LA story

I talked to Mark on the day of the division clinch and asked him, as he was dripping head-to-toe with champagne, what fueled him for this season.

I mentioned to him the double play into which he grounded last year in Game 3 of the 2007 NLDS at Wrigley Field. I didn’t bring it up to remind he failed in a situation, but knowing the competitor he is I wondered if that one play fueled him this year. The double play effectively ended any chances of the Cubs coming back in that game.

“Sure I remember that,” he said. “Absolutely it fueled me, but it’s not like I replayed that in my head all year.”

Tonight, with Ronnie Cedeno on second and two outs, DeRosa fought off Jonathan Broxton’s 95-mph fastballs but fell prey to a nasty slider.

I wonder if he is going remember the bottom of the eighth of this year’s Game 3 NLDS.

Putting together the November issue of Vine Line, a couple colleagues of mine chided me at first when I gave them two production schedules–one in case we made it through the NLCS and one if we didn’t make it through the NLDS.

“That’s as far as you think we’re going to go?”

 I said we had to proceed assuming they wouldn’t make it through the NLDS only because it was the earliest deadline. If we made to the NLCS, we’d push everything a week back. If we made it to the World Series, we’d wait until the whole shebang was over.

Alas, we will be sticking to that early deadline. There will be no champagne flowing tonight. 

Alfonso Soriano just struck out–half swinging, half-hearted. Fitting considering the way the Cubs played this series.

Ironically, like last year in Game 2 of the NLDS, the normally placid Derrek Lee slammed his helmet down in frustration after striking out in the seventh, so uncharacteristic of a great character guy.  After Game 2 the other night, he snapped at me saying he wasn’t even thinking about last year.

Well, now we have all off-season to think about next year.

It’s a sickening feeling. Tell me how you all are feeling….

–Mike Huang

17 Comments

I am just sitting here crying. I don’t think I will be able to sleep. I guess I’ll just do my football picks. I won’t be watching anymore baseball this season. It’s too painful. KT

Just seeing our Cubbies looking so discouraged was disappointing and upsetting, and I cannot put into words how upset I am. The tears wont come, but it’s so upsetting.

– Jenna (Thunder)
http://bleedcubbieblue2.mlblogs.com/

I for one just want to say go cubs. Did the season end like i’d hoped NO!!! But if the Cubs have showed us anything over the years it’s get up and try again tommorow or next year. Lets not forget were back to back Div. CHAMPS it’s been 100 years since that happened to. GO CUBS GO see you in April.

I have been following the Chicago Cubs since I knew how to play the game of baseball and now for the rest of the story for this year that I truly in my heart thought was going to be the icing on a team that has suffered a seriously and I mean seriously long drought to claim a world championship. Good teams and good players come and go but to put together a season that hasn’t happened since the likes of 1945? Come on people we all know that curse stuff is bologna! Bottom line if you’re true fan then you take the good with the bad right? Well in this case it was putrid. The Dodgers were a team that was nowhere to be found in 2008 until Manny Ramirez showed up. What gets me is how the press says Manny this and Manny that. He didn’t beat the Cubs. The Cubs beat themselves this year and my heart ached for them after they went down in three games to Los Angeles. I say if you can praise a team then you can criticize them as well. Cubs scored 6 runs in 3 games. That there had me wondering where did they go? I kept saying they will come back. Bottom line is I may get yelled at for it but I am a true Cubs fan and this year I may have been in the mode of putting it simple. The 2008 Cubs played awesome baseball maybe better than 1984 or 2003. But you got to shut the opponent down and they didn’t. I had tears in my eyes after I watched Soriano swing half hearted and the crowd erupted and I knew well wait til next year. I just wonder how long we have to wait til that year comes. This team is too damn good. They got the talent. Though history says 100 years gone and no title. That is hogwash! If Boston can do it and the White Sox can do it then there is hope. In funny terms the Cubs didn’t deserve this but yet they did deserve it. I hope they relish on this and come back stronger than ever maybe dominant beyond comprehension. I love Wrigley Field but sorry in my estimates it is a truly historic place and I have been there. You feel the nostalgia there. But they need to build a new ballpark. Other teams in this great game come in with home run bomb hitters and drill the Cubs into submission and I think the Cubs would fare better in a new stadium. They deserve it. The players they have currently are great but time to scout again. Build around them is what I say. I am tired of all the Cubs fans being dissappointed year after year. At first I thought this series was going to be great but it only lasted 3 games. That is sick! Mark Derosa was awesome and he didn’t deserve to strike out the last time he was up in the 8th inning. I just sit quiet here and ponder what is the right thing to do to get this team out of the drought they are encountering. The executives in the club need to get it together and get the players that win titles! These players they have belong there but give them some punch to back them up. End this misery for the Cubs and quit making excuses for downfalls. I hope 2009 brings it all back to us who root for the Cubs year after year. Wins and losses are a part of this game. But this loss in 2008 really hurts bad. Thank you Cubs for a great year and hope to see it all come together in 2009. GO CUBS!!

I agree with bvanweb@yahoo…we fans deserve so much better…it is really sickening thinking of all us fans who paid so much money to sell out every home game and to be a larger crowd in other ballparks…think of how many fans like me who spent money we really didn’t have to get extra sports channels on cable or satellite…think of all the people who spent money they didn’t have on tickets–airlines and games–maybe even put houses or jobs in jeopardy for the love and belief of “our” team…I say maybe it’s time for US to start using our heads and not our hearts…maybe less fans cheering and paying our hard earned cash is the answer…all I know is I’ve got a dusty cubs bumper sticker waiting in my dresser drawer for even GOING to the World Series…I’m sick of 45 years of brocken hearts and dreams. WGN is a great tv station but maybe for us Cubs fans it really stands for WE GOT NUTHIN’.

Yeah, it’s pretty depressing everyone. As you can see the time stamp I’m still here talking, thinking about it. I can appreciate loyalty. Our fans are some of the most devoted. But this will test them. I heard on the radio some fans saying this was it. They are ready to defect. I heard the same cries after 2003. But think about this: the Atlanta Braves won the NL East for more than a decade and yet, they have only ONE World Series championship. I know that is little consolation to everyone. But Jim Hendry told us that his mission that he wanted the Cubs to get good and be good for a long time. Three division championships in five years is part of that process. But right now, we’re all mad and that’s fine.

I sat on my bed and cried. I wasn’t ready for another 2007. Why? What happened to us? I am still stunned… we were the best team in the NL and we were swept in the first round? And it kinda peeved me off when Jim Edmonds said that in the end this is just another game because to the fans, it’s not just another game… it’s life. My world revolves around sports and this team… and to hear one of the players not care as much as I do hurts… But we should have known and I hate to say that. After all the “We’re the team to beat”s and the “World series contenders”… its a smack in the face to Cubs fans… but isn’t it always?

- Stephanie
Marmol-ade: A Cubs Blog

I had a guy at the office state “No one is a bigger Cubs fan than I” yet he told me he’s finished watching them after Game 1… One of the radio hosts of “Waddle and Silvy” (ESPN RADIO 1000) proclaimed regular season wins are meaningless and that he won’t be attending any more June games. Huh???

I see it as I wonderful year. It was an absolute joy watching them this year. I remember sitting through the freezing rain of “Opening Day” and I remember the Saturday games in the sun. I feel blessed to be there and to have the opportunity to witness a small part of the 2008 season.

The Cubs experience is magical for me. It’s like a part of my family. I will not turn my back on a family member, will you?…. Keep the faith.

“Someday We’ll Go All the Way”

Disgusting and unbelievable. 2 years in a row the Cubs have been hotter than firecrackers as the regular season ended only to get swept (& most devestatingly eliminated) as the post-season began. Unbelievable and disgusting.
I love Wrigley Field and I love the Cubs, but this is just revolting.

Personally, I don’t think a new stadium will make any difference at all. To me, that’s like a batter getting down 2 strikes in the count and getting a new bat – like it’s the bat’s fault or something. A new stadium isnt’ the answer for a club that can’t clutches under pressure. And sadly, that’s exactly what’s happened these last 2 seasons, especially.

But, like everyone else, I’m absolutely stunned and sickened at this year’s post-season.

After not much sleeping over this, I’ve decided I am a Cub Fan. I came to Chicago in late 1971 and was a Cub Fan from Opening Day 1972 to now. I will always be a Cub Fan. Oh yes, right now, I am asking myself why I watched or listened to almost every game this season. Why do I do this year after year after year. I was emotionally invested, again. Even as I say to myself, Why Why Why did we lose, where were our big hitters, blah blah, I know that April will come around next Spring and we will be back at it again. And Scott and I will look at each other and say, this could be the year!

Karen, makes some sense. Though I’ve never lived in Chicago or the area, I’ve been a Cub fan since ’85. Though we do get the right to kick and grinch about disgustingly lousy performances like we’ve lived thru this post-season and last, as Karen exemplified, a true fan sticks with their team thru thick or thin. We have all off-season to lick our wounds on this deal, but we’ll be ready come April to hope that ’09 is our year! Go Cubs, Go!

I was born a Cub fan in spite of being (originally) a Southsider. I live in Oregon now but watch every game I can on WGN, FOX, and ESPN, and try to make it to Wrigley every two or three years. We can now add the 2008 Cubs to the ’69, ’84, 2003, and 2007 teams that did not come up to fan’s hopes and expectations. The 2008 team was very good, and did well until the last 5 regular season games and the NLCS. Its significant, I think, that the only two wins in that stretch of 8 games was when the regulars were on the bench. An analysis of the team’s weaknesses and strengths would indicate that the pitching staff is above average, the infield is above average, bench strength is above average, but the outfield is below average. A team good enough to have the best record in the National League (don’t assume that best record means best team), but far from good enough to get to the World Series. They could have gotten there with a little luck, and if a couple of players got hot, but given the Cub’s history that would be an illogical expectation. How can the team improve? The answer seems obvious to me. Replace the starting outfield. Soriano and Fukadome consistantly underperform. Jim Edmonds was a great player but is well past his prime. Get some new, young, hungry players (Pie is a good start in center), Let them start and play every day. It might take a couple of years for them to mature, but they could not be any worse than what we have now.

I waited a few days to leave a comment because any comment I would have wrote on Satruday night would not have been posted! But the truth of the matter is this…. I was raised a Cub Fan there was never a question of loyalty to the Cubs in our house, we supported our team win or loose becuase they were OUR TEAM and We Loved them. Last Year the 2007 season when they were gone in the first round I was quick to defend them and with the same ol battle cry ” wait until next year”!! Just like 69, 84,89, 04 but this time was different I really felt the team didn’t try and really from the looks on the players faces I really dont think they care this is just a job to them thats all just like you and I go to work and receive a paycheck nothing more to them. I love the game of baseball itself T-Ball to the Pro’s I love the game but I am DONE with the CUBS. My friends and family don’t believe me but it’s true. And for you Sweet Lou where was the fire you are known for? I really had high hopes for you coming to the Cubs organization to ignite them and yes I think you did a great job in winning the division back to back and the 08 season was spectacular but seriously if you can’t lead the team into a somewhat successful playoff season then dont bother to give false hope and win the division just give the fans the same old loosing season they are used to.

I live in a little town in Pennsylvania, about 2 hours outside of Philly. Right now I am rooting my freaking butt off for them to just crush the Dodgers and it was oh so sweet to see the Dodger fans and team just deflate last night as they lost in the late innings off a jack by matt stairs. I have been SOOOO sick of the media and people talking about how amazing the Dodgers are. COME ON there were multiple teams in baseball that all had better records then theirs and were not in the play offs. Sure they had the best ERA for a pitching staff, won’t take that from them, but they had no bats. They are just doing what the Rockies did last year, get hot at the end and they would be NOTHING without Manny. No, the Dodgers are not amazing, they didn’t beat the Cubs, the Cubs beat themselves. Now, onto my next point. The Cubs need to trade Soriano. He is getting way too much money to keep getting hurt, drop routine fly balls, not hustle things out, be hot and then not, and worst of all, play like CRAP under pressure and in the post season. He’s hit .107 I think it is in the last two post season appearances. The way I see it, the Cubs could trade him for a few prospects (pitching maybe?) and then get someone who does hit well under any circumstance, and also plays left field….. Manny Ramirez! As I’ve watched him bat against the Phillies and ever since he came to the Dodgers, he just hits hits and hits, whether it be pressure, not pressure, he hits!! Plus he seems to be that spark in the dugout. Just look at what he’s done for the Dodgers. Come on Cubs, lets get Manny!

I live in a little town in Pennsylvania, about 2 hours outside of Philly. Right now I am rooting my freaking butt off for them to just crush the Dodgers and it was oh so sweet to see the Dodger fans and team just deflate last night as they lost in the late innings off a jack by matt stairs. I have been SOOOO sick of the media and people talking about how amazing the Dodgers are. COME ON there were multiple teams in baseball that all had better records then theirs and were not in the play offs. Sure they had the best ERA for a pitching staff, won’t take that from them, but they had no bats. They are just doing what the Rockies did last year, get hot at the end and they would be NOTHING without Manny. No, the Dodgers are not amazing, they didn’t beat the Cubs, the Cubs beat themselves. Now, onto my next point. The Cubs need to trade Soriano. He is getting way too much money to keep getting hurt, drop routine fly balls, not hustle things out, be hot and then not, and worst of all, play like CRAP under pressure and in the post season. He’s hit .107 I think it is in the last two post season appearances. The way I see it, the Cubs could trade him for a few prospects (pitching maybe?) and then get someone who does hit well under any circumstance, and also plays left field….. Manny Ramirez! As I’ve watched him bat against the Phillies and ever since he came to the Dodgers, he just hits hits and hits, whether it be pressure, not pressure, he hits!! Plus he seems to be that spark in the dugout. Just look at what he’s done for the Dodgers. Come on Cubs, lets get Manny!

I have been a Cub Fan for 48 or my 53 years of life. I was born a Cub Fan and I will die a Cub Fan. I have every right to say whatever I want about the disgraceful, pathetic end to what should have been a World Championship Season. Any person that says “true Cub fans don’t “boo” their own players” “true Cub fans still love their team and can’t wait until next year”, doesn’t have a pickin clue about anything “Cub”, they are recent jumps onto the Bandwagon. I’m angry, bitter, frustrated, and in the mood to tell the world that this year’s fiasco was a national embarrassment — apathetic, overpaid, prima dona’s who aren’t worth squat in the postseason. Soriano only cares about Soriano — I am ashamed to see him wearing Cubbie pinstripes; Derrick Lee is the most overratared, non-clutch player in the business, except in his area of excellence (hitting into double plays) and where Ramirez was during the NLDS is anyone’s guess. I’m sorry for all the time I wasted watching these clowns for the last six months. There’s so much venom inside of me, I can’t even put it into words. And for you “rah rah Cubs” people — REAL fans all feel the same way. I’ll never cheer for another team — EVER, but you can bet that I’m NEVER going to get excited about the Cubs in the post season again. It won’t happen in my lifetime. Now I’m going into hibernation for the winter and try to think about other things, and come Spring — well, I’ll check on “my boys” every once in awhile, but the Cub Love is over.

Hey VineLine, Will you guys be blogging anymore this year? I know it’s the offseason, but we don’t stop loving and following the Cubs any less. Even if you just want to give us a preview of what our next issue of VineLine will be would be great!

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