Growing up, my buddies and I would play baseball everyday...two on two, three on three...or even just one on one. One of our favorite things to do would be to play a seven game "series" of three inning games. One side would pick an AL team, the other an NL team. Since we were playing these little games during summer vacation, it would always be hard to rationalize one side choosing the Cubs because they were consistently out of the pennant chase. Oh, we would try...stating that the Cubs had some miraculous comeback in late July and August...but invariably we would have to pick a National League team that had a chance of actually playing in the World Series that year. (I realize to those under 40 or so, this whole idea of playing baseball outside...and pretending to be players, may seem a bit silly and foreign...I know you played this on RBI Baseball or Baseball Stars or MLB2Kwhatever...but just stay with me here...)
2013 would be an extremely difficult year to pretend the Cubs will be in the World Series.
So...why watch? Fortunately for a puck-head like myself, I still have the Blackhawks.( at least for two more games...gulp) Yet once baseball is the only game in town...and the Cubs are as dreadful as they are...what to make of the rest of this season? Here are some ideas:
1. BEATING THE WHITE SOX- Yes, I know...we have already won the 367th most coveted trophy in all of sport-The BP Cup!...and we have the team picture to prove it! However this isn't enough, I would like to see us pass the White-Sox in the standings. The Cubs currently trail the Sox by 1.5 games. Come on Cubs!...Don't you hate that arrogant condescending blabber mouthed living in the past Hawk Harrelson fella as much as I do? How about that turncoat Steve Stone..."For all of you youngsters out there, when dealing with a cantankerous old broadcast partner, just ignore him and contribute sporadically"
2. THE BASE ON BALLS RACE BETWEEN SORIANO, CASTILLO AND CASTRO- These three Cubs are locked in an absolutely Dunstonian battle for on-base via a walk futility. Currently, Castro leads with 11(double digits!), Soriano has 9 and the hard-charging(he had 1 in like his first 150 at bats) Castillo. Keep swinging boys!
3. THE TRADE DEADLINE- Ahhhh...Christmas in July for Cubs' fans! How many top prospects are we going to get? Who is going to be this year's Micah Bowie? An even more intriguing question...will our guys with no-trade or partial no trade clauses accept deals to better the club...I am looking at you Mr. I ride my bike to the park everyday and owe my resurrected career to the Cubs Ryan Dempster!
4. THE TEAM RECORD FOR BLOWN SAVES- That pesky Kevin Gregg has greatly lessoned our hopes at this record! The 1996 Colorado Rockies blew a record 39 saves, the Cubs currently sit at 14, so it's going to take some work. If Gregg gets traded at the deadline, the record may be back in play.
5. ANY OF THE BLACKHAWKS SINGING THE 7TH INNNING STRETCH- It won't matter if they win the Cup or not...these dudes are the most popular athletes in all of Chicago right now! Imagine the stretch with their adorable Canadian accents..."Take me ute ta tha ball-game, take me ute ta tha crude"...and if they don't win the Stanley Cup we can cheer them up by letting them hold the prestigious BP cup.
It's almost as good.