Coming into this homestand, many within the Cubs organization figured the team would pad their record against the lowly New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Houston Astros. For some reason, the Cubs forgot that they too are mentioned when it comes to lower level teams in the league this season. Regardless, this figured to be the homestand where we would find out what exactly the Cubs are this season.
After taking 2 of 3 from the Mets, the Cubs collapsed against their division rivals–the Pirates and Astros. The Cubs lost 2 of 3 against Pittsburgh, and then were swept against the worst team in the National League–the Astros. The Cubs finished their 9 game homestand with a 3-6 record. More importantly, the Cubs are now 23-31 on the season and 9 games behind the St Louis Cardinals for the division lead.
Entering the month of June, teams begin to classify themselves as buyers or sellers for the season. There is no question that the Cubs fall under the latter. Even though there still is 4 months remaining on the schedule for the Cubs, there chances at making it to the postseason are all but dead. To prove that sentiment, realize that the Cubs have yet to win 3 games in a row at any point this season. Meaning that it is not likely that the Cubs will go on a run of some sort to get back in contention.
But despite all the pieces of evidence that suggest the Cubs will be among the cellar dwellers of the National League this season, those within the front office are remaining optimistic. Though, can you really blame them? However, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts apparently has a season-long supply of Cubbie Kool-Aid.
While it is foolish to expect Ricketts to blast his team, you would at least like to see some form of honesty. Instead, when asked what the problem was for the 2011 Cubs, Ricketts sounded more like bleacher bum than an actual owner. Ricketts replied to that question by saying “Nothing. We just have a lot of injuries. We’ll be fine”
Really, Tom. Nothing is wrong with the Cubs. How about the fact that the cleanup hitter–Aramis Ramirez–has two home runs? What about the fact that Alfonso Soriano continues to cost the Cubs games with the comedy show that is his defense in left field? Not to mention that manager Mike Quade’s stubbornness has kept Tyler Colvin from fully developing into a Major League player.
There is no question that the injuries suffered this season have contributed to the Cubs’ struggles this season. But injuries or not, the Cubs are one of the worst fundamentally sound teams in the league. That is the reason why the Cubs are among the worst teams in the National League. That is not a new revelation, that has been the issue for the past few seasons. If Ricketts wants to salvage the fans’ diminishing faith in him, he needs to fire general manager Jim Hendry. Though, the firing should be made after the draft but before the Trade Deadline. That is what the Arizona Diamondbacks did last season, and now, they are among the division leaders heading into the month June.