Newly minted Cubs closer Ryuji Fujikawa (left) can thank manager Dale Sveum… (Getty Images )
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If he invented a time machine and warped to Wrigleyville at any time in the past few decades, I imagine the cartoon version of him would say "Zees are zee kookiest kooks I haff ever zeen!" Then he'd slam an Old Style and dream up a new Theory of Beer Relativity where T equals a beer's taste and W equals the proximity to Wrigley Field.
Time-traveling, mop-haired geniuses aside, the most tortured fanbase in American pro sports is still composed of mostly insane people. (That counts me too.) But for the first time in my 30-plus-year memory, something different happened involving the Cubs.
Instead of allowing Carlos Marmol to single-handedly guarantee the Cubs will cruise to 100 losses, manager Dale Sveum pulled the plug on Operation Yaaaaaargh! after one short, hair-graying week.
Could new closer Kyuji Fujikawa be just as terrible? Perhaps, but it'd be tough to attain a Marmol-esque WHIP that looks like an honors student's GPA. But the important thing is we already know Marmol is really terrible, and instead of keeping him as closer because of a $9 million--plus contract that some other GM signed, Dale Sveum decided to stop throwing good save chances after bad money.
I'm certainly not implying that the Cubs will make the postseason this year, even with the double-wild-card in effect. But I believe this significant decision made during Week 1 of a young season will be remembered as a turning point. It's the beginning of the end of multiple-season rebuilding mode and the start of Hey, Let's Try To Actually Win Some Damn Games mode.
For a fanbase that's been mentally checked-out since mid-2009, it's an important step. And it gives hope to the idea that in the near future, there's a chance at witnessing a different result some October. Finally, the good kind of "Committed."
RedEye special contributor Alex Quigley can be heard on WGN Radio 720.
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