October 06, 2008
As teams fall by the wayside and head home from the playoffs with dashed World Series dreams, the Stew will be there to document their expiration with The Nail in the Coffin.
First in the playoff ground are the Chicago Cubs, who marched through the season with all the bombast of a Fall Classic-bound marching band, only to turn into a small trio of a clarinet, a flute and a piccolo bound for the golf course. Despite being the National League's best team with 97 victories, their only postseason achievement was being the only squad in the field to not win one game.
Not one stinkin' game.
So it is with deep sorrow that we note the passing of the Cubs, who now enter a new life in a second century of unparalleled suckitude. In lieu of flowers, please send all donations to the Lou Piniella sanity fund and, as always, luncheon at Steve's Lounge follows the service.
The 2008 Chicago Cubs
Time of death: October 4 after 3-1 loss to Dodgers in Game 3 of the National League Division Series.
Causes: Failing to show up to playoffs after best regular season since '45; Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez extend two-year postseason slump to a combined 5-for-51; Not being built for a short series (cause submitted by Fonzie himself); Derrek Lee, Mark DeRosa and rest of infield show up to Game Two of NLDS without gloves; Curse of Eddie Vedder; Curse of Dick Stockton; Manny being Manny; That stupid "It's Gonna Happen" slogan that won't go away
PECOTA projection: 89 victories Regular season total: 97
Moments in the Sun: Cubs accept an early postseason bid on Sept. 20; Carlos Zambrano throws first Cubs' no-hitter since 1972; Kill NL Central dreams of Brewers with sweep up in Milwaukee; Rick Sutcliffe ogles Erin Andrews in made-for-TV moment; Bleacher fan records best catch this side of Reed Johnson in Washington; Controversial midseason acquistion Jim Edmonds does the impossible and gains some acceptance in Chicago; Lou Piniella drops a reference to malt liquor; Cubs-themed Flugtag team defies goat curse, flies high
Moments of Despair: Uh, THIS; Wrigleyville bozos make racial stereotyping a hot fashion trend; Fukudome redefines a balanced diet; Lou Piniella sets out for Cincinnati, ends up near Pittsburgh; Soriano bunny hops his way onto the DL; Z misses scheduled MRI for a bevy of reasons; Franchester Brennaman berates fanbase; Beer ban in Wrigleyville bars turns out to be totally unnecessary
Others remember: "There might be one or two of you waiting to hear what I have to say about the debacle we all just witnessed. Maybe not. I know after we pissed away 2003 I got 37 e-mails begging me to write. This year, not a single solitary one. I got several old-fashioned phone calls from friends who were concerned for my well-being. All these phone calls were from, of course, non-Cubs fans who don't really understand. If we do someday, in fact, Win It All, make the well-being call. If the Cubs do in fact someday win a World Series, I just may very well determine that it won't get no better than this, and decide to jump head first off of a CTA bus into a crowd of drunks. But this, we've been here before. I can deal with it." — Rob, Goat Riders of the Apocalypse, 10.06.08
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'Duk note: I'm well aware there are a few bodies from the regular season — the Mets, Marlins, etc. — that escaped a proper burial from the Stew. For those Yankees fans who keep emailing me, wanting the pleasure of also seeing last rites given to the 'Ropolitans so that you could turn around and email the Mets' nail back to the Shea fans that sent you the Yankees' nail, I apologize. So many things happened in such a short time that there just wasn't enough time in the day. I may try to do a mass burial of the teams I missed at some point, time permitting, so stay tuned.