There has only been one manager, in the one hundred and five year history of the Chicago Cubs playing baseball at Wrigley Field, that has won a World Series and he is now leaving the Cubs. Three years after winning the World Series Joe Maddon is out as the manager on the North side.
The 2019 Chicago Cubs season was a let down for most of us. Myself included. No, I never thought this team was a World Series contender. However, a playoff caliber team? Absolutely.
All winter I told my brothers, family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, acquaintances, and sometimes even total strangers in public that the 2019 season was going to be:
All about Yu
Once I jumped into the twittersphere or twitterverse in May I shared this belief with anyone who follows, or should follow, the Cubs on that form of so called,
Social Media@aguyfromindiana on Twitter
I still have a hard time referring to it as media*. A few months in it seems more social than media. Media is, or at least should be, rooted in facts. It used to, or at least I hope it was. Twitter? Not so much. But, that is a separate post all together.
I stick by my initial comment. 2019 was all about Yu Darvish and Yu to his credit actually pitched really well. However, the Cubs bats seemed to never score runs for him. The Cubs lineup and bullpen just like last year, and the year before that are what led to another end of a Chicago Cubs Baseball season.
Steve CishekInnings pitched leaders from bullpen
If you thought the Cubs line up and bullpen were good enough to win a World Series. If that is the sports delusion you told yourself all year, you are probably pretty upset. I never have, or will believe that a successful season for the Cubs would have to end in a World Series.
9 losses in 10 daysSept. 17-26th 2019
But they are not in the playoffs thanks largely in part to those ten days in September that have to be in and among the worst in my three plus decades as a Cubs fan. Ten days that included a four game sweep at home by Red Birds. A Saturday game that included Kimbrel giving up two home runs on two consecutive pitches. That moment supplants Alex Gonzalez botching a taylor made double play in game six. A play after the row eight and nine fiasco along aisle four. Then, they get swept by the Buccos in three. Let us not forget them dropping the final two against the Red Legs before any of the above took place.
643In Dusty we Trusty
As great as 2016 was for the Cubs and their fans it had more to do with luck, chance, and the stars all aligning for two years. I include the 2015 club as well. No one expected anything in 2015. Then, they played really well. People hoped for a chance in 2016 and they won a World Series. Since then they have gotten progressively worse as an offense and bullpen.
This season the Cubs started out slow, heated up in June, played about 500 ball in July, they climbed eleven over a few times in early August, then the wheels came flying off to end the season as we’ve already discussed. We all hoped that the bats would heat up. We all hoped that the acquisition of Craig Kimbrel would be a spark that could help ignite the Cubs get into the Postseason. He didn’t help. Unfortunately he might have hurt. The bats once again were silenced against most good pitchers all season long.
Some seems ok with Joe Maddon leaving. Myself? I feel melancholy but also ambivalent. Sad to see him go. Happy for what he did. However, those of you who will cite his use of the bullpen and tinkering with line up as the reason for this clubs failures, I’m not buying it. You’ll never convince me he is, or has ever been the issue, with the Cubs over the last two seasons. 2016 would have never happened with him, an act of God/Allah/Shiva/Buddah/etc., and of all people Jason Heyward.
Sometimes the players don’t perform. Sometimes it’s injuries. Sometimes players are over valued. Sometimes a managers message falls on deaf ears. Sometimes it’s all the above. Whatever happens this off season I hope Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Kenny Crane can maximize the output from the 25 players on the roster, and the Cubs are able to find their way back into the postseason next year. If the Cubs don’t make any big deals this winter to shake up their stagnant offense, and sub par bullpen why would next year be any different?
Now is the Winter of Our DiscontentJohn Steinbeck or Shakespeare take your pick
Maybe next year?