Nobody said this would be easy
The Cubs are no longer in prime playoff position and their seams are showing
As the Cubs stagger towards the finish line there is an oft-repeated mantra in certain, weird parts of Cubs Twitter1 where they admonish people who dare to complain about the Cubs recent return to ineptness with something akin to:
If we told you back in March that with two weeks to go the Cubs would have a really good chance to make the playoffs you’d have taken it, so why are you bitching about lineups and in game moves. Why can’t you just enjoy it?
Where to start?
First off, after the Cubs spent a lot of money on a bunch of free agent white guys in the offseason the consensus was that they had put themselves in position to be about a .500 team who would likely contend for a wild card spot in the National League. And what do you know? That’s what they very much are doing.
So, if you’d offered me that in March, my response would have been, “Well, I’d fucking hope so.”
Second, a team exceeding expectations (which I don’t even think is the case here) isn’t a free pass for the manager to just act like a monkey throwing his shit around the dugout during games.
You have to admire the pseudointellectual hot take that “I’m surprised, so who are you to complain that the manager seems to be sabotaging his own team’s chances at a modest achievement?”
I’m sure there are fans out there (not you, intrepid readers of this newsletter) who would take umbrage at the idea that the Cubs are a “.500 team.”
They’re 78-72! That’s six games over .500!
That’s true. It’s also true that while they are six games over .500 they got there because they are 9-1 against the hapless Pirates. And yeah, I know that good teams build their records by beating bad teams.
But, what if I told you that while the Cubs have the record they do, their record against the good teams in the National League is pretty wanting?
With the Giants spiralling out of the playoff picture that leaves the following teams either already in, or fighting for spots.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Do you know how many of those teams the Cubs have a winning record against?
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