Twistity MLB Report: CHICAGO BLUES

CHICAGO BLUES We could recount the miserable history of the Chicago Cubs if we had a century, not a minute, and the desire to write six volumes instead of...

CHICAGO BLUES

We could recount the miserable history of the Chicago Cubs if we had a century, not a minute, and the desire to write six volumes instead of 300 words (give or take a dozen). So we’ll hit the lowlights, and quickly:

chicagocubs1They last won the World Series in 1908, though that’s not the last time they played in it. They lost the World Series in 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, and 1945. So, way back when, they were at least good enough to compete for the title.

They haven’t seen the playoffs since 2008 (well, maybe they watched on TV). They’ve had five consecutive losing seasons and back-to-back finishes in last place in their division.

Into this miasma steps new manager Joe Maddon. Maddon bailed on the Tampa Bay Rays because he had an opt-out in his contract. In nine seasons with the Rays, Maddon was hailed as both a players’ manager and a tactician, and he guided the team to five seasons of at least 90 wins, four postseason berths and a World Series (which they lost, making him a perfect fit for the Cubs). And he did it with a franchise that draws no fans during the regular season, has no revenues (in comparison with its competitors) and operates frugally.

Maddon should bring, if nothing else, stability to the Cubs. He’s their seventh manager in six seasons. And the Cubs got him some players – pitcher Jon Lester and catcher Miguel Montero among them. Pitching won’t be a problem, with Lester headlining a group that includes Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks.

Maddon will fit Chicago. He’s that kind of guy. In November, after the news conference that introduced him, he hit a sports bar near Wrigley Field and bought a round of beers and shots. Here’s to ya!

Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman .

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