I’ve really enjoyed the start to this Cubs season. It feels different to see the team actually trying to win games, regardless of the end result. Accordingly, with Joe Maddon’s arrival and the Cubs’ transition to what looks like a competitive ballclub, I became ever so slightly nostalgic about the past few years, when we watched some of the most awful baseball known to man.
Thus, as I watched the games this week, I began casually writing a poem containing those sentiments, and charting our journey from hopeless to hopeful. It’s an adaption of Ernest Thayer’s immortal Casey at the Bat, and I think it’ll make you chuckle.
The Wrigley Rebuild
The outlook’s rather rosy for the Cubbie Nine these days,
For Jon came East from Oakland, and Joey left the Rays.
So now, young Jed is smiling, and Theo just the same,
They built a Wrigley monster, put Chicago in the game.
But once times were darker, to the agony of all,
When Gregg was the closer, and Edwin got the ball.
A straggling few were traded, leaving there the rest,
Borbon and Bogusevic, an ivy-covered mess.
We thought, “If only Javy could get a whack at that,”
We’d put up money now, with Baez at the bat.
But Darwin blocked our Javy, as did also Junior Lake,
The former was a hoodoo, the latter couldn’t take.
So through the Cubbie Nation, grim melancholy sat,
For Sveum was the skipper, and Ransom went to bat.
We had our Donnie Baseball, our Dave Sappelt in right,
Schierholtz batting cleanup, our share of sleepless nights.
We watched Valaika struggle, we watched Valbuena rake,
We saw Samardzija leave us, and Sori start to ache.
Our mourning was in public, on forums and the Twitter,
Faith was surely tested, as hope went down the Schlitter.
Marmol just exploded, Garza got the yips,
Olt lost vision, Navarro ate the chips.
Rickie spoke two languages, but winning wasn’t one,
With gritted teeth and squinted eyes, we watched J.C. Boscan.
But soon times were changing, to the wonderment of all,
Soler debuted in Cincy, tore the cover off the ball.
And once the wind shifted, and we saw what had occurred,
There was Starlin up the middle, and Bryant hugging third.
Then from the stands and rooftops there rose a hungry yell,
It rumbled in the bleachers, and rattled on the El.
It pounded on the ivy, gave life to Ron and Pat,
For Cubbie, Cubbie baseball, was cause for joyous chat.
There was pride in Rizzo’s posture, as he stepped up to the plate,
There was meaning in the games again, with Dexter and the Jake.
And when, responding to the cheers, the Cubs began to win,
My heart began to flutter, my lips began to grin.
And now they’re eyeing pennants, and soon the hope to gloat,
Topple all the Redbirds, and exorcise the goat.
Oh somewhere in this land of ours, the sun is shining bright,
Ernie’s watching somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere Goodman’s laughing, and somewhere Harry shouts,
But they’re going wild at Wrigley Field, where soon they’ll end the drought.