After 45 games the Chicago Cubs are 20-25. And with 117 games ahead of them, theoretically, there’s still PLENTY of time for the Cubbies to turn things around and make the playoffs. Theoretically. The world didn’t come to an end this weekend, like someone predicted. But history tells me the Cubs’ playoff hopes will come to an end in a few short days.
Thursday, May 26th, is my birthday.
I’ll be turning 30…something. And for 30-some years May 26th has been a telling date when it comes to predicting success for the Cubs.
When the Cubs have a losing record by May 26th they don’t make playoffs. With only ONE exception, coming in 2007 (The Cubs were 22-25 on May 26, 2007, and finished 85-77 and made the playoffs), the Cubs have not made the playoffs when they’ve been at or below .500 on my birthday.
And that will be the case again, when May 26th rolls around this week.
Right now, the Cubs are 20-25. They haven’t won more than two games in a row all year. And even if they win their next 3 games, they’ll be 23-25, two games below .500 when May 26th comes and goes. So a losing record is guaranteed.
What does my birthday have to do anything? Nothing.
It’s just a random day – easy for me to remember, of course – that occurs between a quarter and a third of the way through the season. More than enough games to give us a solid sample of how good or bad a team is.
The Cubs have a great, young middle infield. But they’re old and overpaid on the corners, in both the infield and the outfield. They just lost arguably their best player indefinitely to a broken cheekbone. And they have, for all practical purposes, a three-man starting rotation.
This is not a playoff team.
And that’s what the pre-May 26th sample suggests.
Not that this totally ruins the summer. For the next two to three months, I’ll root-root-root for the Cubbies, because that’s what Cubs fans do.
And, come September, time to start thinking about next year.