This is "Year One"--the first year of new Cubs ownership. No longer does the Tribune own the Cubs, and this blog post is in many ways an indictment of that questionable newspaper.
So, how does the Ricketts family fare in their first official regular season game?
Just when you thought the Cubs couldn't possibly get any worse, they do!
The newspaper screams worst opening day loss in 126 years and literature bloggers come out of the woodwork to diss journalists and and point out ridiculous events.
First of all--the Cubs could have actually won the game--when it was 8-5, Marlon Byrd got what should have been his second hit of the game, but the umpires called it an out, and then a double-play, though the replay clearly shows Nate McClouth dropping the ball. Clearly, the umpires dropped the ball on this one, and I do believe the game might have turned out differently.
Second of all--I put the game on in the bottom of the 1st, and they were up 3-0. Marlon Byrd hit a 3 run homer in his Cubs debut to put them ahead immediately. The lone bright spot--Bradley's replacement.
Fukudome had a good game. Aramis Ramirez had a very good game. However- the same players mentioned in our previous post as being key to this year's success--Soriano and Zambrano--performed absolutely terribly.
Now, to indict the Trib, yesterday they gave the predictions of their six baseball sportswriters on who would win what this year. Very interesting! One out of six predicted the Cubs would win the division--none predicted a World Series victory--that belongs to the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, or Dodgers.
First of all, they're wrong. Second of all, they're ranked #19 in the league in the power rankings, beneath such behemoths as the Reds, Rockies (#6? really?), Rangers, and the White Sox.
They also picked who should be Rookie of the Year: all six agreed that the NL choice is Jason Heyward. Since he hit a 3 run homer in his first major league at-bat (which helped to kill the Cubs yesterday), maybe they are right about him.
No one picked Zambrano as the Cy Young Winner. That is not all that surprising.
There are a lot of free agents left: Gary Sheffield, Carlos Delgado, Troy Percival, Jason Isringhausen, and Pedro Martinez. Maybe they're all has-beens but they need one of those pitchers, and maybe one of those hitters.
I recently bought MLB 2K10 for XBOX 360. There's a new feature where you can create a player and bring them through their entire career. It kind of sucks to be stuck in the minors forever for my pitcher, but they are always encouraging, even when you suffer a really bad loss. So, in case Big Z reads the blogs (recollection of a web-surfing related injury) I would like to say this to him:
You can't win them all, even as badly as you might want to. You were still the opening day starter, you've been the opening day starter the last three years (I think?) and you will be opening day starter next year. It's best just to put this game behind you and move on. It's a long season and we have a very good team.