Friday, August 22, 2008

Chicago Cubs: 1998 vs. 2008

I was watching the Cubs the other day when Alfonso Soriano, the outfielder with the insanely huge contract, was at the plate. The announcers were discussing how he had failed to run out a long drive his last time up--as he admired his supposed home run, the ball bounced off the fence, the left fielder hustled it in, and Soriano had only a single.

I thought, damn. Lazy, selfish, overpaid outfielder with tremendous talent we see only occasionally? Who does that sound like?

Then I realized: this team has a lot of parallels to the great 1998 team that went to the playoffs (and may I remind you...I saw Game 163 back in 1998. Damn that was exciting).

Cubs '98 vs. '08
Characteristic1998 Cubs2008 Cubs
Egotistical corner outfielder: Sammy Sosa Alfonso Soriano
Goddam ex-Cardinal acquired in season but geez he's hitting pretty well for us: Gary Gaetti Jim Edmonds
Flame throwin' newcomer: Kerry Wood Jeff "Shark" Samardzija (I spelled that without looking)
Gruff closer: Rod Beck Kerry Wood
Smart aleck quote machine: Mark Grace Ryan Dempster
Obnoxious guy saying woo: Ron Wickers Ron Wickers
Native Iowan on the mound: Kevin Tapani Jon Lieber
Ex-Brave middle infielder: Jeff "B-lousy" Blauser Mark DeRosa
Hyperactive broadcaster: Chippy Caray Ron Santo
Regrettable acquistion: Matt KarchnerNothing that bad really...Scott Eyre I guess

So if all this holds true, we are destined to hang on to the wild card spot, and then get summarily dismissed by the NL East winner. Could it really be?

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