Keep heart, Cubs fans. There’s reason to smile and continue good fun at the ol’ ballpark. What, you might ask, is worth not throwing in the towel and getting ready for football? That isn’t an unfair question. Diligently, we’ve brought to you the good, the bad, and the 2012 Cubs. If this recent stretch is any indicator, a rebuild phase of this ball club is better witnessed while in the depths of a deep coma, or at least from the comfort of your own couch. I’ve been to one game this season and I’m telling you now: I’ll be back there at the next opportunity. Why?
Because the month of May is over.
The month of May was perhaps one of the worst baseball months I’ve seen in my lifetime. We experienced more trials and tribulations on and off the field during a four week stretch than I can ever remember. I say “we” because I honestly mean it. It’s one of the rare moments that I’ll never use it for team accolades earned by players, but I’ll sure as hell use it for the gauntlet we fans just went through.
“The losing streak is over,” you say?
It reached 12 games in a row at its worst point. As far as losses for the month go, 10 games were lost by three or fewer runs. Out of the 13 road games played, the Cubs only won three times. When ranked against the other teams in the National League, they are 14th in runs scored for May with 95. Only Pittsburgh and San Diego have less (tied with 86). Speaking of Pittsburgh, they’re the latest opponent to sweep a series against the Cubs this month.
Crosstown Classic? More like Crosstown Ass-kicked. The only close game was the first. It had all the makings of a truly great bout between the two rivals. Add in the gravy of Jeff Samardzija’s innocuous crack at Hawk Harrelson, the anticipation and sadness that came with Kerry Wood announcing his retirement or Sox leader Paul Konerko getting plunked in the face and it could’ve been one of the greats. But, as it was, the Cubs failed to capitalize on any momentum or buzz surrounding this match up. What we saw in the final two games were the White Sox finding a sweet spot en route to a winning streak that now has them with a foot in the door of first place.
Then there are injuries. Geovany Soto had a torn meniscus in his left knee. He underwent an arthroscopic surgery on May 18th and is due back possibly in mid-June. Steve Clevenger was just activated from the DL after missing time with an oblique injury. Wellington Castillo was placed on the DL with a sprained MCL in his right knee and might be back in June as well. Pitcher Lendy Castillo hurt his groin while running in warm-ups. I’ll include Ryan Dempster as well. He was sidelined for nearly a month and returned in early May. No falling in hot tubs or pulling muscles while sneezing. No “Cub Occurrences” of any kind. Just a multitude of injuries all at once.
This final part should be a hoot, especially if you love fiscal earnings, political donations, Former White House Chiefs of Staff/current Chicago Mayor and a whole lot of nonsense. Long story short: It’s Tom Ricketts’ ultimate goal to get renovations and upgrades for Wrigley Field, the Cubs and the fans. Ideally, this would be done within the range of $300 million and a lot of taxpayer participation (read: tax increase). To do so, Tom Ricketts needs to convince Mayor Rahm Emanuel of this plan, budgets, infrastructures etc. As it is, Emanuel’s former boss, President Barack Obama, isn’t exactly a favorite of the patriarch of the family, Joe Ricketts. The New York Times reported that Joe Ricketts, “is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.” Apparently, there is a $10 million plan, 54 pages of strategy to politically attack President Obama in media as it’s never been done before. Some might say “frowned upon”. Basically, this all measures up to the Chicago Cubs brand being named in a story that doesn’t have a bright side for anyone. As far as Tom and his siblings are concerned, they’ve distanced themselves from this story as much as possible, aiming to keep the focus on the product on the field.
So smile, Cubs fans. The bad month is over.
Now, can we avoid a June Swoon?
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