Archive for October, 2011

It’s currently day one hundred and whatever of the NBA lockout. There’s some recent optimism that it can end by next week and there’s even an outside shot that an 82 game season may be salvaged. As a basketball fan I’m happy about this recent optimism. As a Bulls fan I’m downright ecstatic.

I don’t want to miss a moment of Derrick Rose’s career. I miss Stacey King. Please give me the hot sauce, I want to go higher.

But there’s been another side to the whole lockout thing that I was kind of expecting, just not to the degree that it’s been voiced.

Hockey fans.

I don’t watch the Blackhawks much. I admittedly don’t get hockey much. At all. I don’t think that the NHL is an inferior product, it’s just not my cup of tea.

This should be fine. I like basketball, not everyone does, I get it.

So why is it that during an NBA lockout that hockey fans are overjoyed that there may not be basketball this year?

Reasons I’ve heard range from the insecure (Now ESPN will pay more attention to hockey!), to the odd (it’ll be easier to follow hockey now, who needs basketball!), to the downright stupid (DERRICK ROSE AND DA BULLS SUCK).

My philosophy has always been that I like what I like, and I won’t tell you what to like. If you like hockey, fine. I don’t. I don’t have to either.

You don’t have to like basketball, or appreciate the game. I don’t care. But where it starts to bother me is the senseless sniping that happens with basketball. The Bulls and the Blackhawks don’t play each other. They don’t really compete against each other. You can even like both if you wish (I’m looking at you, Andy).

But I have yet to hear a good reason as to why hockey fans are coming out of the woodwork and are celebrating the NBA lockout.

If you’re that insecure about your sport, I can’t help you. I didn’t feel happy when the NHL lost a season. I felt bad for my friends that were missing out on their favorite sport. I gain nothing from the NHL losing a season, from the Hawks losing or anything else that is “hockey negative.”

All I’m asking is why? Why do you the hockey fan feel the need to snipe at basketball? It makes no sense.

The long road ahead

Posted: October 22, 2011 by Mauricio Rubio Jr. in Baseball, MLB
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m one of those guys. I get excited when big sports news items happen. I went nuts when the Bears traded for Jay Cutler. I was giddy (but not quite at a Martz like giddy level) when David Stern totally didn’t fix the ping pong balls and gave the Bulls the #1 overall pick, ensuring them Derrick Rose.

I’m a big sports fan. When rumors of Theo Epstein coming to the Cubs became reports and it started to look like a reality, I tried to temper my excitement. Now that it’s all official, I’m extremely happy, and it’s taking a lot of self restraint to simply not break down and type WOOOOOOOO over and over again (and I hate Ronnie Woo Woo).

It helps that I have a lot of legitimate questions about my little New England Savior. Epstein will be the President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs. He’s bringing along his buddy Jed Hoyer, former Padres GM, to be the Cubs new GM.

This also makes me feel optimistic about the Cubs future.

But that old Cubs cynicism is creeping into my skull, leaving little seeds of doubt that while I love the hire, he is still in a situation that loves to set people up for failure. This is a Chicago Cubs franchise that for years devalued the walk to a perverse level. It’s an organization that did not produce home grown talent at all.

When you think about it, most of the major contributions to the big league team have all come from outside the organization. The Cubs do not draft well, they do not identify talent via the Rule 5 draft nor from international sources well either.

Theo can change all that, but it’s going to take a lot of time. I hope he keeps the itchy trigger finger in Boston, the one that pulled on Dice-K, Julio Lugo and gave Carl Crawford a tremendous contract.

He, like most GM’s, has his fair share of mistakes. The unfortunate reality is that his mistakes are big mistakes. He’s had the freedom to spend as much as he wants to acquire the talent he believes will win. I don’t think he’ll have that luxury here in Chicago.

Cubs fans are going to have to learn real patience. Not the fake “oh we’ve been losers for 100 years” kind, but the kind that understands there’s a plan in place, and it’ll take time for that plan to take shape.

I don’t think the Cubs will be in the Pujols/Fielder race.

Cubs fans should also understand that players like Marmol, Garza, Marlon Byrd and even the holy cow (see what I did there?), Kerry Wood are most likely not going to be on the next Cubs team that wins.

That could be a few years away.

Theo has a lot of work to do. Droves of the 15 per cent will be wanting a winner right now, not understanding that the “golden child” doesn’t lay golden eggs. He is going to change the way the Cubs evaluate talent, but ultimately, it’s on that talent to win games.

It’s a great hire, but there’s a long road ahead.