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Why the Cubs Will Contend for the Central in 2012....no seriously, ....really....


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Oswego Chris

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:23 PM

When I was in college in the spring of 1989, Harry Carry was a guest on "Late Night" with David Letterman. Dave asked Harry how the Cubs would be, and Harry said.."Just terrible...awful". Of course, Harry may have been looking for a cheap laugh, but it turned out he was way, way off. A division title was on the horizon that year. Now this isn't 1989, but I just want you to keep that as a point of referrence as I point out why I think they will contend.

1. Everyone Thinks They Will Suck- I realize there is not much logic behind this argument, but it just seems to work like this in baseball sometimes. Consesus expectations, both good and bad, are often not met. Laugh all you want at this reasoning, but it happens all of the time in baseball, because baseball is like no other game(more on that later).

2. New Attitude + Long Missing "Hunger"- I ask you to reflect on all that Rocky III taught us, you have to have that hungry look in your eye. LaHair, Wood, Volstad, Stewart, and many more of the 2012 Cubs are playing for their MLB careers...and coincidently money. Think of some of the guys we have had the last few years...Pena, Ramirez, Big Z...they might not have been "dogging" it, but they weren't "hungry". Sure the odds of all of these guys "breaking out" or coming back are long, but what the Theotles have assembled is some depth of "hungry" guys. Bryan LaHair gets the opportunity of his life, and if he fails, Anthony Rizzo gets his. The same goes for every starting pitcher not named Garza or Dempster. Obviously "hunger" does not equate to success, but it does result in effort. That alone makes me feel better about this group.

3. BASEBALL IS STILL UNIQUE The old "any team can beat any team" cliche applies to all sports, but it applies most to baseball. When you start an MLB season, there are always teams you can pretty much eliminate(I am looking at you this year Orioles) but really the Cubs are the type of organization that really just needs to have a good start. When the Pirates were "somewhat" contending last year, they still really didn't have the resources to do anything about it. If the Cubs are in it on July 1, they will have money to spend. The Theotles will not mortgage the future(not this year anyway), but if a division title is in reach...don't think they won't be going after it.

I realize I am getting to the thesis or research paper length, so I will stop here. Laugh all you want...and maybe in three months I will be proven wrong. Some psychologists will tell you about a theory that humans have a "hunch-think" ability, and that's what I am basing this on. I have a hunch.


Not necessarily strong enough to bet on, but it won't surprise me.

#2 cys_av8r

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:29 PM

Hunger is the reason I think they could contend...the Central is not very strong.

#3 rbaker08

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:06 PM

Good read. Agree on all points. Can't wait to get this year going.

#4 Luke

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:04 PM

If Selig can get the second wild card team in place this season, I think it's possible the Cubs could sneak into that slot with a good second half. The 2012 team should be better than the 2011 team, but I think the Cubs are still a year away from really contending in the division.

#5 BFiddy

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 06:13 PM

Some psycholoists will tell you about a theory that humans have a "hunch-think" ability, and that's what I am basing this on. I have a hunch.


I am not familiar with the branch of science that employs "psycholoists." What exactly do they do? Are they similar to the Psychohistorians in Foundation?
And that's a bad miss...

#6 Oswego Chris

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:01 PM

Sorry....poor editing......

#7 MichiganGoat

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

Great article Chris, however I see hunger as a term that is objective as Chemistry and Hustle. If the team is winning they look hungry and the team has chemistry.

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#8 Oswego Chris

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 08:03 AM

I know what you mean MG...no one ever says "They suck, but they do have good team chemistry!"...I meant it more from an individual standpoint that could inspire better performance....not that the team is "hungry"...

#9 DocPeterWimsey

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:00 AM

So, if two humans have different "hunch-thinks" on the same topic, does it falsify the hypothesis or does it show that one of them is a Cylon? ;)

For myself, I am looking for the Cubs to be a little worse this year: although the pitching could get a lot better (Dempster really was unlucky last year and I expect that one of the experiments will work out: but asking for two is looking for a lot of snake-eyes!), I think that the the offense probably will be a bit worse having lost so much slugging.

As for the 1989 Cubs, I remember Steve Stone's comment at the beginning of the year: there was nothing wrong with that team that having Lee Smith and Rafael Palemeiro wouldn't solve! That team did rely heavily on the emergence of 3 young players (Walton, D. Smith & Williams) and a "once-in-a-career" pitching year (Bielcki) . The former in particular was a real long-shot: I've not seen it since.
Gods don't play dice with the universe, they are the dice of the universe: our job is to figure out how many sides and dice!

#10 MichiganGoat

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:42 AM

Welcome to Board Doc, glad to have you here.

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#11 MichiganGoat

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:51 AM

I know what you mean MG...no one ever says "They suck, but they do have good team chemistry!"...I meant it more from an individual standpoint that could inspire better performance....not that the team is "hungry"...

But have you ever heard of a struggling player being praised for being "hungry" but it doesn't mean that a player that hits .150 isn't hungry. I do agree that the players on this team may be more motivated but terms like hungry, hustle, chemistry, scrappy, etc are something TV personalities and announcers love to over use. Yet I do see your point but there are just no words to describe these gut feelings and expectations we all sense.

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#12 Steve

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:45 PM

Cmon guys lets be serious. as much as i would love to see the Cubs compete this year and make the playoffs, its not going to happen. and im okay with that. The reds are going to win the division and the brewers and Cardinals are still better than us. I do think we will finish better than the pirates though. Next year i could see it happening once rizzo and jackson get some experience and hopefully one or two prospects surprise us.

#13 Brett

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:55 PM

Cmon guys lets be serious. as much as i would love to see the Cubs compete this year and make the playoffs, its not going to happen. and im okay with that. The reds are going to win the division and the brewers and Cardinals are still better than us. I do think we will finish better than the pirates though. Next year i could see it happening once rizzo and jackson get some experience and hopefully one or two prospects surprise us.

I don't know that anyone expects the Cubs to be in the Central race late in the year, but it is theoretically possible.

#14 BlueHorizons

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:59 PM

Maybe I'm being overly optimistic (what, a Cubs fan being optimistic?!!!)... but I agree. I don't realistically think that the Cubs will have any chance at making to the fabled WS, but I DO think they have a decent shot at making the playoffs. A few of MY reasons that I hold some hope for this "rebuilding" year...

1) Pujols is no longer in our division!!!
2) Fielder is no longer in our division!!!!
3) uhh.. this WAS one of my earlier reasons, but we will unfortunately have to scratch this one... (very reluctantly, as I think this was an absolutely assinie decision) Braun will be serving a 50 game suspension... too bad some idiot decided to modify that decision. I don't care WHO he is, if you do the crime, you must do the time.... The decision to remove the suspension sets baseball back years... good luck trying to enforce the drug testing results in the future, Selig!!!!
4) the additoinal wild card team(s) ... I thought this was a done deal for this year's season, but someone earlier implied that it isn't official
5) Better team attitude... just reading between the lines in early reports from training camp, it sounds like things are going in the right direction (I like the bunting tournament!!)

Maybe the Cubs DON'T make the playoffs this year, but I doubt they finish lower than third in their division this year, which in itself, will be a refreshing change!

(sorry no pic, yet... new to this site)

#15 hardtop

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:06 PM

i look for them to be better: mostly due to management and defense. quade lost games for us last year, hard to do as a manager, but he did it. as long as sveum plays by the book of conventional knowledge when it comes to handling pitchers, he'll be an improvement over q-tip.
2012 win total: 76. though terrible, technically, that's better than 2011




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