For the first time since 1993, the Chicago Cubs finished in a 1-1 tie against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It won’t be made up due to the amount of time left in the season.
So, I want to talk about the other night a bit. We know Jake Arrieta was a little bit upset not knowing there’d be a catching change. There were arguments that it felt like a spring training game but you know, I disagree. The Cubs have the best record in baseball with 101 wins. Everything’s guaranteed except the wins in the playoffs. Home field advantage through the NLCS? Check. So putting in non starters and experimenting a bit should be all good, right?
“Going into the game, I was really unaware we were going to go with a catching change,” Arrieta said.
Well Jake, you probably weren’t listening at the meeting or Maddon’s message did’t get through the beard. Arrieta’s Cy Young season was last year, not this season. Sure, he’s still having a great season–By mere mortal standards–but this is Jake “Freakin” Arrieta and we kind of expected him to continue with the run he had in 2015. The game on Wednesday was a terrible game for Jake. He didn’t have his stuff and was rocked in the first inning.
Every pitcher throws a bad game now and then. Get over it and move on. In fact, I think it’s smart that they put Willson Contreras in to play because next week he’s a going to get his first taste of post season action and he’d better be ready to play, there’s no do overs in October.
“They all knew what was going to happen before that game,” Maddon said Thursday afternoon. “There were no surprises. And there’s been no surprises.”
Ok, so to weigh in on the Epstein extension, he’s got his work cut out for him. This year is probably going to be the peak year in his tenure. The next five years are going to prove difficult.
How does he negotiate contracts for players like Kyle Hendricks and Javier Baez? They’re going to want their cut and market value. There’s no denying that this season has been a special one for the North Siders but nothing’s going to last forever regardless if a guy like Theo Epstein is at the helm of one of baseball’s most iconic franchises. It would be nice if Hendricks turns in a Greg Maddux style career with the Cubs. It would be fitting if Anthony Rizzo becomes the face of a team just like Derek Jeter playing with the New York Yankees and I would love to see Kris Bryant‘s number waving out to the Lakes years from now when I’m old and grey, a stiff breeze rocking my joints when my son takes me out to Wrigley in an April home opener and as they call out the player introductions, my son yells in my ear, “Dad! Dad!” as I fumble with my hearing aids and cursing “Today’s” players. There’ll never be another guy like Bryant, you remember his MVP 2016 season?
The best part about baseball is the worst part. It brings us back to our childhood. A moment where time is limitless until years from now when we see our memories in marble halls and think the glory days were just last year. Children live for today. No tomorrow. Enjoy it, Chicago Cubs. 2016 is your childhood.