The Chicago Cubs had the best record—103 wins, 58 losses—in major league baseball this season. They won the NL Central by a ridiculous 17.5 games over the butt St. Louis Cardinals. They outscored their opponents by a whopping 252 runs. And I never watched them even once! Here’s why you should root for them in the playoffs.
Good question! They are ... some baseball men ... who do baseball ... in Chicago. I think they have Jake Arrieta? Is he still good? Baseball Reference says he was pretty good this season. For the purpose of this internet blog post, let’s say he’s the key to defeating the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs. You really gotta chase Arrieta if you’re gonna beat those Cubs!
When I was a kid, all the kids I hated—the wholesome, well-adjusted whites with freckles and dimples and two parents and matching socks and comfortable smiles and names like “Jake Jorkins”—wanted to be notable wholesome-looking Chicago Cubs Ryne Sandberg and Mark Grace, and wore Cubs hats all the time. Also, when I was a little older but still a kid, I resented the Cubs for having a cable channel—WGN—that showed Cubs games and local Chicago news in my hometown, like the D.C. suburbs were some colony of Chicago. Like we were supposed to be grateful for the privilege of being allowed to watch Cubs games. This has instilled in me a persistent idea of the Cubs as the team of smarmy frontrunners, like Duke basketball but for baseball, even though they have not won a World Series since 1908 and have mostly been a trash organization full of mediocre bozos my whole life. The most exciting Cubs player of my lifetime was Carlos Zambrano. Sammy Sosa was a cheeseball and a dork. The Cubs aren’t even the coolest baseball franchise in the city of Chicago.
The whole thing with the Cubs is their function is as a vessel for self-congratulation. Oh, they play happy afternoon games in their respectable Captain America-looking uniform colors at their cutesy Quirk Temple of a ballfield filled with joyful scrappy drunkards and are the lovable losers! I like the Cubbies, because I am in it for the good wholesome fun. That is who the Cubs are. They are The Good Wholesome Fun. Nominally they are longtime rivals of the St. Louis Cardinals, but in actual fact the Cardinals have been doing them a great favor for a very long time: Only because of the Cardinals are the Cubs not the most despicable team in all the National League.
Third baseman Kris Bryant is extremely good, I think. He’s sort of like Mike Trout, in that he does lots of impressive stuff that I never see on TV because I don’t watch his team. Tall guy. Real tall. Man, he sure is good at the baseball! Here is a very impressive video of him bashing a dinger extremely far, which I found on YouTube by searching “Kris Bryant home run”:
You know who else bashed dingers extremely far? Vladimir Guerrero. He did not play for the Cubs, and he was not a third baseman, but I know who he is. He ruled.
The Cubs “have” Kyle Schwarber, a fun strong home-run chub who mashes magnificent taters, but he only played two games this season before his leg fell off, so you don’t need to know about him. If you are watching the playoffs in a bar with strangers and the Cubs lose, you can say, “I bet they would have had some more runs if [consults smudged ink on sweaty palm] Karl Schwimmer had cranked a six-point hog at some point!” and then everybody will know you are a savvy baseball watcher who definitely knows for sure which Cubs players are injured.
Baseball Reference says the Cubs also have Anthony Rizzo. Eyyyyyyy, I’m Anthony Rizzo, fuhgeddaboutit! Gabagool! I don’t know anything about Anthony Rizzo.
Jason Heyward stinks because he’s too tall, and St. Louis Cardinals fans hate him. That’s all I got.
The St. Louis Cardinals finished 17.5 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central and missed the playoffs altogether. So, in one sense, the Cubs do not have to beat the Cardinals. In another sense, they already did.
John Lackey’s chin is ... it’s a lot. I’m almost positive he’s on the Cubs.
This blog is over!