I am at my absolute lowest point as a Cubs fan. It has always been a real emotional test, but right now I think it is hitting me the hardest. The team is in the cellar, they traded off two of their starting infielders and have no real hope of redemption for the rest of the season. I think what ices this season as the worst I have experienced is the promise it began with.
Obviously beating St. louis this year was always going to be a chore and I don't know where the Reds came from to be as good as they are. Still, at the beginning of the season it seemed like the Cubs had a team that could compete strongly. They had a good but not great pitching rotation and a very solid infield and outfield group. It seemed they were still better off than most teams in the Central division.
2003 was not nearly as heart wrenching because we were so close to the World Series and the ride had been so phenomenal. It was that short sharp shock that stung, but it was really only one moment. Most of the early 90's were pretty bad, but the team never looked terribly good so it wasn't a case of getting one's hopes up. No, this season takes the cake. It has been a Eugene O'Neil play as they slowly slipped into the abyss.
The Cubs have officially raised the white flag on the season and we are now left to observe the remains for signs of hope. I'm not one for curses, I don't blame Steve Bartman, or goats, or black cats. I just sigh and shake my head as I watch a team that just cannot catch a break run themselves into a wall. I look at the stats and I am just bewildered. It is amazing to me that this team won the NL central two years in a row and then completely bottomed out.
Through it all, I'm still here though. I'll take my castor oil and get ready for next season. This feels very much like a return to the crucible of my youth. The Cubs are the lovable losers once again, but we know that in this modern era that philosophy will no longer stand. The new owners can't be happy with this performance and I hope it lights a fire under them to make some strong decisions that will see the team back on top sooner rather than later.