What a sorry-ass year it was for baseball. This was the first time I can remember that I did not attend one game, and it wasn’t just because no one offered me free tickets. I gave up pretty early on the Cubs this season–they looked bad and it seemed obvious that they were inevitably headed for disaster, even when they somehow landed in first place for a day or so. But there was something else.
The Cubs had a team that was pretty hard to like, plain and simple. You could start and end it with Milton Bradley, but it actually was a lot more than just him. That outfield of Soriano, Fukudome and Bradley could not be less likable. Soriano strikes me as the kind of guy who really doesn’t give a shit, and although he was outshone by Bradley’s unlikability I think he comes close, especially when his numbers aren’t blasting through the roof and obscuring his personality. And the hot-dogging stuff is, to me, very un-Chicago-like, very un-Cub-like. It’s cheesy, take it somewhere else!
Fukudome seems like a nice enough guy, I guess, but we’ll never know. His inability to communicate leaves him at a disadvantage and so instead we only see the grimaces and scowls that he gives after another corkscrew strikeout. I don’t know that he’s ever shown much emotion one way or another, but unfortunately he has also not shown a whole lot of consistency either. He’s just alright, not great, and prone to long droughts. Should he even be the starter?
Bradley? That guy is just a dick, but we all knew that.
Which brings me to Zambrano. What’s wrong with this guy? So much talent and such a small mental capacity. I don’t know that his blow-ups and blow-outs are worth the instability anymore. He’s good, but he should be great, and not just when his temper is in check. If the guy can’t handle when a bad call is made or someone hits a homer off of him, then it’s no wonder the team cracks in the playoffs. Their ace is a wackjob.
The infield is a little better. Aramis Ramirez at third doesn’t deserve to be called out, he’s mostly a pretty good player who could be great if didn’t get injured so much. But he’s also not a shining personality. Not a dick, but not Mr. Cub either. I wouldn’t say it to his face though. I like Theriot and I hope he becomes a consistently good player, same with Fontenot, but neither of them were blowing the doors off this year. Fontenot had an especially down year.
Derrek Lee is the only guy on the team who is classy and likable and also a great player. They could trade anyone but this guy. I don’t want the team to be filled with nice guys who suck, but the only thing worse than the lovable losers tag we’ve endured for so many years is to be unlovable losers. Until they shake up this team, that’s what they are.