|Better cigars = better clubhouse chemistry|
The season hasn’t gone all that well for the boys in blue, but there’s a reason the phrase “hope springs eternal” gets used so often at the Friendly Confines . . . and not just because we’re all so darn sarcastic.
Still, that’s one of the primary reasons. So here are ten things Cubs fans haven’t seen yet this year that, while not necessarily qualifying 2010 as the year, would still be kind of awesome.
10. Carlos Zambrano named the permanent Walgreens Bat Boy.
Big Z has been making a very little contribution since being moved to the pen (just 7 2/3 innings in 7 games in the 21 Cubs games since the switch). That’s just not enough Zambrano for my liking. But that could all change if, as I suspect, Carlos is named the new bat boy. Those kids winning the Walgreens contest just aren’t getting it done, and this move would put Carlos in the action on almost every play. More Carlos. Better bats. This will work.
9. Calling up another Castro.
The dictator can play. Yes, I know his health is failing, but this move isn’t so much about the talent of Fidel so much as it’s about the message it sends to the team. If you don’t start hitting, you and your families will pay dearly. Tell me that won’t work! It sends a message.
8. Ron Santo losing it big time.
Everybody thinks of Ron as a generally happy guy who has overcome quite a bit of physical pain and Cub-related anguish. But this year, the complaints about his focus and disposition have made many wonder if he’s not too old to keep sane in the booth. We’ve heard the historic Nooooo!, so we know he’s capable of having an in-booth meltdown. But if Santo gave us another Brant-Brown reaction, but expanded it into a Lee-Elia style explosion, we’d have ourselves a memory that would last a lifetime.
7. Another sweep at the hands of the Pirates.
Last year, the Cubs owned the Pirates, winning 161 out of 15 games against them. If it hadn’t been for their -79 and 75 record against the rest of MLB, the Cubs would have made the postseason. The Cubs were better than the Pirates last season, and they’re better once again this year. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect the pendulum of luck to keep swinging back in a more Cublike direction. If the Cubs lose six straight to the Buccos, it’ll almost be like Barry Bonds has a normal size head again.
6. Mass Head Shaving
If we ask ourselves, “What would DeRosa do?” (and who doesn’t ask that question on a daily basis?) , the answer will eventually be, Shave our heads to bust out of this slump. It may not be effective, but we’ll feel better about the losing at the very least. Because where there are bald heads, there are smiling faces. I swear on Reed Johnson’s glaring dome, it’s true.
5. A New Logo
The Cubs might change up the unis again, but that’s not what I mean. Even here on May 14, it seems fairly obvious that the And Counting Meter is going to have to roll over to 103. That’s exciting. Right?
4. The Trade Deadline
This is actually completely serious. The Cubs have a plethora of players who may jump at the chance to shed their standard-issue no-trade clauses to skip town to a winner. Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly, and Ronnie Woo could all give some contender a chance to take a serious step toward World Series glory and to unload their can’t-miss (or some such) prospects into the Cubs farm system (aka, their current bullpen).
3. Booing the Cardinals in the Playoffs
Remember when Matt Holliday got ro-sham-bo’d by that routine line drive and the Cardinals wound up going down in flames? That was probably the Cubs’ best postseason memory in the last 7 years. Something like that could happen again and salvage 2010.
2. The Wildcard Race
Again, this is completely serious. The Cubs could go 0 for their next 100 games and they still wouldn’t be eliminated from wildcard contention until September 10. No matter how bad the Cubs are or might continue to be, the National League is bad enough that the excitement of wildcard hopes will last a very, very long time . . . and the Cubs have a legit shot at winning that thing.
1. Wrigley Talk Friday
Don’t tell me this is all just some elaborate Top Ten ploy to get me to listen to your stupid podcast! Okay, I won’t tell you that. But, since you brought it up, listen to my stupid podcast, here, in the player on the sidebar, or on iTunes.