Another 100 losses, however, is easily attainable, don’t kid yourself. The execrable
"Look, here's the thing: If you can't spot the sucker in the first half-hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.''
Who plays the sucker better than a franchise that comfortably wears any and every century mark of futility?
The Cubs appear to be marginally better this season. They still have a toxic waste dump at third base, perhaps offset by a full season of
Maybe the so-called big step is a better brand of losses.
More importantly, we need to see a better brand of trades by Epstein and General Manager
The Cubs signed
So, the Cubs open the season with Baker and
Baker was supposed to be the new
Garza, meanwhile, was supposed to be Garza, a No. 1 pitcher, at least on this team. Garza isn't an ace on a good team, but the idea was that a contender team would pay a big price. Short of a "Matt Garza MRI'' giveaway day at Wrigley, I don't know what the Cubs will get out of this guy.
In my world, Epstein and Hoyer blew it last year, waiting on trading Garza and then messing up the
They thought they traded Dempster, except they didn’t get an official OK from Dempster, who had no-trade rights. Word of the leaked out of the building at Clark and Addison. Apparently some of the stupid gas that used to leak out of that building during
Dempster said no to the
But wait. There was more. It leaked out again that they let Dempster listen to phone conversations with the Dodgers. The Dodgers didn't know Dempster was listening as they were explaining why they didn't want him. Oops, part deux.
Have Epstein and Hoyer ever done this trade thing before? We've seen the Cubs audition for amateur hour many times, but this was one of the dumbest episodes by supposedly smart guys.
And they never dealt Garza. Still haven’t. They waited and waited, and Garza got hurt last year. He came back this year and called shotgun on the disabled list for most of
Epstein and Hoyer eventually traded Maholm to the Braves for less attractive prospects than they believed they were getting in the Dempster deal. That was supposed to be Baker this season, but he’ll be out until June. Maybe
One other question: Why is
I know the lip service Epstein and the Cubs have given to each season, but it's a lot of hooey for this franchise this year, same as last year. Epstein had better change his mantra. The only thing sacred about this season is a chance to draft well and dump every older and marginal player with a blip of trade value:
Garza, Baker, Feldman, Jackson, Marmol,
That's your Cubs season right there. Those are the wins and losses that matter. It's not what the players can do on the field, it's what Epstein and Hoyer can get for them. That's the real meaning of "Go Cubs, Go.''
Epstein and Hoyer aren’t as inspiring as they seemed a year ago. They looked sloppy at times. It’s worth reminding that Epstein has never turned this kind of rebuilding into a
Epstein's Boston era, however, drafted and developed terrific players who contributed to and in some cases led those championship teams. Some of those drafting loopholes have closed. That places more importance on finding and executing deals without someone listening in.