Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Via Chicago

I think I say this every year, but that's because it's true: I never see the Mets play the Cubs. I haven't seen a Mets/Cubs game live since 2010, which is longer than any other NL team, and since the Mets seem to only play these night game/day game 2-game series in Chicago every year, and they usually fall when I'm busy with something else, I haven't seen the Mets play in Chicago since probably 2006. Maybe longer. Last night was no different; a work event kept me out all night, so I missed the Mets slog around and lose to the Cubs 4-3. Based on what I've read, I missed a couple of academic Mets Home Runs late in the game after Jacob deGrom didn't have his best stuff, which is becoming a bit of an on-the-road problem for him.

I mentioned yesterday that the Cubs are sort of built in a similar mold to the Mets: a few reclamation projects that worked out, one hotshot Free Agent and a bunch of young stars that people are fawning and drooling over. I know that the Mets are sort of starting to get a little ink based on their strong start, but it seems like the Cubs have been getting this kind of attention for months now. Like the Mets, the Cubs slogged through a bunch of down years while they rebuilt. Unlike the Mets, they rebuilt their team around a bunch of young sluggers as opposed to pitching. Hitters tend to get more press than pitchers, so I suppose it makes sense that everyone's on the Cubs' jocks. You look at Anthony Rizzo, and Starlin Castro, and Jorge Soler, and Addison Russell, and Kris Bryant and think these guys are going to ride that wave and finally end that century's old World Series drought. If you've been reading this blog at all, you know how I feel about teams and players that get a little too much ink without having actually accomplished everything, and so the Cubs are right on the verge of making me want to vomit.

Cubs fans are just as culpable for generating this kind of sentiment. Usually, when you have a team as moribund as the Cubs have been for decades, you sort of want to root for them to have some degree of success. But when they've made the playoffs, I've repeatedly found myself rooting against them and enjoying when they lose. And I think it's because their fans just don't seem to have any sort of a filter. I've never been to Chicago, but I have this feeling that these people walk around sniffing their own underwear and thumbing their nose at the White Sox (last World Series Championship: 2005) and generally not showing any particular self-awareness. A good example would be this instance, when I was taunted by a nebbishy Cubs fan on the 7 train on the way to a Mets/Cubs game. The Cubs didn't win the World Series in 2008, and since then, they haven't been back to the playoffs and seem to have been just as bad as the Mets since that time. But the Cubs fan seems to know no humility; rather than approaching this season with tempered hope knowing that they still need a lot to go right in order to reach the goal, they're already bouncing off the walls and every time Kris Bryant picks his nose or Ratso Rizzo grabs his crotch, they have a giant, collective orgasm.

It doesn't help matters that even when the Cubs were bad, the Mets have had this Wrigley Field thing. They got swept there last year, I think they got swept in 2013, and probably 2012, 2011 and 2009 as well. So not only do they blow through town like a sailor on leave, they don't seem to have much in the way of success there either. I don't know if watching any of these games would help the Mets cause, but maybe tonight's Major League debut of Noah Syndergaard will help to turn the tide a little bit. For once, I don't have any particular plans so I'll actually get to see a live Mets/Cubs game from what's apparently become Stepford Wrigley Field, where renovations to this 103-year old cave of a ballpark have dragged out into the regular season and feature the additions of such modern marvels like a digital scoreboard. How quaint. Apparently half the Outfield seats were open for the first time all season last night and the Cubs Bleacher Bums were out there wearing their underwear outside their pants and blowing kazoos all night. I'm sure the atmosphere will be similar tonight.

No comments: