It's the only thing missing from 2012.
To me at least, numbers and winning are of course a HUGE part of baseball's allure.
But I like to like the team, too.
I've been struggling for months to just...talk about the team.
I mean, you don't come here to learn stuff, I don't think - every time I try to make a point with numbers I get the math wrong.
I'm just a beer drinking slob who likes the Cubs.
I think most people that come here are looking for a laugh or to share an emotional connection with the team.
That's why this season can't get here fast enough.
I hardly know anybody on the team, really.
And the guys I know are the guys who are on the outs.
Would I like to see Alfonso get traded?
But on the other hand, about a month ago I'm out by the grill listening to the Score or ESPN, and it's late so they have some B-team guys talking, and they were just such collosal dicks I couldn't believe my ears.
I recorded it.
These guys are mad that Kerry Wood might be in the broadcast booth some day, which... do you care if he is or not?
Here's the quote, my favorite line is in bold.
GUY 1: ... he shows up in a broadcast booth and flips on a microphone and Cub fans go crazy no matter what he's doing. For the rest of his damn life!
GUY 2: He's already made 70 million dollars.
GUY 1: Du...yeah! And now he can make another 70 mil...fuh...whatever you know from 35 until 90 if he wants to. Just doin' NOTHIN'! Showin' up and talking baseball. Doesn't even have to pay attention to the team.
GUY 2: (unintelligible)
GUY 1: Cause Cub fans eat this crap up.
I know, I shouldn't get riled about the B-team on radio sports talk, especially since it's so about nothing.
But the reason I started to record it is because before they got to this part, they were talking about Kerry Wood as a "Cubs mascot", and that any single pitch he takes away from a prospect is just time wasted between now and a World Series.
I want the Cubs to win a World Series more than most people, but these smug pricks coming out of the woodwork using "Cub fan" as a derogatory term while acting like they're the new guard just rub me the wrong way.
I like Kerry Wood. I always have. I know he's past his prime. I know he's close to Jim Hendry. I know all that.
But I also think if I'm one of the kids on the Cubs and I get to watch and talk to Kerry Wood, I'm going to learn something.
And stupid or not, I also like Kerry Wood because I know him.
I know his long story because I am a Cub Fan, and I'd give a hundred bucks to see one of those sports talk guys call Kerry Wood a "mascot" to his face.
Anyway, that's all just ranting.
The point is, the sooner this team gets on the field, the sooner you and I can begin to get to know them.
To care about them. To know their interesting weirdness, like Reed Johnson's beard. And to watch them grow and perform and live up to all the promise they show(ed) as a prospect.
I cannot wait for Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo and Steve Clevenger (or Wellington Castillo) to get here.
Changes are going to have to happen to see them, and that's good.
How cool would it be if Ian Stewart actually becomes the second 3rd baseman in a row to stick?
It is incredible that we're around to watch Starlin Castro learn the game while amazing us with his bat and glove.
I feel like I'm on Cubs training wheels.
I'm dying to make the emotional connection with these new Cubs that I've had in the past, and that'll only come from watching them play.
In the mean time, I'm going to also be pulling for guys like Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood and Reed Johnson and anybody who deserves a little respect even if they were part of the old regime.
(sorry if anybody got mad at my use of foul language)