MLB betting handicappers have long abandoned the Cubs after their complete fall of 2009 in which they went from NL Central champs to losers with the MLB odds.
The steep fall from one of the elite teams in baseball to an also ran playing out the string finally wore out current manager Lou Piniella, who will retire at the end of the season. There is wild speculation as to who will replace Piniella.
Regardless of who eventually gets the gig at Wrigley Field, the job of getting the Cubs back into the playoffs will not be an easy one.
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry is not making any false promises or using cheap sales gimmicks for prospective skippers. He instead has decided to lower expectations and come clean.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” said Hendry. “It’s certainly a tremendous challenge and a tremendous opportunity in a great, great place.”
“But obviously, the weight of the world is on you as far as eventually having to win a world championship.”
The Cubs last won a world championship in 1908. Piniella was thought to be the answer to the problem and he looked to have the Cubs poised for a serious run in 2008 but the playoff loss to the Dodgers was like a nuclear bomb on his program as the North Siders have not been a strong online baseball betting commodity ever since.
The Cubs pathetic history is actually one of the draws to the job as there are plenty of big league sized egos that would love to be known as the manager that ended the drought of world titles for Chicago.
There is also the perception of the Cubs as lovable but losers with handicappers that bet the baseball odds as well as the beer swilling fans that love to sit in the outfield of Wrigley. That will have to change.
“The intrigue of wanting to be the manager that eventually won a world championship,” said Hendry of the appeal of the Cubs job. “That’s all part of the lure to everybody over the past 8-10 years that I’ve been hiring to manage.”
The Cubs popularity often makes them a poor MLB betting value, even in good years, but this year the losing has only made that already shaky value worse.