Trib's Latest Cubs Theory: Nice Guys Finish Last

Cubs lost because they're too nice? Not so much

There are lots of reasons why the Cubs lost in the playoffs last year. A brief, inexplicable loss of fielding acumen. A sudden inability to get on base and to make extra-base hits. A hot Derek Lowe. An even hotter -- scorching hot, actually -- Manny Ramirez. All of these things had something to do with the Cubs losing.

Normally good Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Morrissey has an alternate theory. After explaining why, get this, it's a good thing the Cubs didn't sign Peavy, Morrissey explains his theorem, which we'll call the RM Heaping Pile of Baseball Nonsense, Corollary Six:

But Peavy is not coming to the Cubs, and trust me on this one, it's a good thing. The Cubs need a few nasty characters on the roster, and Peavy's dismissal of Boras automatically disqualifies him. It shows a fatal streak of rationality. No, as we have been saying all along, the Cubs are too nice, too soft, too upstanding. We could use unfriendliness, hard edges and even a little villainy, within reason.

You see? The Cubs lost to the Dodgers because guys are too nice. Too nice on the field. Too nice in the clubhouse. Too genial. Too friendly. Too fond of each other. Too likely to return DVDs they borrow, though rumor is that Carlos Zambrano still has Derrek Lee's copy of Wall*E. (Speaking of which, where does this nice guy theorem fit with Carlos Zambrano? He's actually kind of a jerk sometimes.)

See, normally, writers say it's a good thing that baseball players have "good chemistry." To be clear, chemistry has very little to do with baseball. You're either good or you're not. But since the Cubs lost, and they had good chemistry, the secret now appears to be bad chemistry. Obviously, if Ryan Theiot and Mike Fontenot got into more punching matches, and gave more Terrell Owens-esque quotes to the press, the Cubs would have won the World Series. Right.

Morrissey uses the RMHPoBN-CS to push for the signings of Milton Bradley and Randy Johnson, which aren't such bad ideas. Especially Bradley. But the reason to sign Bradley is because he's good at baseball. Not because he's kind of crazy. Same goes for the Cubs. Inferring anything about personality, and the Cubs' relationships therein, is little better than superstition. Morrissey's way, way better than that. 

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