As I waited for the final out in yesterday’s game against the Giants, I couldn’t help but get misty and weepy eyed when Len Kasper cheered, “Cubs win! Four in a row!” Yup folks, the Cubs are playing .500 ball. The Cubs my friends, are winners. So, let’s switch it over to Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks and his thoughts:
Ok, now that everyone has gotten their tissue in hand and checked their calendar for validity; it is still March. This is real and in a few weeks we’ll start all over again. Just so you know.
They played against the Giants Former World Series champions, and some folks feel are still that championship calibre team. I don’t. They’re still very good, but not the same team. Yet, the Cubs did something yesterday that eluded them for much of last season and that was to come from behind in the late innings.
“They’re a great team to work against, a former world championship team,” Jeff Samardzija said. “They come with a plan, a lot of smart players who have played together for a long time. You really get tested on days like this. I thought it went excellent. I gave up a couple runs, and singles that score runs, you can live with that.”
The Cubs are four games out of first in the Cactus League. They’re capitalizing on other team’s errors and showing their mettle with the young players. It’s only practice but what the Cubs are doing is really playing smart ball. Amid trade rumours with Jeff Samardzija, the Cubs are soldiering on which is the way it should be. I don’t think The Shark is going anywhere as long as he’s winning, and he shouldn’t. Jeff’s earned the right to lead the rotation and help bring a World Series to the long suffering fans of the North Side(check Wikepedia again)
“I’m not about to come in and say my mind’s shaken because of this or that — it’s not going to happen,” he said. “I’m going to go out and do my job. If I win, I win because I did that, and if I don’t win, it’s because I don’t perform up to the task. That’s how I look at it. I’m a very practical guy and it’s black and white for me. Right now I’m wearing a Cubs uniform and that’s how I’m approaching it.”
We live in an era where there’s no loyalty in team sports, but somehow I truly believe that Samardzija wants to stay a Cub. There’s a certain familiarity to seeing that leader go to the mound on Opening Day and start fresh. It’s a new season and new expectations.
We talk about commitment and changing a team’s culture. Stability is the key. If Samardzija is having a tough season, make him happy and he’ll do great things for the club. Baseball’s funny that way.
In real life it’s all about us working Joe stiffs at the water coolers and the lunch rooms complaining about salaries, price of tickets and $200 jerseys.
Man, I wish I could hit a 95 MPH fastball off a guy named Shark.