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Smith Departs the Cubs, the Patriots as Cardinals, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and it feels like everyone I know has one singular rooting interest for the game: against the Patriots. I have always liked the Patriots – from a distance, mind you, not really as a fan – because of the way they’ve consistently succeeded under Bill Belichick no matter how much roster turnover they’ve dealt with. Spare parts just plug and play. Tom Brady is obviously a huge part of that, and as a Michigan guy, I always pulled for him, since I grew up a UM fan.

The thing that I never really thought about, though, until the Cardinals hacking scandal, is how much other fans saw that whole thing as a “Patriots” kind of move. In other words, although I obviously was aware of the many cheating/scandal-like things that have swirled around the Patriots for years, I’m not sure how much I thought of them negatively because of it – they were just really good at taking whatever edge they could get (and then continuing to succeed despite any punishment). Then the Cardinals thing happened, and my cognitive dissonance kicked in – was I being too light on the Patriots? Too hard on the Cardinals?


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I don’t really have an answer, because I’m sure I’m waaaaay too close to the whole Cardinals thing to be truly objective. There are other parallels between the organizations, of course, including the way that many of the folks who hate them do it solely because the team is just dang good.

Anyway, enjoy the game tonight, whatever your rooting interest.

  • Speaking of the Super Bowl, a fun read from Dayn Perry about how World Series history would look different if Game One of the series was actually a winner-take-all game like the Super Bowl. The Cubs still wind up losing a bunch of World Series Super Bowls, but they actually win the 1945 game – so the title drought heading into 2016 was a mere 71 years. Of course, thanks to Corey Kluber, the Cubs wind up losing a rather hum-drum game in 2016, and everyone is robbed of the greatest baseball game in history.
  • (In this format, by the way, Kirk Gibson’s famous home run off of Dennis Eckersley wins the whole thing. Man, that would have been something. It already is, of course.)
  • I may well be in the minority on this, but I was hoping the Cubs would be able to bring back side-armer Joe Smith on a minor league deal. Yes, he had an extremely inauspicious debut with the Cubs after he was added at the Trade Deadline, but after he’d gotten over a little bit of a hamstring issue, he had absolutely ridiculous numbers in his final 10.2 innings of the year in September (extremely low-leverage, obviously), and he looked really good. Alas, he signed a Major League deal with the Blue Jays last night. Given the Cubs’ fairly robust depth in the bullpen at this point, it would have been a tougher sell to get Smith sign on, even if the Cubs had offered a low-rate big league deal. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not bothered or worried about Smith departing, as there was never an expectation that he’d return in the first place. I just think he might be in line for a big bounce back next year.

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  • And, on Super Bowl Sunday, many Bears fans think back to what happened (and then didn’t) exactly 10 years ago … (slap that follow button, my frents):


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor of Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.