Tonight is game 7 of the 2016 World Series. That sentence would have seemed a crazy impossibility Saturday night when the Chicago Cubs were down 3-1 against the Cleveland Indians, but it is now a perhaps even crazier reality. If they win, they win it all. If they lose, all of the Chicago momentum, hope, and excitement will be cut short and put on hold until next season, making it at least 109 years of the drought. The Chicago Cubs stand on the edge of history. They now have only to jump, either into glory or into heartbreak.
If the Cubs want to win tonight and go the whole nine yards, they'll have to go a whole nine innings playing the absolute best baseball possible. They have it in them, too, because they have played exceptionally the last two games, even better than any other great team would. The Cubs' greatness is legitimate. Their greatness got them to this World Series. Their greatness got them to come back from the brink of elimination to even this Series up. Their greatness gives Cubs fans everywhere a glowing, profound confidence that the Cubs really will go the distance tonight. These Chicago Cubs truly are a great baseball team.
Don't be fooled, though: behind every great team is a replaceable, incompetent manager. An inept, bumbling manager riding their coattails, providing deadweight, and ready to pull the whole team backwards, feet over head, right into a deep, dark grave of defeat. A corrupting, soulless manager whose signs from the dugouts are the same signals signed by the Grim Reaper himself as he condemns us all to an eventual, unavoidable death. For all the light the Chicago Cubs shine--a light that seemingly could lead out of any darkness--they are still covered up by a suffocating, deathly darkness at the manager position. Yes, like any other team, the Chicago Cubs have an inhibiting, dangerous, catastrophic man at their helm, a man disguised as a leader but who clearly only wishes to mislead.
Despite their greatness--which is so clearly only credible to the players themselves--and their potential to win the World Series, the question still comes down to this: do the Chicago Cubs want to win Game 7 and this entire World Series?
If so, then the Chicago Cubs must fire Joe Maddon. They must fire him immediately and before it's too late. Before this team is doomed.
They must fire Joe Maddon before tonight's game.
Did the Cubs win last night 9-3? Yes. Did Jake Arrieta throw 9 strikeouts in 5.2 innings, giving up only two runs on 102 pitches? Yes. Did the 3, 4, 5, and 6 spots absolutely ignite, going 11 for 19 with all 9 RBIs, a double, and 3 HRs, including Addison Russell's grand slam? Yes. Did moving Kyle Schwarber--the incredibly threatening and powerful hitter who gets to DH in these AL games but where on Earth are you supposed to put him in this talented lineup?--into the number 2 spot for the night seem to give this team an immense boost of confidence and order? Yes. But are any of these things that important? No. Absolutely, profoundly, undoubtedly no.
What really matters is that the nincompoop Joe Maddon made Aroldis Chapman throw 20 pitches over 1.1 innings. 20 pitches! Mr. Maddon, we know you wear glasses. However, you clearly are blinder than the bat whose shit provides the craziness that you live off of, because that was the dumbest thing any of us non-MLB-managers have ever seen. Joe, you may have "managed" this team to the World Series, but you can fool us no longer, for we see that your true intentions are to mismanage us right out of it. Aroldis Chapman threw 42 pitches of amazing baseball to close out a must-win Game 5 and get us to a can't-lose Game 6. We were up 7-2 in that must-win game with absolutely no excuses to lose, yet you still resorted back to the best reliever on the team to make sure we did not collapse to the Indians. Guess what, dumb dumb Joe Joe? We aren't collapsing! The Indians are! They clearly could not possibly put up 5 runs at home with their best batters still due up in the 7th inning. Mr. Maddon, you stupid fart-sucker, how could you possibly think that using our late-game ace in back to back elimination games could possibly pay off? Who are you, the also bumbling Terry Francona with his unreliable and unthreatening workhorse Andrew Miller? Worse of all, now we unfortunately might have to rely on the weak, tired, gunslinging Chapman again tonight, as we sadly are forced to play another game of baseball.
You're killing us, Joe. You're killing our team. And you've killed Aroldis Chapman. Chapman said, "I don't worry about a few extra pitches. I have all the strength and mentality to pitch in this scenario. I'm ready for [Game 7] 100 percent. It's the last game of the season. You cannot save anything. Time to leave it all on the field." But what he meant is, 'I and this team are dead and done, because we've been brainwashed into thinking we can win by a manager who puts up the flashy facade of a winner. Winners we are not, for this team, which includes Joe Maddon as much as the rest of us, just wants to go home and get on with the offseason already.'
Joe, you've watched, played, and managed an almost uncountable amount of baseball in your 62 years of haunting this Earth. Well guess what, bucko Joe: we Cubs fans have watched a decent amount of baseball, too. An amount of time spent watching as fans that includes this entire World Series, on top of... I don't know, probably at most 25-30% of the rest of the season? Definitely probably maybe that much, too.
You act like you want to win, Joe, but you do not, because you pitched Aroldis Chapman more than we're used to seeing him pitch even though this is a World Series we've waited 108 years for and he's by far the best reliever we have. It doesn't even matter that we have all of our starters available tonight and also that Kyle Hendricks--who is one of the best in the game and arguably the best pitcher in baseball this year--will be starting tonight, because we're really mad about you making sure we won last night's game, you West Hazleton, PA-born moron. None of what you've done up to this point matters because we disagree with what you did for some reason that comes from no point of baseball credibility, even though it objectively worked.
Mr. evil and horrible Joe "I Obviously Don't Want to Win the World Series with this Amazing Team I Love and Respect with All my Heart" Maddon, you don't want to win. But we do. We the Chicago Cubs fanbase, a fanbase of course composed mostly of biased writers, hot take analysts, and desperate bloggers, want to win.
So, Chicago Cubs organization--an organization that is totally worried about tonight's game because Theo, Jed, and the Ricketts definitely don't have complete, genuine trust in their manager--please, please fire Joe Maddon before tonight's game. It's our only shot at winning this World Series, a feat that would be an unbelievable and historic conclusion to a season as amazing as this one has been despite the efforts of our horrific mis-manager Joe Maddon.