Cubs will try to forget that first one; For fans, it will linger
today at 7:36 am
Wow. That first game was a rough one.
The one starter everyone feels confident in, fell on his face. The bullpen performed down to our worst fears. The offense looked an awful lot like the playoff offense.
It was cold. It was windy. It’s only 1 of a 162. You know the excuses/reasons.
The Cubs will certainly embrace that mindset and look to reset beginning this afternoon. They may even pull it off. They are facing the Pirates after all.
For fans, who’ve seen that exact story play out too many times since 2016, Thursday’s performance will be a little more difficult to shake off.
Athletes are rewarded for having short memories, fans are not. In the era of online discourse, quite the opposite is true. Repeating history makes for easy clickbait. The “I told you so” narrative comes out in force across comment sections and forums. The athletes and organization become easy fodder.
We don’t need to see more to know the Cubs roster is still flawed. But I will say we need to see more to know just how extensive the overhaul needs to be.
Because of the Cubs recent past, and current state, changes are coming. Regardless of which players are traded and which, if any, get an extension, the Cubs will have to shake up the mix on the roster before next year. The organization put it off, hesitant to do it willingly, but their hand will soon be forced.
Retool or more expansive rebuild, the Cubs do have good players who could still be a part of a winning team, and they have the payroll flexibility to add veteran talent in the coming years. The farm system is improving, and any influx of prospects from mid-season trades will only strengthen it more.
Theo couldn’t have asked for a better representation to hold up as an example of aesthetically displeasing, bad, modern baseball. Even with some action on the basepaths, the game was boring, and very difficult to watch. And I would be saying the same thing even if the resulting score was reversed.
Endless walks, strikeouts, mid-inning pitching changes, etc. Even if the game would have ended in three rather than four hours, the pace of play was terrible. It was just as boring at the hour in as it was at the two and three hour marks. If it hadn’t been Opening Day, I think far more people would have turned it off in the 5th. Some segment probably did anyway. More likely did so when an afternoon game extended into the early evening.
Don’t tell me baseball doesn’t have a problem. I’m a “real” fan, which is a meaningless term, but whatever arbitrary definition you assign to it, I assure you, I meet it… and I loathed the way that game was played.
Games like that used to be easy to write off from a fan perspective. Just 1 of 162, if you will.
The issue for baseball is, games like that are no longer once every couple of weeks. Games like that are now play out multiple times per week, and even more importantly, multiple times per playoff series.
I don’t know what the solution is. I do know baseball has a problem. I don’t envy the task Theo has ahead of him.
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