I don’t particularly dislike the Cubs. They have every right to do everything it takes to get that World Series win. Personally, I would just rather see the Mets win one first. Regardless, they were off to an explosive start this year. Which is why even when they stumbled a bit before the all star break, they currently still have a healthy 7.5 game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central.
Their line up of hitters is absolutely deadly and their rotation, while on paper not at the same level as what the Mets put up at the beginning of the season, can certainly hold its own. The only missing piece was their bullpen. Something I first noticed that night the Mets came back from being down 3-0 in the 7th inning. They clobbered their relievers and took the 4-3 lead to end up winning the game.
But as of today, the Cubs acquired Aroldis Chapman in a trade with the Yankees. One of the best closers in the game. Aside from being known for his fastballs, he recently had to spend some mandatory time off for choking his girlfriend and firing his gun into the air. In my eyes, that’s enough to make this guy a dirtbag who shouldn’t even be playing baseball. On top of all his off the field problems, they Cubs traded away four players and their number one minor league prospect.
What does all this tell me? That the Cubs are charging toward the post season and destroying everything in their path. It’s all or nothing. And I think at this point, both the Cubs and their fans are really hoping for all. Because if they get knocked out of the post season again this year, I don’t know if they can start again from nothing.
This past June I took a trip out to Chicago for a class at The Second City. This was my second trip to the Windy City and my first where there wouldn’t be a light snow falling from the sky when I woke up in the morning. I knew I had to catch a ballgame while I was out there.
Wrigley Field is historic, and right now kinda pricey since the Cubs are the best they’ve been in years. Cubs fans, from what I’ve seen are very bro-y and Wrigleyville is like a frat house on game day. And of course, the Cubs have somewhat of a new rivalry with the Mets after the NLCS.
I have some family in Chicago and I asked my dad what team they rooted for. “They’re all Cubs fans. They’re in the northern suburbs. Your cousin said the Sox are on the South Side so they’re a little more rough around the edges.” I liked that. The Cubs were the jocks and the Sox were the bad boys of Chicago.
I always thought that the Cubs were the underdog of the city considering they haven’t won a World Series since 1918. But despite all that, they’re still the more popular team. They were the Yankees of Chicago. So my sister and I sprung for Sox tickets instead.
It only added to the appeal that the Sox cap I bought looked much better with my personal style than a large red C. It was a great match up that night too. Detroit was in town and it was like a clash of the two grittiest cities. The Sox took the field to Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N’ Roses while a highlight reel of history played on their jumbo screen. It was a good game. A slugfest. Im always impressed by teams who don’t fuck things up with runners in scoring position. They ended up losing to Detroit 11-8, but still put on a decent show.
I started writing this post a few days ago, and I figured tonight would be the perfect night to finish it. With some perfect timing, the Sox ace Chris Sale was scratched from the starting line up this evening because he allegedly cut up the Sox throwback jerseys they were set to wear for the game this evening. Lord knows what prompted this pre-game rampage, word is that he’s on the trading block which maybe he wasn’t too keen about. This certainly wouldn’t help his cause. I’m loving it though, it just seems to add to the edge and bite that the White Sox seem to be known for in Chicago. Which is easy for me to say as an admirer of the team and not a die hard fan. Surely if one of the Mets pitchers were to pull such a stunt I’d be pissed. But the Mets are already throwing their season down the drain in new and exciting ways.
Well here we are again. Half way through this glorious baseball season, and just as I predicted I have abandoned this blog completely.
But to be fair, and in an attempt to justify my laziness, the first half of the baseball season doesn’t mean shit. Unless you’re the Atlanta Braves who have fallen so far down into pit of losses that there is no return, anything could happen from the second half of July to September. So what I’m saying is, now is the time where shit gets real. If this were a reality show, this is the part where the juicy stuff starts to happen.
My beloved Mets are 6 games behind the Nationals. They just dropped 3 of 4 games to them before the all star break. I had the pleasure of going to that last game, and in a fitting sequence of events got food poisoning from something I ate at the ballpark. From what you ask? We may never really know. The amount of garbage food that I stuff in my face while at Citi Field is staggering. It was like my body reacting to Jose Reyes being the only reason the Mets scored at all that day. I’m still struggling to accept that my team brought him back right off a suspension for throwing his wife through a glass door. Every time a sports team does something like this, it’s like they spit in the face of their female fans. (That’s a topic for another day though. I could spend the rest of this post talking about the general problem with sports and domestic violence.)
The Mets are no worse off than they were this time last season. It just seems so much worse because the Nats are actually giving them a run for their money. Last season’s second half for the Mets was nothing short of an absolute miracle. They’re going to need to work that magic again if they want win the division let alone qualify for a wild card spot. It’s going to take more than Jose Reyes to do that. Mets fans have been doing the famous “Jose! Jose! Jose! Jose!” sing song chant at these games, and everyone seems to have forgotten that even without the domestic violence charges, this dude was kind of always a prick.
Same goes with Daniel Murphy. Murphy has done nothing but make the Mets pay since he went to the Nationals. He’s having a stellar year. That being said, we don’t know if that would be the case if he was still on the Mets. Some people have a hard time performing in big market cities like New York. The media is merciless here. Some players can’t perform as they normally would, or to their best abilities under that New York pressure. Sometimes its the coaching staff change that helps. A new team means a new hitting coach. There are dozens of reasons. Some Mets fans will complain saying we should have never let him go. Another issue I strongly disagree with. While Murphy definitely put on a show in the NLCS against the Cubs, let’s not forget the constant defensive errors he would make in the field. Both Cabrera and Walker have been a huge defensive upgrade for the Mets. (And neither of them have expressed their homophobia in the newspapers either)
But that’s just the way Mets fans look at their season. Nothing satisfies us. We can’t celebrate the little victories because we’re hungrier now more than ever after going to the World Series last year. I think this team may have a bit of a World Series hangover. I don’t think we’re down and out of it just yet. It wouldn’t be the Mets if they didn’t make it interesting.