We're not really into gambling over here, but anticipating the future and guessing what we can expect is fun. When handicapping the postseason, there are a few things to consider: strength of lineup, rotation, bullpen, health, bench, and on and on.
For accuracy, there's only one way to get the process started, and that's by calculating the ex-Cub factor.
|The Farns was better at|
fighting than pitching.
This restless existence follows us, from the tribulations of prized import, Latroy Hawkins, through the history lessons of June swoons, September collapses, black cats, and competitively pointless Summers.
Last season, the San Francisco Giants overcame the presence of Mike Fontenot on the roster and Mark DeRosa in the dugout to win their first World Series championship since moving to California.
As usual, the 2011 postseason is peppered with lovable losers.
The relationship between fans of the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks has a kinship brought on by many, many Chicagoans who moved to the desert or migrate between the two markets. To put it in East Coast Biased terms, Arizona is like New York's Florida. Aaron Heilman is the former Cub eyesore that can be seen in their bullpen. The other two players are two of the more benign former Cubs one could ask for. Henry Blanco is a blog favorite, for his ability to maintain a colorful appearance while throwing out opposing base runners. Xavier Nady is a well traveled, professional hitter who's out with a broken hand, anyway.
|It's good for Detroit that there's|
no ex-White Sox factor.
The stench of stale beer hovering over the Milwaukee skyline has just the slightest hint of former Cub skunk, as the Wrigleyville neighbors, 90 miles to the north, carry no fewer than four former Cubs on their active roster. The most prominent is their third baseman, Casey McGahee. Jerry Hairston acts as their mild-mannered utility player, while the rotation has more than enough awful from the likes of Sergio Mitre and Latroy Hawkins. Who can forget the communal venom spewed at Hawkins after he blew leads for the 2004 and '05 Cubs? The 2011 Milwaukee Brewers are an excellent team, from top to bottom, but they'll have quite more than a few ex-Cub demons to overcome if they're going to have a championship parade.
|One reason why I am|
so upset with the Cubs.
At first glance, it looked like Ruben Amaro constructed a Philadelphia Phillies team with no former Cubs. Digging a little deeper, we realize that Ross Gload is still on the team. He made his Major League debut as a member of the Northsiders on August 31, 2000. He went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts, showing he was right at home with the 2000 Cubs team that would go on to lose 97 games.
|Speed doesn't slump, unless|
it swings like a power hitter.
The current media and saberhead darling Tampa Bay Rays have as many ex-Cub cooties as any team out there. This is to be expected, as they traded Matt Garza to Chicago for a slew of players in the offseason. Of those guys, Brandon Guyer and Robinson Chirinos contributed at the big league level this season, while Sam Fuld became The Legend of Sam Fuld. His legend grew, when filling the shoes of embarrassed castoff, Manny Ramirez early in the year. In the bullpen, they have Kyle Farnsworth and Juan Cruz. To make matters worse, manager Joe Maddon's right hand man is former Cub outfielder, Davey Martinez. These elements would traditionally portend a negative outcome for the team, but it's tough to bet against the Amazin' Rays and their secret super boy, Matt Moore, these days.
|Josh Hamilton may be|
an ex meth head, but
he's not an ex-Cub.
The science behind this study is nonexistent, but if the baseball gods are real, and they hold a curse over Cub players for life, we would be smart in expecting a Detroit and Philadelphia World Series to be won by the Tigers.