This year’s Chicago Cubs team is as bad or worse than the 2012 squad
It is unfortunate that we have come to a point this season where we are legitimately wondering if this Chicago Cubs season is rivaling one of (if not the) worst in recent history. The 2012 Cubs were the first team to lose 100+ games in a season since 1966 and had the fourth-lowest winning percentage (.377) of any team in franchise history. While it felt like it would not get that bad again anytime soon, here we are.
Jed Hoyer tearing down the core and starting a new era of Cubs baseball was never going to be pretty. Even if it was the right thing to do, everyone knew that the rest of 2021 would be rough. However, I don’t know anyone who thought we’d be giving 2012-level bad a run for its money. At this point, fans just want this whole thing to be over and be able to see more of the light at the end of the tunnel next season.
How exactly does the 2021 team stack up against the 2012 team? Here is a deeper look.
Chicago Cubs: Notable differences exist in the respective rebuilds and teams
2012 was year one of the Theo Epstein rebuild, and everyone knew it would be a losing season. The year began with a few notable veterans from the previous core still remaining, including Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Dempster, Geovany Soto, Marlon Byrd, Matt Garza and Carlos Marmol.
They had acquired Anthony Rizzo in the offseason (who came up mid-season) and were trying to build around him, Starlin Castro and Jeff Samardzija. By post-deadline, few veterans remained and young players got their shot. Sound familiar?
This year was a bit different from how it started. I obviously don’t need to recap everything that’s gone down this year, but there is no question the 2021 Opening Day roster was much stronger than the roster was at any point in 2012. A core of Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Willson Contreras is better than any team deep in a rebuild on paper. The 2021 team was at one point well above .500 and in first place in late June, while the 2012 team never spent a day .500 or better. There was a possibility the 2021 team could at least be competitive, while that was never going to happen in 2012.
Now that the deadline is past and the core is gone, catching the 2012 record does not seem impossible. Going into Tuesday, the Cubs had 52 wins. If they win only nine more the rest of the way they can match the 2012 total.