You may have forgotten, but there was not a time too long ago where watching the Chicago Cubs play baseball was…a chore, to say the least.
Well, maybe ‘playing baseball’ is a bit much, but the Chicago Cubs of yesteryear at least attempted to play the game. The 2012 campaign featured a whopping 101 losses and only one of the players on the roster are on the roster now, that being Anthony Rizzo. The likes of Joe Mather, Blake DeWitt, Bryan LaHair and Cubs Twitter favorite James Russell were all occupying the roster back then.
2012 was the first season that Theo Epstein was in charge of operations, and he has not disappointed during his six seasons, 2019 being his seventh. A complete roster overhaul and Rizzo has turned into a star and one of the premier first basemen in baseball, making multiple All-Star teams, winning two Gold Gloves and a Platinum Glove. Rizzo was basically handpicked by this regime to lead the rebuilding process.
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The Cubs tried to get a glimpse into the future when they called up top prospects Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters, who were less than stellar. Jackson slashed .175/.303/.342 with 59 strikeouts in just 142 plate appearances.
If you think that’s a bad line, then cover your eyes. The Vitters line reads: .121/.193/.202. Needless to say, these experiments did not last long.
The season did give some memories though, like this one. Joe Mather walks off his former team with two outs and two strikes. LaHair made the All-Star team and did this on the final day of the season, at least ending the year on a good note. To date, this is LaHair’s last major league at-bat.
The starting rotation consisted of Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, Paul Maholm, Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster. Volstad was acquired in a trade with the Marlins for Carlos Zambrano, while Travis Wood was acquired in a trade with the Reds for Sean Marshall. Wood was also a member of the 2016 World Series champions.
Looking back now, it’s easy to laugh at that team, but enduring that season was not something any fan should ever have to go through. Enjoy this current ride while it lasts, Cubs fans.