I know that the series was played in Houston, but come on. Losing a series to what is easily the worst team in baseball this year? And Cubs fans are supposed to be excited about the direction of this team? No thanks.
At least we can keep moving through the 1980s on the #DoubleTriple countdown. 1981 was something of a gimme, because the players went on strike in June and wiped out two months of the season. No team lost 100 games that year, which isn’t surprising when all of the cancelled games are taken into account, but no team was even on a statistical pace to lose 100 games that year, even if all 162 games had been played.
The 1981 season started back up in August, with a sprint to the finish where every team essentially got a do-over. The teams that were in first place when the strike started were declared the first half champions, and they didn’t have quite so much to play for over the final weeks of the season. Not surprisingly, none of the first half champions also finished first in the second half of the season. Three of the four second half winners were in third place in their divisions when the strike began, and the other second-half winner, the Kansas City Royals, were in fifth place and 10 games under .500 when play was halted. They certainly made the most of their opportunity.
The big news during the players’ strike was the sale of the Cubs by the Wrigley family to the Tribune Corporation for the now-miniscule sum of $20 million. Wrigley Field was added into the sale, and the Cubs became a certified cash cow over the next two decades. The Wrigley family had owned the Cubs for 60 years, but the sale of the team was forced by estate tax bills owed by William Wrigley, who had inherited the team in 1977.
With big corporate money now behind them, the Cubs embarked on a new era in 1981. And as we now know, it didn’t go the way we hoped it would.