Monday, February 20, 2017

EXTRA: Can the Cubs really have a rivalry w/ a ball club called the ‘Nats?’

We want to be the team knocking them out
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals outfielder


Harper shot off his mouth, can he back it up
I suspect that at the Mesa, Ariz.-based spring training camp of the Chicago Cubs, somebody has tagged the newspaper clipping  (or maybe a computer printout) on a bulletin board of the Chicago Sun-Times’ story about the upcoming season for the Washington Nationals.

For while Cubs fans want to believe that last year's World Series victory was merely the beginning of a dynastic era that will rival the 1990s stretch of success experienced by the Chicago Bulls and could also top anything the New York Yankees have ever done, it seems that other National League teams want to think of the Cubs as one-and-done.

THAT VIEW EXPRESSED above was that of Nationals’ star Bryce Harper, who says his ball club is determined to be the one of success in coming years. The Cubs’ championship string will have to come to an end at one – or so says Harper.

Now I don’t know if that’s true. If anything, the Nationals of recent years have had contending teams that kept falling short. But if they do manage to contend, it would make that Aug. 4-6 series at Wrigley Field (when the Nationals make their one-and-only appearance in Chicago this season) all the more interesting.
Some Cubs fans already see '16 as greater

I’m sure the Cubs’ boo-birds will be sure to remember that particular line and try to use it against Harper when he plays in those ballgames. Particularly if he winds up having a sub-par season in 2017; it will definitely become a taunt that he’ll never live down at Wrigley Field.

Although it could make him a fan favorite on the city’s South Side, where Chicago White Sox fans would love it if his taunt takes on a taint of truth. It’s just a shame for Harper the Nationals aren’t scheduled for an inter-league game against the Sox this season.

OF COURSE, PART of Harper’s trash-talk against the Cubbies could be in reaction to the reports that it was the Cubs that employed a strategy last year when playing the Nationals that may have caused Harper to start off the season with a slump.
Dusty victory in '17 would ruin his Chicago rep

Specifically, they intentionally walked him so many times that he set a record for the most times getting on base without registering an official at-bat. Which allegedly threw him off his game.

All I know is that Washington is managed these days by Dusty Baker, who may have led the San Francisco Giants to a World Series appearance, but fell short during his time with the Cubs. Remember 2003?

I’m sure if Baker finally achieves a World Series managerial victory with the Nationals, thereby giving Washington, D.C., its first such victory by any team since 1924 and it is perceived at coming at the Cubs’ expense, it will be all the more reason for Chicago Cubs fans to despise the Nats and Dusty Baker far more than we ever will care about anything Donald J. Trump says or does!


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