It’s no longer the baseball preseason. Time to get your ass fired up for the regular fall season of America’s Pastime. Read all our playoff team previews here. Today, you’re getting to know … THE CHICAGO CUBS.
Who are the Cubs?
The Cubs are, spiritually speaking, the only possible team that could go 97-65 and still end up third in their own division without it surprising you at all. Meanwhile, the drunken North Side dudebros who cheer this team on make this the ONE fanbase out there for whom the prospect of temporarily limited bathroom availability represents a true crisis. WHERE DO I PISS? OH DEAR GOD WHERE DO I PISS?! (pisses on a nearby dog)
What guys should you know?
Pitcher Jake Arrieta is a guy! He’s 21-6 with a 1.82 ERA this season, which sounds pretty fucking awesome. He’s 10-0 with an 0.44 ERA since the beginning of August! If I know the Cubs, I know they will try to ride this poor man like a pack mule, have him throw 200 pitches in the play-in game, and somehow compromise both their playoff run and his career in the process.
Also, rookie slugger Kris Bryant is a guy! The Cubs held him down in the minors earlier this season just to squeeze an extra year of service out of him before he can become eligible as a free agent, but it turned out to not be all that big a deal. Cubs fans dream about him and first baseman Anthony Rizzo hitting 30 dingers apiece for the next 15 years; probably they’ll both fall in open manhole covers.
Since we all know some shitty hitter will come up in a tight spot for them in the playoffs and fuck it all up, be sure to make note of backup catcher David Ross, a vaunted leader of men who’s hit .179 in 156 at-bats. That’s probably the guy about whom you will bellow, “WHO THE FUCK IS THIS GUY AND WHY IS HE PINCH HITTING?!”
A GIF of a Cubs fan
Can they beat the Cardinals?
BAHAHAHAHAHA LIKE THAT IDEA COULD EVER SERIOUSLY BE ENTERTAINED. These are the Cubs, which means they’ll be LUCKY if they make it deep enough to get blown to pieces by their Gosh Brigade rivals down south.
Who has the best baseball chin?
That would be reliever Fernando Rodney.
Fine baseball chin.
Why you should root for the Cubs
I spent three years of my childhood living a few blocks from Wrigley Field, and so I’m biased here when I say I think that the Cubs—despite their historic run of futility and their fans’ cutesy love affair WITH that futility—are infinitely more charming than the Red Sox, and always have been. There is no Shank in Chicago. No Simmons. No Affleck. Half of comedian Twitter does not cheer for them. The percentage of dirty stubble at Cubs games is a good 15 percent less than that at Fenway. Bill Murray likes the Cubs, man.
The rest of the Deadspin staff do not share my opinion about the Cubs. They find them gross and obnoxious and only slightly less precious than the Cardinals. And given that Mike Wilbon, who sucks, cheers for this team, I can’t argue against that viewpoint.
BUT … as a neutral observer, the 2003 baseball playoffs were fucking incredible, and would have been that much MORE incredible if the Cubs had won it all. I would much prefer to see a historically downtrodden team like the Cubs or even the Mets get over the hump than spend another goddamn fall watching the goddamn Cardinals wipe their smarmy goddamn taint all over everything. Deep down, I will always root for the cliché. There’s no way I’m gonna cheer when Steve Bartman goes up to grab that ball and the boring-ass Marlins end up profiting from it. I want history. I want the Cubs to finally Do It. Only then will it be time to turn on them for good.
Photos via Getty