Pete Rose beat up on the Chicago Cubs plenty during his memorable career with the Cincinnati Reds and all these years later he’s still finding ways to get under the skin of Cubs fans.
Baseball’s disgraced all-time hits leader appeared on FOX Sports’ “Outkick the Show” with Clay Travis and was asked about the Cubs, who went into Tuesday’s games with the best record in baseball and 8.5 games ahead of St. Louis in the National League Central Division and proceeded to beat Washington 4-3 for their 44th win this season.
“The Cubs right now no question have the best team, but I can’t root for a team that hasn’t won since 1907. The Cubs will find a way to screw it up I think. They’ve got a good ball club, probably the best ball club in the league right now. They’re playing like it, but again, they can be pitched to, their pitchers can be hit. It’s just a matter of who’s going to give them a fight at the end of the season, in the playoffs.
“The Cubs, are they going to play good all year like last year when they won 97 games and then got swept in the playoffs? We’ll have to wait and see, because in the playoffs, you’re a different animal.”
No one would expect Rose to root for the Cubs to end their 108-year-old streak without winning the World Series. He’s a Cincinnati guy through and through. And he probably isn’t alone in thinking that the Cubs will ‘find a way to screw it up.’ These are the Cubs after all and they have a long history of bad luck and bad decision-making that this year’s team is trying to put behind the franchise once and for all. Heck, plenty of Cubs fans will certainly have to see it to believe it.
But Rose is all wrong when it comes to how he characterized last season and how it ended for Chicago. By any measure, the Cubs were ahead of schedule in even reaching the playoffs a year ago. They not only beat Pittsburgh in the wild card playoff, but they defeated St. Louis, the team with the best record in baseball in the 2015 regular season, before ultimately falling to the Mets in the National League Championship Series.
They weren’t exactly swept out of the playoffs as Rose put it.
Rose’s prediction about the Cubs’ chances this season might ultimately prove to be true, but he certainly isn’t basing that on anything that has happened on the field so far this season. It’s simply Rose’s gut feeling. The Cubs went into play Tuesday having lost consecutive games only four times all season and leading all of baseball with a massive plus-159 run differential.
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