In the midst of a 5-game freefall, the Cubs head to New York to face the Mets for what some are starting to believe (cue ominous music) is a…MUST-WIN GAME. And what better place than Flushing to try to prevent their hopes from going down the toilet? To add even more drama, the Cubs will have to go through a guy in Jon Niese to whom they’ve been connected in trade rumors of late.
This opening matchup creates a quandary for Cubs hitters: pummel Niese in order to get off the schneid while simultaneously decreasing his trade value or take it easy on him and make the fans feel as though he’s a worthy acquisition. Do you torpedo the self-worth of your future 5th starter or try to elevate those of your current teammates. This, folks, is high drama.
Tonight’s game is Jekyll vs. Hyde, only no one knows which team is whom and whether both will fight over which role to play. The Mets had lost seven straight prior to their current four-game win streak and the Cubs had won four in a row before encountering a bit of intestinal distress over the last handful of contests.
But here’s the thing, folks: the Cubs could lose all three games out in Queens and STILL BE ABOVE .500. Sorry about that, the Caps Lock key got stuck. My mom had brought down my nightly bowl of ice cream and I must have dripped some on the keyboard here in my excitement. Not ideal, but I’m engaging in positive mental projection here.
If you haven’t already guessed, this post if rife with sarcasm and satire. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was acerbic vitriol and not a bowl of sugary goodness delivered by my doting mommy dearest (something all large adult sons basement blogging about baseball need) that gummed up my keyboard. I guess I should make an attempt at a point here now, huh?
There seems to be no middle ground with this Cubs team. We’re either in the clouds and over the moon or the sky is falling. Jon Lester is either getting it together or he’s an even worse disaster than the Costa Concordia and Theo Epstein is the drunken, philandering captain to blame for the whole mess. Maddon is a genius or a madman, Castro is a goat or, well, a slightly less meddlesome goat.
It just seems as though we’re constantly flipping a coin on this team and then making proclamations based upon those isolated events. At best, we’re using small sample sizes of events from which to draw broad conclusions, a practice that is sure to result in much hand-wringing and hair pulling. Yeah, the Cubs have lost five in a row and that sucks. But that’s 3% of the season.
If you were unproductive for 14 and a half minutes in a workday, would your boss fire you? Probably a dumb question, as the answer inevitably will be different based upon the tack you’re taking in evaluating this Cubs team. Realistically, the answer is probably tied to exactly what you were doing when boss-man observed you. Checking email isn’t so bad. Photocopying your backside might not be as forgivable.
As an aside, have people actually done that? I mean, it’s been a common comedic trope for a long time, but I could never figure out whether it was just a weird urban legend or like a real phenomenon in the 80’s, like shoulderpads in women’s business suits.
Anywho, I got onto this topic from a comment left after one of my earlier posts. Not that the reader was off-base, just that his views all seemed to be pessimistic in nature. Hard to blame him after the debacle in The Lou, but it’s also hard to condone the use of a microscope in determining the state of a baseball team.
So is Tuesday’s game a must-win? Of course not, but it sure would be nice to eat a few cookies here pretty soon. And I’d recommend the Cubs get to those snacks soon because it’s game over if Bartolo sniffs them out first.