In the words of legendary broadcaster Jack Brickhouse (when asked about the Chicago Cubs championship drought): "Anyone can have a bad century."
Well that century 'ole Jack was referring to, ended 2 years ago. In year one of the second century the Cubs had a so-so year (83-78). Bad by Cubs standards but nonetheless it was a winning record. So 2010 kicks off year 2 of century 2 for the Cubs.
But to be honest, the Cubs 101 year championship drought is not my biggest curiosity. We all know how difficult it is (in any sport) to win a championship. My biggest curiosity with the Cubs is that they haven't even won a PENNANT since 1945-- 65 years and counting. Now that's inexcusable.
With the exception of 3 expansion teams: The Texas Rangers (est. 1961); The Seattle Mariners (est. 1977) and the Washington Nationals (est. 1969)-- these 3 teams are the only teams who have never won a pennant-- every other major league team has won at least one pennant in the last 30 years (never mind 65 years)-- except the Cubs.
In other words, 26 out of the 30 teams have gotten it done in the last 30 years (even the Pittsburgh Pirates - 1979 World Champions). Although I'm not excusing the Rangers, Mariners and Nationals futility (it's time for them to get it done also)-- but they are infants compared to the Cubs (est. 1876).
Even the Boston Red Sox (2004, 2007 champions) when they were battling their funk were at least winning a pennant (1946, 1967, 1975, 1986) every 15-20 years or so. Other teams thirsting for a championship-- the Milwaukee Brewers (1982); the Houston Astros (2005); the San Diego Padres (1984, 1998); the Colorado Rockies (2007)-- have all won pennants in the last 30 years.
We can blame the "billy goat" all we want, we can run Steve Bartman (or whatever his name was) out of town all we want, but at the end of the day, 65 years is inexcusable. Their pennant drought is longer than the next two team's championship droughts-- Cleveland Indians (62 years); San Francisco Giants (56 years). But at least the Indians (1995, 1997) and the Giants (1962, 1989, 2002) win pennants.
My message to manager Lou Piniella, Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly and company:
If ya'll want to win a championship, these guys (above, below) were the last to do it in Cubs Nation-- take a good look at them-- I mean, they are kinda old so don't expect any of them to walk in through the door and do it for ya. It's time to get it done!
Anyway, I just wanted to debunk this whole 100 year thing with the Cubs. Personally I find 65 years more troubling than 102 years. In order for them to break their 102 year funk, they first have to worry about their 65 year funk. I mean, all the fans who were born the last time they won a PENNANT are set to retire this year. My goodness, the Tampa Bay Rays were born yesterday and they already have a pennant (2008) under their belt.
As a baseball fan all I want is for the Cubs to at least win the pennant (just win the pennant)-- then we'll take it from there.
The above photos are believed to be part of the public domain
Stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com