Flying the “L” and “L”essons on “L”osing

When the Cubs acquired Cole Hamels and Daniel Murphy, they were supposed to be on the verge of completing what was supposed to be a roster set to compete with the titans of the American League in the World Series. The Cubs were the team to beat in a weak National League this year.

Just 3 weeks ago the Cubs were rated as the top NL team in the power rankings as well as the Vegas pick to represent the NL in the World Series. On September 2nd, the Cubs were running away with the NL Central with a 5.0 game lead then the Brewers got smoldering hot. The Cubs never relinquished their 1st place in the standings after July 12th to Game #162, however on Friday they had to share 1st place with the Brewers which forced a Game #163 winner take the division showdown which the Brewers took forcing the Cubs to the #1 seed in the Wild Card leading to that devastating loss to the Rockies last night in 13 innings in Wrigley Field.

Yes, the Cubs are out of the post-season. One and done. The Wild Card losing team has little room for a lack of execution. Tonight, the A’s and Yankees face-off in the AL Wild Card. One team will head home.

For Washington Nationals fans, winning the division is no guarantee of success either. The solution seems to be to keep getting back into the post-season and hope the ball bounces the right way for you or the wind blows in the right direction more than once.

You would think Atlanta Braves fans would know the heartache of losing quickly in the post-season. Since the start of the new millennium, the Braves have been to the post-season 9 times before this season and only got past the NLDS one time. It just is not that easy. In the NLDS, the Brewers will play the Rockies, and the Dodgers will play the Braves. Only two of those teams will move on to the NLCS.

The Cubs ace pitcher, Jon Lester, had a message about last night’s shocking loss to anyone who wanted to listen to his crude message. WARNING: NSFW

“Sometimes you need to get your dick knocked in the dirt in order to appreciate where you’re at,” Jon Lester said. “You know what? Maybe we needed that. Maybe we needed to get knocked down a peg or two to realize nothing’s going to be given to us.”

With Lester’s message, it resonates with those who have seen the cockiness from the team that won the 2016 World Series, but for those who remember Vince Lombardi, he seemed to say it better without the phallic reference.

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” — Vince Lombardi

Don’t expect Successories to make Lester’s quote into a poster, but do expect the analysts to dissect the Cubs in the off-season based on their roster and projections.

The real issue with the Cubs could be with their projected payroll. They were near $183 million before adding late season payroll, and they have issues going forward. The rumors of a Bryce Harper acquisition should  be met with skepticism unless they can dump bad contracts on other teams but would any team take on Jason Heyward‘s $23 million (tax APV) a year contract that runs through 2023? The Cubs had a shot to acquire Harper before the trade deadline and they did not do it. They did acquire Daniel Murphy from the Nationals.

This off-season is going to be like no other, and the Cubs have joined the Nationals two days later for an early exit from the 2018 season, and mid-day tee times for golf.

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