Siberian Baseball

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Who says they have to be bear cubs?

It's so simple, why hasn't anyone in the Cubs organization thought of this before? Forget the goat, Bambino related residue from the called shot and trying to keep up with the former doormats of the league who have won since 2004.

Isn't it about time that the Cubs said, "Screw being little bears, let's be little lions or tigers, instead."

As I was cruising through a Chicago Tribune archival package of Spring Training photos, there was one of Charlie Grimm and Gabby Hartnett with a jaguar cub. The caption says it's a team mascot from 1937.

Yes, I realize that the original name came from the idea that the Bears also played at Wrigley Field and if the football were that much larger, then the ballplayers had to be cubs.

Still, if it takes a technicality to shake things up a bit, I'm surprised the team hasn't jumped all over this. It means all of their current stock becomes "throwback" gear and can be sold at a 150 percent markup and if a team like the Devil Rays can retool after a few years as a pro team, why not the Northsiders.

Still, if there better options out there, starting out with a name used exclusively for baby animals might not be the best plan of action. After doing at least 15 seconds of research, I turned up this list of other animals that have young named "cubs."

* Badgers - too close to the Wisconsin border for this to be a good choice.
* Bears
* Cheetahs - not very fierce, but really fast. Reminds me of Ichiro playing for Mariners teams that have a hard time driving him in.
* Foxes - like a wolf, only smaller. Like the size of a wiener dog.
* Hyenas - I'm digging this one. I'm sure I'd be OK with being named after a scavenger after a while. A win's a win, even if you didn't kill it yourself. I'm betting the Chicago Hyenas would back into the playoffs three or four years every decade.
* Leopards - Eh, who wants to be named after the big cat that people walk past to see the lions and tigers at the zoo?
* Lions - Detroit ruined the karma on this one in a big way. Seibu might help tip the scales back, but this name is pretty radioactive.
* Pandas - Like a bear, only crappier and cuddlier. Next.
* Raccoons - See hyenas, only with better press in the U.S. Can we hire the raccoons from The Great Outdoors to be the new Rally Monkey?
* Seals - Subject to clubbing with baseball bats. Not good.
* Tigers - There are worse teams to be a miniature version of than the Detroit Tigers. Aside from the fielding of their pitchers in the World Series two years ago, they've come back with mega-signings of Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis this winter. They both play in weak divisions. The downside? The Bengals.
* Walruses - Original and oddly reminiscent of many Chicago residents. A little tubby with a mustache, congrats, add a pair of chopsticks and you're a live action mascot.
* Wolves - There are already wolves in Chicago, so it'd be a pretty natural fit. Plus, they're the only Chicago team to win consistently since the Bulls made their run (this is subject to factual inaccuracies due to the fact that I don't care that much about hockey these days, much less minor league hockey).
* Woodchucks - "Ladies and gentlemen, your Chicago Woodchucks!" Nah.

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