By Doug Halberstadt
Supposedly, history doesn’t repeat itself. For some inexplicable reason, the Cubs are able to defy that law.
The calendar page has once again turned to the month of June. Summer is just around the corner. During the last few years, that means one thing if you’re a fan of the Chicago Cubs: they are in last place in the National League Central Division. Unfortunately, not much has changed for the North Siders since this time last year. Believe it or not, it’s actually worse.
June 1, 2013, the Cubs had played a total of 54 games. Their record was 23-31. As of June 1 this season, they’ve played the identical number of games. The bad news is, they have three fewer wins and three more losses. Their record this year is 20-34. That translates to a .370 winning percentage. They have the worst record in the major leagues, and are already a full 12-1/2 games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.
Last year, the team’s record continued to slide as the season wore on. They finished the month of June with 12 wins and 15 losses. July was the only month in 2013 that they posted a winning record, 14-13. August was their worst month of the year. They played 28 games that month, and only won eight of those games. September wasn’t much better; they were 9-18. That gave them a season record of 66-96.
It looks like déjà vu all over again this season. Currently, things are awfully bleak for Cubs fans, and I don’t see things getting better for them anytime soon. There don’t seem to be any reasons for optimism or much to pin your hopes on. The starting pitching continues to struggle, the relief pitching has repeatedly blown games, and their combined team batting average is a paltry .233. That’s 28th in the league.
I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s Cubs parade, I’m simply being a realist. Don’t be surprised if this year’s team loses 100 games or more. Just remember, when the end of September rolls around, and if they indeed do have triple-digit losses, the writing was on the wall back in June.
From the June 4-10, 2014, issue