The Cubs are not just a bad baseball team. They’re bad television. I don’t think it necessary to prove this assertion with impartial evidence. If you’ve seen the Cubs do their jobs, all the anecdotal evidence you need is oozing from behind your eyeballs. The smart choice is obvious: look away. But if you’re committed to bad decisions, allow me to provide you with the necessary motive. Here are ten reasons to keep watching the Cubs in 2011 (and yes, there are ten . . . but just ten).
10. Starlin Castro – This is really the number 1 reason, but it’s also the most obvious. Kid’s fun to watch. He’s also pretty frustrating to watch, but it’s not like you’ll be able to pin your viewing frustrations on Starlin Castro alone, unless your name’s Mike Quade, in which case watching is part of your job description (don’t worry, Mike, that will change soon enough).
9. The Quest for 100 – Losing 100 is special. Should the Cubs maintain their current winning percentage, and I’m not without confidence in their ability to do so, they’ll lose 96 or 97. Dare we dream that the Cubs could outperform their current breakneck pace of futility? What can I say, I’m a dreamer.
8. The Return of Andrew Cashner – The kid threw off a mound on Saturday and has thrown all three of his pitches. The rehab will be slow, but eventually he might pitch again. That would be cool to watch.
7. Carlos Zambrano – He’s Carlos F. Zambrano (the F stands for Fun to Watch).
6. Mike Quade’s Spiral Into Insanity – Mike Quade says he’s not a lunatic. That’s the Lunatic Pledge. The rest of the season should play out like an overblown production of “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
5. Brett Jackson – Or any prospect who might get called up. It really doesn’t matter. Someone new who might have a chance of disappointing us in the future but whose mere presence would be good enough for now. I’d watch that.
4. Stay Informed About Why We Hate Paul Sullivan – At some point, the sights of the Bag End Assassin will be aimed at someone other than Carlos Zambrano, and at that point, you’re going to want to know the player’s name.
3. Watch Bob Eat Stuff – Bob Brenly and Len Kasper have been sampling the food at the ballparks the Cubs visit. I’ve seen this a couple of times, and I’ve been meaning to catch more of these riveting portraits of Americana. It’s kind of like Wild Kingdom.
2. Tony Campana – He is really fast. It’s fascinating to see a Cubs player who can run fast, even if most of the time his at-bats just result in him ambling quickly toward the dugout. Still, fast Cubs are rare.
1. The Epic Battle of I’m Not a Left Fielder Not Yet a First Baseman between Adam Dunn and Tyler Colvin – Adam Dunn is at -1.6 WAR. Tyler Colvin’s languishing at -1.1 WAR. I can’t look away. I don’t understand how anybody can.