Even casual observers are aware of the Chicago Cubs’ failure over the last one hundred plus years to win a championship, a level of accomplishment that has built up an aura of inevitability that welcomes suckers, gamblers, statisticians and romantics in equal measure. Writers far more tortured and elegant than I have written about the agony of cheering for the Chicago Cubs.
This legacy of ineptitude is somewhat misleading. The club was actually pretty good, all things considered, from 1903-1945. Since WWII? Only 5 seasons of 90 or more wins. Tampa Bay alone has equaled that mark, and not just from the franchise’s inception in 1998, which would be cringe inducing enough, but since the name change in 2008 from Devil Rays to Rays. Yeesh.
I wanted to get a photo of Pujols swimming in a pool filled with hundred dollar bills, but I couldn’t find one.
Albert Pujols has been the best player in baseball since his rookie year of 2001, and hardly anyone, position player or pitcher, is even remotely close. Pujols had an OPS of .9o6 in 2011 and to give you an idea of how incredibly good this is, there are only 58 players in the history of major league baseball who have finished their career with a mark better than this and it was Pujols’ worst effort in his 11 year career. Only 5 players have a better career OPS mark than Pujols – Jimmie Foxx, Barry Bonds, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams and Babe Ruth. Pujols is a surefire, first-ballot hall of famer even if he never plays another inning. Continue reading →