Leading up to the start of the 2009 Regular Season, Diamond Hoggers will preview each of MLB’s 30 teams. Today’s team is the Chicago Cubs. Stay tuned as Diamond Hoggers will preview every team division by division until the start of the regular season.
The Chicago Cubs enter 2009 entirely loaded and primed for a World Series run. You should see an abundance of trendy picks for the Cubs to represent the National League in the World Series and many baseball traditionalists will act like it is some kind of given birthright that the boys from Waveland and Sheffield Ave end up playing for that beautiful trophy.
But you aren’t going to see as many as you might expect. Every year you see less of that. You wanna know why? Because everyone knows that the Cubs will unevitably find a way to choke it away. They are the antithesis of ‘jinx’. They are almost as cursed as the Cleveland Browns franchise. They can get to the new neighborhood of success, they can even bring their moving boxes to the doorsteps; but just as they’re ready to answer that ring of the doorbell and receive their welcome cakes and brownies they’re asked to leave because they fuck it up.
They have the best pitching staff on paper in the National League perhaps. They might have lost Kerry Wood but they added Aaron Heilman, who would be a nice addition to about 30 other teams. Jeff Samardzija looks to be a guy who will be a longtime effective bullpen arm in the mold of a Turk Wendell. They also added fireballer Kevin Gregg. Carlos Marmol is as nasty as a pitcher can be. Then when talking starters you’ve got Carlos Zambrano in his prime, Rich Harden, Ryan Dempster, Sean Marshall, and a promising youngster named Chad Gaudin.
It’s the same old core guys in the lineup. They mix power with scrap with the best of em’. Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez will play in 155 games and put up numbers like they always do. Alfonso Soriano could still have a huge year. Mike Fontenot and Ryan Theriot bring the ‘scrap’ we mentioned. They added a guy in Aaron Miles that was born to play in the NL Central division. Geovany Soto may soon be the finest backstop in the league, coming off a Rookie of the Year award.
Where you might really see the thunder in the lineup comes from the outfield. One is a new addition, Milton Bradley. Bradley is coming off a career year in Texas where everything finally seemed to click and he realized that amazing potential that teams have been trying to tap since he was an Expos farm hand. Bradley has the potential to put up big time numbers this summer in Wrigley if he can stay healthy. We also think you can expect big things from the over rated but talented Kosuke Fukudome. He didn’t do all that much in his ‘rookie’ season last year. This season he is going to bring it and we predict he’ll hit .300 with twice as many homers and near 100 RBI. He’ll become the centerpiece of the Cubbie lineup.
And one more thing about the Cubs that maybe you will know what we’re talking about. Have you ever noticed that the Cubs very large fan base contains every stoner who has ever walked the earth? Why is that? If a person is partial to pot, they’re most likely a Cubbies fan! Doesn’t matter their age, doesn’t matter their background. If they own a one hitter then they own a blue Cubbies hat! They might not know the players, they might still think that Jim Riggleman is the skipper, but God damnit if they don’t support the Cubs!
For instance, our high school baseball coach. Not an outright dope guy, but he was a little squirrely. Definitely tried pot in his college days. He loved the Cubs and loved Sammy! Old freshman college teammate who was a closet stoner, sure enough; he loved his Cubs. Several guys in our fraternity could give two shits about baseball but when the season rolled around they’d smoke a bowl with the Cubs game on in the background! Former roomate from the Chi, he loved his Cubs loyally. He also usually had a dime bag on him!
If you are a Cubs fan and you are reading this, you know you’ve tried it! It’s okay. So fire up your mini ‘one-ie’ and day dream about how it will end in tragedy for your Cubbies in 2009. Should be a good time, mayn.