As The Snow Piles Up in Chicago …

Pitchers, Catchers Report To Spring Training Today in Sunny, Warm Climates

Wow. It really snuck up on me this year: spring training starts today. Position players report Feb. 18 (Monday).

Cubs’ manager Lou Pinniella is talking about wins in the low 90s. Here’s Lou:

“These kids can play. I like our team, I really do. This is a team that I’m looking forward to getting into the low 90s, win-wise.”

Which would be nice since this year marks the 100th anniversary of the last Cubs team to win a World Series.

One. Hundred. Years.

Roll that ’round in yo’ mouf fo’ awhile.

I’m guessing Teddy Roosevelt was President? The start of The Great War was still 6 years away. Was the Model T even invented yet?

This was a long, long, long time ago.

Not to be overly negative, but try to imagine how inept an organization must be, so consistently, for so long, in order to attain such lofty heights depths. It’s a stunning achievement, really. Not a great one. Just stunning.

When it comes to being the worst, the Cubs are the best. 😉

And they haven’t even made the World Series since 1945. This might even be worse than not winning it since 1908. In fact, I’d say it is worse. Most teams say it’s harder to make it to the World Series than it is to win once you’re there. Which makes sense, since there is more pressure before you get there, because the sense of failure is stronger for teams that fail to get there than for teams who get there and lose.

I do like the impact Lou has had on this team though. Finally they have a manager that values outfield defense and the offensive value of table-setters like Ryan Theriot. You’d think other managers and GMs over the last, oh, I don’t know, sixty years or so, might have noticed that winning teams always have such players in their lineups. Always always always. This ain’t no coincidence.

But sadly, no, they never figured this out until they signed Lou. But better late than never, and even if Lou Pinniella accomplishes nothing else here, he seems to have instilled within the organization a new commitment to fundamental winning baseball. And for that, I’m grateful.


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