Monday, August 29, 2005

The Chicago Mets

I feel whiney today.

Before the baseball season started last year (2004), all that the media could talk about around here was that the Chicago Cubs were going to be dominant. I mean, never in the history of baseball had such a great team been assembled. It reminded me of what I would consider the "golden years" of baseball, the decade of the 1980s. The media fawned over the the Mets as the "greatest team" of that generation.

Any God-fearing Cardinals fan hated the Mets. With a passion. They were cocky and un-gentlemanly. They thought their s--- didn't stink, but we could smell it clear over in St. Louis.

Let's look at the facts:
1980s St. Louis Cardinals: 3 Eastern Division Titles, 3 National League Pennants, 1 World Series Championship.

1980s New York Mets: 2 Eastern Division Titles, 1 National League Pennant, 1 World Series Championship (and that number would be a big fat zero if it weren't for a gag-it-up Red Sox team coming from ahead in game 6).

And yet, in my opinion, most baseball fans, when asked about the 1980s, will remember the Mets as the best team of that era. Mostly based on one year, 1986. They are a media creation.

My point is this. This generation's Mets are the Cubs and their reputation- a complete media creation. And they're also cocky and un-gentlemanly. That's what made beating up on them last year so much fun.

Even if the Cardinals miraculously pull out a World Series win this year, most of the media will still fawn over the Chicago Cubs next spring training. How they have dominating talent on the pitching staff. How they have been the victims of injury and that the past two years of mediocrity have been flukes.

But maybe 2003 was the fluke. Maybe the Cubs played way over their heads that year. Maybe Kerry Wood isn't the second coming of Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens. Maybe Mark Prior is a good pitcher but doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame yet. Maybe Dusty Baker isn't a managerial genius who wins wherever he goes.

The Cubs and their fans I believe are the victims of the media-hype-machine. They are just not that good. This is the same machine that inhabits Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and covers the University there. Their sports teams are always on the cusp of greatness, yet never win championships, either.

Why do I care? I don't know. The Cubs are 20 games behind the Cardinals. I guess I should just let it go. But I obviously haven't let it go about the Mets inferior record after almost 2 decades, so I doubt I can let this go. I just pray the Cardinals win another championship before the Cubs. Otherwise I'll scream.

Okay, I feel better now.


  1. We love the Cubs! It's the stadium, I think. We went to one game and we were hooked. We spent actual dollars visiting Chicago just to go to Cubs games. Are we media victims? Probably so. Not much different from other tourist attractions, though.

  2. See, I think what you said is profound. It is the stadium. I think it's partly an "in" thing to do, go to Wrigley I mean. "Just maybe I'll be seen on WGN-TV."

    Plus, they have an identity of being losers/underdogs that people identify with.

  3. Yes, I think it is the underdog syndrome.