I went to the game last night to see the big Cingrani vs. Garza matchup that, while not exactly the pitching porn of a Verlander vs. Darvish or Wainwright vs. Kershaw matchup, I had hoped it would be at least a Cinemax softcore pitching porn display. Unfortunately, it ended up being more of a pitching snuff film from the Cubs side as Garza got bound, whipped, and violated repeatedly by the Reds' bats. (I don't have a good analogy for Cingrani's performance that allowed a HR to Cody Ransom. I attempted a self-taken dick pic analogy that wasn't crossing the line from disturbing to funny, so we'll just leave it at that.)
What I'm trying to say is that the game sucked. Barney had a couple of really nice defensive plays that actually saved Garza from getting pounded in the 5th instead of the 6th, but that's about it. The plate appearances generally sucked. In the 3rd inning I noticed that Cingrani ended the inning with 31 pitches while Garza was over 60. The Cubs made 4 errors and came dangerously close to a couple more. Scott Hairston is awful. Garza, of course, fell down while fielding a bunt. If the game were a sound, it would be this:
Now, all of that being said, Harry Pav and I sat there for the whole game taking in the awfulness. God bless Harry, he actually kept score of the whole game. To me that seems like it would be like taking detailed notes of your own root canal, but he stuck with it.
As the game result became more evident as the night wore on, the crowd started thinning as it tends to do when the Cubs treat their fans to a shit show like that. Most of the crowd stuck it out until the 7th inning stretch for reasons passing understanding because it featured Arsenio Hall for some reason. But nevertheless, most fans sang along, some did a few dogpound woofs (though thankfully these people were an extreme minority) and then the mass exodus began. More people left after the Cubs did nothing in the bottom of the 7th. By the time the 9th rolled around, maybe 20% of the crowd remained.
At this point, Cody Ransom made his third error of the night and a young man in a Theriot shirsey a few rows ahead of us jumped up, declared, "I can't take any more of this shit," angrily tossed his Lemon Chill cup to the ground and gathered his friends to leave. Harry and I couldn't stop laughing. It was 12-2 in the 9th, the Cubs were about to fall to 12 under .500 and 16 games back in the division and THAT was what got Theriot Fan all pissed off? This is a guy who presumably went out and spent actual money on the shirsy of a player who personifies awful baseball, but Cody Ransom's third error in an unwinnable game suddenly made him lose his shit and storm out.
It got me to wondering where our breaking point is.
I think we all knew this would be ugly, but the idea of a god-forsaken awful team in the middle of a rebuild is a bit different when you are watching it every day. MB has talked about his lack of interest in the major league team. Josh barely ever summons the Hope Monster, AC, B and I hardly even make appearances on our own blog anymore (and by the way, GW, sitrick and Myles have been doing a great job and I'm thrilled they have found the energy to contribute).
We're also seeing an effect in the comments. Ryno, when he shows up, pretty much only talks about the football draft. MO, Melissa, Mish and I'm sure a few other former regulars have pretty much dropped off the face of our little world here. Hell, we don't even get Dick Cheese around to troll us anymore.
The Cubs announced 30,000+ last night but I doubt there was more than 20,000 there and 15,000 wouldn't surprise me. The ratings on TV have to be awful. This team is just bad, it isn't even fun bad and there aren't even any good villains. People have gotten tired of dumping on Soriano and he's not the biggest problem anymore. Castro is starting to get it, but nobody really cares enough to vociferously boo him like they did Soriano or Ramirez or Lee. Ryan Sweeney, Cody Ransom, Scott Hairston? The Cubs are not a who's who so much as a who cares (I can't remember who used it at a roast, but I've always liked the line).
The biggest news of the week in Cubs world involves a AAA back-up third baseman bitching the Cubs out on Twitter.
I know MB says it doesn't matter if Baez reaches the majors this year or next year, but it kind of does. I like to think of myself as a fairly reasonable and knowledgeable Cubs fan. Remember, I'm the one who was expecting another 100 losses this year, so my expectations are pretty fucking low and they are still managing to underwhelm me repeatedly. I need… something.
Take Scott Hairston… please. But seriously, I liked that signing. Not because I thought Hairston would hit 30 HRs or bat .300. I thought he'd provide a nice right side of a platoon with Schierholz. He could bat .250 or so with a little pop. You know, be somewhat useful. But no, he sucks. He's fucking terrible. He's been worth -.6 rWAR in just 92 plate appearances with an 82% platoon advantage ratio. That's by far the highest percentage of lefties he has ever faced in his career so his career .808 OPS vs. lefties should make him a nice piece. But he's having such a bad year, I'd be satisfied with the .702 OPS he's posted in his career against righties instead of the current .572 OPS he is sporting so far (it's lower now because he just struck out again).
Kevin fucking Gregg is the best part of the bullpen right now. KEVIN GREGG! That's a storyline that would be rejected by any writer for simply being so implausible that nobody would buy it.
Don't we have to have something? In theory, we don't need Baez or Soler or whoever to get here in the next season or two, but holy hell our sanity probably does. A good deal of the pre-draft talk around here revolved around a consensus choice for the Cubs to get Appel simply because he'd be a part of the rotation sooner. We're craving something on the major league level and we're getting constant servings of Luis Valbuena being one of the best performers on the team right now. Luis. Valbuena.
So where is our breaking point? And what is the breaking point? If disinterest is an indication, most of us have already reached our breaking point. If it's slamming our frosty dessert cup to the ground and storming off, I haven't gotten there yet, but a lot of fans have.
And what do we do when we get to that point where we just can't fucking take one more minute of this shit? Do we just give up baseball? Say fuck it and buy a Cardinals hat? A Yankees hat?
I don't know. I just don't know. And what's worse is I'm starting to not even care all that much.