. Yes, I know that stupidity, gullibility, and alcohol have factored into great home attendance numbers for the Cubs since 2006, but I’ve always wondered why the hell Pale Hose fans can’t regularly fill 75% of The Cell.
Average attendance at Wrigley since 2006: 39,103 (95% capacity)
Average attendance at The Cell since 2006: 30,087 (74% capacity)
The Cell’s attendance numbers were helped by very good patronage the two seasons following the ’05 title. Attendance has dropped every year since the start of ’06, despite two playoff berths. It’s baffling; the fact that in the third-largest metropolitan area in the US, Pale Hose fans can’t/won’t fill up The Cell.
In addition to paltry attendance numbers, overall, things have gotten pretty shabby on the South Side since 2006. Genius GM Williams has been sipping Jim Hendry Juice, and it’s been absolutely hilarious. Trading away “glue guy” and fan favorite, centerfielder Aaron Rowand and replacing him with epically awful Brian Anderson. Former #1 prospect, starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez, was a part of that deal that brought first baseman Jim Thome to the South Side, but the Hose eventually received him back as part of a trade for starter Gavin Floyd. Lucky Hose, right? Well, to show everyone how smart he is, Williams traded Gio and others to the Oakland A’s for…wait for it…Nick Swisher. Gonzalez has only developed into one of the top young starting pitchers in all of baseball, while Swisher was a disappointment during his time in Chicago. Claiming Alexis Rios off waivers when no one else wanted him. Trading for made-of-glass former ace, Jake Peavy. Signing not-2003 Juan Pierre. I don’t think the Adam Dunn signing was a bad one, but after having what some believe was the worst offensive season in the history of baseball in 2011, Dunn has so far made Williams look like an idiot. Oh yeah, Williams also shipped off very good, young and cheap closer Sergio Santos even though he fit into Williams’ so-called plans to rebuild. Ozzie basically quit on the Hose at the end of 2011, took the vacant manager’s gig in Miami, and convinced rotation anchor Mark Buehrle to come along with him. The new skip? Former Pale Hose third baseman, Robin Ventura…who had no Major League coaching experience prior to landing the job. Williams even considered making first baseman Paul Konerko a player-manager. No, seriously. Player-manager. Pitching coach Don Cooper is a madman, apparently. Gordon Beckham, where are you?!?! (I’m sure I’ve missed more than a few Pale Hose calamities, but I didn’t want to make this post too lengthy.)
Once again, I know that the Cubs won’t be very good in 2012. Actually, I know the Cubs won’t be good in 2012, period. This will definitely be the case if Theo and Co. can rid the Cubs of the few remaining large contracts left on the books and begin to officially rebuild. Perhaps the Cubs will contend for at least a division title in 2013, but I’d say that will come in 2014, at the earliest. At the current moment, the franchise is in disarray of sorts. However, things aren’t looking too bright on the South Side, either. Their best player is closer to retirement than his prime, and the one guy who brought any type of attention to the Hose, Ozzie, is now kicking it down in Miami with Buehrle, new shortstop Jose Reyes, and Gloria Estefan. Neither Pale Hose or Cubs fans are in any position to really talk shit, honestly. The person who retweeted me wants to focus on the future of the Pale Hose. Bad move, friendo. Their future is looking rather hellish too (worse than the Cubs’ future, I’d dare to say), and “than” and “then” aren’t the same thing. UNGH.