We almost made it a whole season without too much bullshit popping up around the Cubs' unbelievable success this year.
But once that gap between the Giants and the Cubs got all but insurmountable, the dipshits started to come out of the woodwork to piss all over what should just be a fun time for everyone.
There is a GoFundMe campaign to send Steve Bartman to the Wild Card game. I'm not linking to it because it's stupid and I hope those people have heavy things fall on their heads, but Google it if you don't believe me. It's real and it's spectacularly stupid.
Nobody has even asked Steve whether he'd even want to be in the public's eye for a game of this magnitude again. How do I know that? NOBODY ASSOCIATED WITH THIS CAMPAIGN HAS TALKED TO HIM OR EVEN KNOWS WHERE HE IS BECAUSE THEY ADMIT IT RIGHT ON THE GOFUNDME PAGE:
If anyone knows where he is at, tell him we are looking for him.
HOLY SHIT, RUN AWAY, STEVE! RUN FAR AWAY! DON'T EVEN LOOK BACK!
Earlier this month, a bunch of competitive eaters ate a goat really fast to try to break the curse. I don't even have a joke for that because I don't know how you make a bunch of competitive eaters eating a 40 pound goat as a way to break a curse on a baseball team more ridiculous. Maybe if they all wore silly hats?
Goats in general nshould probably watch their backs because this isn't the first time one has been killed in a quest to get the Cubs a World Series. A couple years ago someone sent a goat head to Tom Ricketts' house.
Another time a bunch of guys forced a goat to walk with them from Arizona to Chicago. How this was supposed to help the curse is anyone's guess, but at least these people raised some money for Cancer Research and the goat lived (as far as I know).
Meanwhile the team itself jumped into these shenanigans when Crane Kenney brought a Greek Orthodox priest in to bless the damn dugouts in 2008. And then lied about how it went down.
So everyone just stop it. Stop it stop it stop it stop it stop it stop it. STOP. IT.
This Cubs team isn't the 1945 team with the goat. It isn't the 1969 team with the black cat. It isn't the 1984 team with Leon Durham pulling a Buckner before it was called that. It isn't the 1989 or 1998 or 2003 or 2007 or 2008 teams either. Do you see a pattern here? None of that past shit matters. None of it.
Look, I've been guilty of being a pessimist about the Cubs as much as anyone. I've always waited for the other shoe to drop or, more likely, for the anvil to fall on my head. This is because for the bulk of my life the Cubs have always been Wile E. Coyote in pursuit of the Road Runner. All those playoff appearances were just when the coyote's Acme rocket was almost good enough before failing spectacularly and hilariously. The other seasons were the ones where the coyote never got two feet before the giant boulder fell off the catapult onto his head. But it was all flawed because the coyote kept going back to Acme over and over and deep down we knew we weren't going to catch that fucking roadrunner because Acme sucks.
But this is not the Cubs you grew up with. No matter how much the Nick Vlahoses of the world want to keep yelling how the Cubs need to prove it's different by winning a World Series, this team is different.
This team didn't get a Build-Your-Own-World-Series-Team Kit from Acme.
This team was built with a purpose, and that purpose is to reach the post-season multiple times. The team was built to have long-term assets and not short-term expensive assets that may (Andre Dawson) or may not (George Bell) work out. This team was built with an organizational philosophy that is consistent at all the levels of development. There is no more Corey Patterson racing through the minors as a middle-of-the-order run producer and then reaching the majors and being shoe-horned into the lead-off position. There is no more variation in instruction on fundamentals depending on who the coach is at what level.
This team is built on a combination of scouting and statistical analysis that the Cubs organization has never seen, and I'm not just talking about the stats part. The Cubs completely rebuilt and re-organized their scouting department so Theo and Jed could have as much information as possible when making decisions. The Cubs have never ever done that.
So this is different. And it's just the beginning. And it has nothing to do with goats, black cats, curses or some poor guy who happened to touch a ball that was out of play.
And if they lose in the Wild Card game this year, nothing changes that. It doesn't suddenly mean the Cubs' processes are wrong. It doesn't mean that the current Cubs players "don't have what it takes." It doesn't mean that there are mystical forces at work that will never allow the Cubs to win a World Series. It just means it won't happen this year. And that's OK because Theo and Jed and their team of Super Friends in the front office aren't going anywhere. The talent in the front office is as impressive as the playing talent that now populates every level of the Cubs system.
Guys like Jason McLeod and Shiraz Rehman would be on short lists of many baseball teams needing GMs, but they're staying.
For crying out loud, Tim Wilken, who was highly respected around baseball and was considered to be a huge get for the Tribune Era Cubs, is now listed on the Cubs site as a Special Assistant to the President/General Manager between Kerry Wood and Ted Lilly. This would be like if the Cubs had a three-time All-Star shortstop that was suddenly squeezed into being a role-playing utility middle infielder… wait…
So put your butcher tools down and leave the goats alone. Just enjoy the ride. The players sure are.
And for the love of God, please let Steve Bartman be.