There is a reason the Cubs haven’t won anything in nearly a century of baseball. If you said, “Because of a goat!” “Because of the black cat!” or “Because of Steve Bartman!” go dunk your gonads in a beaker of hydrogen fluoride. We’ll wait.
Done? Hurt, didn’t it? You deserved it. There is nothing magical or supernatural about why the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in ninety-nine years. There is no such thing as curses. No goat, be it the kind that says “Baaa” or the kind that wears a Walkman has ever cost the Cubs the World Series. Shame on you for taking such an easy way out by saying otherwise.
No, the one single determining factor in the reason the Cubs have been such a bunch of losers for your entire lifetime is because they are run by an incompetent, short-sighted bunch of idiots who are stupider than my dogs. No one epitomizes the front office’s idiocy more than #4 on your scorecard, but #8 on your list, Jeff Blauser.
Blauser put together two good seasons during his eleven with the Atlanta Braves, and managed to turn the second of those two into a two-year contract with the Cubs from 1998 to 1999. This, my friends, is exactly why Cubs management is so easily entertained.
You see, I have two dogs. When I want to teach the dogs a new trick, I get myself a handful of treats, I isolate myself with the dogs, and I keep repeating the trick with them over and over and over again. Each time the dogs perform the trick correctly, they get a treat. Suppose I were to ask the dogs to do the trick eleven times in a row, though, and suppose that I only rewarded them when they did it correctly the seventh time they did it and the eleventh time they did it. What do you suspect would happen if I asked them to do the trick a twelfth time? My dogs would walk away from me and go take a dump in my shoes. Why would they expect a reward when they were only rewarded 18% of the first eleven times they did the trick? They wouldn’t.
Because my dogs are smarter than the Cub front office.
When signing him to a huge deal (at the time), the Cubs counted on Blauser replicating his two good years in the Major Leagues instead of his nine terrible years. This was a mistake. Not only did Blauser suck for 9 of his 11 Major League seasons prior to the Cubs acquiring him, but he also proved to be about as sturdy as Jim Hendry’s grasp of how to construct a baseball team. Blauser was frequently injured with the Braves, so the Cubs should have expected him to be frequently injured with them, right? My dogs are nodding approvingly. Andy MacPhail is frantically punching numbers into what appears to be a plastic phone filled with candy and shrugging his shoulders.
The Cubs got exactly what they f@#$ing deserved for signing Blauser. A bad hitter with injury problems who ended up injuring his elbow, breaking a finger, and breaking a toe in only two years with the Cubs. He only had 561 terrible at bats as a Cub in the two seasons he was with the club. It would have been nice if MacPhail had watched some of the games Blauser played against teams who weren’t trotting out the shitty pitching that the Cubs were. Blauser only hit well against one team: the Cubs. Once he couldn’t boost his stats facing the likes of Frank Castillo and Kevin Foster, he was exposed for the crap player he was. Blauser was so bad, in fact, that he lost his starting job to Jose Hernandez at the end of the 1998 season, who then turned around and lost it to Jose Nieves! Jose Nieves, for the sake of f@#$!
Just in case you’re afraid to click the link to Blauser’s statistics, after hitting 17 home runs in 1997 for the Braves, he came back and hit a measly four in 1998 for the Cubs. His 70 RBIs in 1997 translated into 52. Total. For both years he was with the Cubs. An anemic 26 RBIs each year. 1998 was the worse of Blauser’s two years as a Cub. He hit .219 in 1998 with a .340 OBP and a completely ridiculous .299 OBP. .299. Somebody go find the stupid f@#$er who called Blauser a “powerful right-handed shortstop” on Blauser’s Wikipedia page and beat them until they are classified as a liquid. Then, soak up the liquid with a sponge, freeze it, and beat it all over again until it melts. When it does, drink it, fly/drive/swim/run to Jeff Blauser’s house, light Blauser on fire, and piss him out with your liquid human piss stream. The day a .299 SLG is categorized as “powerful” is the day that the odor of Jim Hendry’s taint is categorized as “nuclear.”
The Cubs “granted” Blauser free agency at the end of the 1999 season in the same way that your doctor “grants” off a cyst or the same way your last girlfriend “granted” you in the middle of a forest because you were “a creepy f@#$ing stalker,” or the way you “grant” your dog to sleep when the inoperable brain cancer finally renders him dumber than the Cub front office.
Blauser either retired, was hired by a cheese company in Wisconsin who wanted to use his face to cut cheese wedges, or was hunted for sport after the 1999 season. Presumably, the former is accurate, but I like to keep the hope that one of the latter two options was the case. “WHO LOVES YOU? AND WHO DO YOU LOVE?”
Low Point: Am I allowed to declare the low point for one at bat? If so, then September 27, 1998. On the last day of the season, the Cubs needed a win to clinch the NL Wild Card. They were locked in a 3-3 tie with the first-place Houston Astros in the 10th inning. Blauser came in to pinch hit. I remember thinking, “If you just hit a home run here, I will forgive you for this entire season. I’ll call off the hit I put on you. I’ll stop making threatening phone calls. I’ll stop sending your wife made-up letters from your lover.” Blauser struck out looking, and the Cubs lost 4-3 in 11 innings, forcing them to rely on Neifi Perez of all people to beat the San Francisco Giants and force a one-game playoff at Wrigley Field. If I’m not allowed to pick that game (And, really, who the f@#$ are you to tell me that I can’t?), then I’ll go with June 27, 1998. The Cubs were in Kansas City squaring off against the terrible Royals. Blauser managed to go 0-5 against Jose Rosado, Ricky Bones, and Scott Service. He struck out looking to lead off the game, struck out looking again in the third inning with one out and runners at second and third, struck out swinging to lead off the fifth inning, flied out with runners at first and third and two outs in the sixth inning, and struck out swinging with the game tied at three in the top of the ninth. That’s four strikeouts, if you’re counting. The Cubs lost the game 4-3 in the tenth inning.
Did You Know? Jeff Blauser says that if you put an asterisk next to Barry Bonds’ home run records, you open up “a can of worms.” “Everybody talks about the guys who go from 30 home runs to 50 and more,” Blauser said. “How about all the guys that went from 10 to 25?” Yeah! Or those guys who slugged .482 with 17 home runs one year, and then slugged only .299 the next year with 4 home runs! What about those guys?