This isn’t the Chicago Cubs of 2016, but we shouldn’t expect it to be. But this is feeling more like a pre-Maddon team.
My fellow Chicago Cubs fans:
I am sorry. This is not what I thought – how any of us thought – this season was going to go. The coronation and all the festivities around it were ready. We cleaned up, ready to party. Instead, we are running around the grounds with some “Hans” guy, trying to finish each other sandwiches, and breaking out into song. It is weird and awkward, so it is time that we just let it go.
Now more than two months into the season, we are fully aware of the team’s traits. Why are we surprised? Yes, the Cubs won the World Series, but did you watch all the incredible offense in the playoffs? No, because it was not there. It flashed a time or two, but there were tons of zeros.
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We know what the team is, and that is average. Floating around .500 is lucky at this point. They are not beating teams with winning records, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies. Even the New York Mets have their number. It is not a good look.
I, Corey Francis, being of sound mind, on this date the Thirteenth of June, in the year of our Lord 2017, do declare it is time to press the panic button. It is time to move from Defcon 3 to 1. The Chicago Cubs are not who we thought they were.
They are average.
Time for Theo Epstein to fire up the phone lines, make some moves, and build a team that can and will perform. No excuses. We want winners. Manager Joe Maddon should open his book of weirdly awesome ways to motivate this team because the season is almost over.
The pitching is lucky to be in the top five in the National League. That simply shows how incredible the bullpen is, given the fact that starting pitchers allow runs. Last year, no starter had an ERA over 3.50 at this point. Now, no one is under 4.00. And the offense? That .233 batting average is not a good look.
Now, maybe this seems over the top, and some of this is designed to be. No, the team is not performing up to expectations. The Chicago Cubs are in contention. Yes, they are in contention. But something has to give.
There is good news, and it is not saving money by switching to Geico. This team performed at a high level. We witnessed them fight through 108 years of stress, expectation, and fan-driven anxiety to win it all. It is easy for us to forget that after 2016. It is largely the same team. Therefore, a move in the right direction can happen.
Still, Theo and Joe need to press the button. All players must be evaluated and placed in a position to experience success. Not where they “can” find success but “will.”
If not, the party is over.