Did that really happen? At bottom, I believe a lot of Cubs fans’ hostility – particularly in recent years – toward the Cardinals is rooted in jealousy. Sure, they’ve had their douche moments, but mostly, we hate their success because we want to experience that as fans of the Cubs. So, yeah, I really hate what happened last night. Down two runs (after being down 6-0 early) in the 9th, the Cards had a runner on and two outs when each of Yadier Molina and David Freese – down to their last strike – walked. And then, in the most Cardinal way possible, guys named Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma got the hits to tie and win the game. So, the Cardinals move on to face the Giants in the NLCS. At least now I still have something to root for in the playoffs. Freaking voodoo magic …
- Oh, also, the Yankees beat the Orioles. They’ll face the Tigers in the ALCS. Bummer that both the O’s and A’s were bounced.
- Patrick Mooney takes a deep look at the Cubs’ third base problem in 2012, and problem going forward. He spends a fair bit of time talking about Kevin Youkilis, which still – to me – seems like a poor fit for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is: why would Youkilis spend any of his twilight years on a team that is expected to be awful for at least the first of those years? Given the dearth of options on the free agent market for third basemen this offseason, he’ll have better options.
- Doug Padilla continues his look at the positions, with second base on the slate. Obviously it’s a Barney-tastic take, which doesn’t even mention offense until the 9th paragraph. So it is with Darwin Barney.
- Paul Sullivan does the Q&A thing, and among his thoughts: (1) the key difference between the A’s and O’s and the Cubs right now is young pitching – the Cubs don’t have any that is ready to step up and lead a surprisingly competitive team; (2) the Cubs can’t afford to strike out again this Winter at third base and in the rotation; (3) Paul raises the issue we’ve noted here before – why would a good free agent sign with the Cubs on a short-term deal if he strongly suspects (a) that the Cubs will be bad in 2013 and (b) that the Cubs are just signing him to try and flip him at the deadline?; (4) Paul thinks the Cubs want to keep Carlos Marmol, which just can’t possibly be true – they might end up keeping him, but it won’t be because they want to keep him; (5) Paul didn’t notice player problems with Mike Quade (Matt Garza recently suggested they had issues, and things are much better with Dale Sveum); (6) there’s an interesting exchange about the Cubs getting beat up by some fans when they ask for public funds to renovate Wrigley, but beat up by other fans when they try to, for example, add new seats to generate more revenue.
- Someone at the Sun-Times (when I look at the page, the author’s name is missing, which I’m sure will be corrected in short order) didn’t care for Tom Ricketts’ essay on the Cubs’ 2012 season and the organization’s charitable efforts … which Ricketts wrote for the Sun-Times. There’s a lot of bluster about a crappy product, a really bad analogy to a grocery store, rips the Cubs for their charity work (which he calls PR crap … most corporate charity is, dude), and then grinds an ax about the Cubs dismissing traveling secretary Jimmy Bank because that wasn’t a very “charitable” thing to do.
- It isn’t official yet, but Phil Rogers says the Dodgers are going to hire former Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo as their new hitting coach. I’d wish him luck, but I’m hoping the Cubs and Dodgers will be direct competitors for playoffs spots within a couple years. (Well, assuming the Dodgers haven’t fallen completely on their face.)