Then they chanted "first place" for six hours, as they had a premonition they'd better savor the time.
Our long, baseball-less nightmare (WBC doesn't count) is finally over. We're now at the dawn of a new Cubs season that will surely bring other, far more interesting nightmares. Remind me in three months how excited I was to see Cubs/Pirates. Ah, the folly of a young season. As I write this, I'm looking at the Wrigley Field 2014 calendar. This month's image is the scoreboard, and the Cubs are losing to San Francisco and getting out-hit 4-1 through 2 1/2. That can't be a good omen. But we must rejoice that we have baseball to bitch about once again.
The Pittsburgh Pirates franchise, in one gif.
Yesterday was a pitcher's duel between Jeff Samardzija and AJ Burnett and I'm already bleeding from the ears from having written and processed that. At one point, 8 Cubs outs in a row came via strikeout. That's probably a little bit of AJ Burnett and a lot of what you're going to see this year. It's a good thing we have Rizzo, which as we all know is Italian for "Jesus." First pitch of the season and he uppercuts it into the far back of the stands. And we have Welington Castillo, who hit two doubles and the correct spelling of whose first name I'll make a personal project for 2013.
And it was not without its usual Cub-ness, even on this glorious first-place clinching day. Aside from the strikeout issues, we've also accelerated the timeline on the local media and fans jumping on Marmol. And holy hell did he look pretty terrible. Pro tip for you young kids out there: when you've shown control issues and the tying run is at the plate, he's probably not going to chase one of your wobbly sliders way the fuck out of the zone. When Marmol hits a guy, it's like ringing a bell warning everyone around that shit's about to go down. So we've already got a closer situation, made funnier by the fact that no one calling into Chicago sports talk radio can pronounce Fujikawa's last name.
Prepare for the 161 game tug of war with the Brewers for the Central Crown. BASEBALL!