Cubs can't hold off century mark

October, 1, 2012
10/01/12
10:34
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- After a freefall that lasted the entire season, the Chicago Cubs finally bottomed out with a thud Monday.

The 2012 squad became just the third in franchise history to lose at least 100 games and the lemon juice on the open wound was the fact that it came against the Houston Astros, the only team in baseball with a record worse than theirs.

“Nobody wants to be a part of it, but the bottom line is we’re going home like a lot of other teams with a lot better records,” manager Dale Sveum said. “If you’re not going to the playoffs, a lot of times the wins and losses don’t matter.”

That might be how Sveum consoles himself, but the fact was that it was a number the manager tried to avoid, setting it up its avoidance as an artificial goal. It wasn’t like 99 defeats was much better, but it was one of the few causes Sveum had left to rally his troops around.

Rookie Anthony Rizzo came a hair away from guaranteeing it wouldn’t happen, only going as far as to say it wasn’t something that he didn’t want to be a part of. Rizzo seemed to take no satisfaction in the fact that much of the team’s struggles didn’t have anything to do with him.

Like Rizzo, the veteran Alfonso Soriano managed to be productive during the struggles but not even his best effort was enough to make much of a difference.

“Nobody wanted to have a 100-loss season but it’s happened and there is nothing you can do about it,” Soriano said. “Hopefully we can win the last two and don’t have a losing season like this next year.”

With only those two games remaining, the Cubs at least know they can’t match the mark for most defeats in franchise history. The 1962 and 1966 teams each lost 103 games.

It remains to be seen what the sting of this type of season can do to future clubhouse leaders like Rizzo and Starlin Castro. Soriano hopes the youngsters can use the sting of 2012 to push themselves in future seasons.

If there was any progress made this season it was in a clubhouse where the team showed character and seemed to enjoy each other’s company without turning against each other during the struggles.

“I think the owner (Tom Ricketts) and the president (Theo Epstein) did a very good job to put together a group of people where everybody felt fine in here,” Soriano said. “I think we have a tough season this year but most of the people enjoyed working hard to get better and try to win. That’s all we can do and we’ll see what happens next year.”

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.292 14 65 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 32
RBIA. Rizzo 78
RA. Rizzo 89
OPSA. Rizzo .913
WJ. Arrieta 10
ERAT. Wood 5.03
SOJ. Arrieta 167