Matt Garza hasn’t given the Chicago Cubs anything in a long time. Yes, he’s been hurt since last year, and nobody can blame him for being injured. That’s a part of the game. But he apparently thinks that Cubs fans like me have no right to criticize or be unhappy with the team and its performance so far this season. To which I reply: Give us something to get excited about, then.
When Matt Garza literally guaranteed that he would be ready to go by Opening Day this year, he offered up a ray of light in the wake of the losingest season that most of us had ever seen. I, for one, took him at his word. Yet, here we are, a month into the season, and he’s thrown as many pitches for the Cubs as I have.
Did anyone force Matt Garza to offer up this overly-optimistic assessment of his progress from last year’s surgery? No, he did that himself. And the problem is that, when you make a pledge of this nature, people tend to remember what you said. And when the reality falls short of what the promise is, people have every right to hold you to what you said earlier.
So, Matt Garza steps out on his protected Twitter feed and tells Cubs fans to stop being so negative. There’s a word for someone like that: Pollyanna. The word is taken from a children’s novel written 100 years ago by a woman named Elanor H. Porter. “Pollyanna” has endured for a century as the symbol of someone who relentlessly sees the bright side of things. Some people are indeed like this, while others — such as those who have been waiting for something all their lives — are not. And I’m in that latter group.
By the time Matt Garza returns to the mound, the season may or may not have slipped away from the Cubs. He’ll pitch the best that he can, hoping to land a big free-agent contract with a team that almost certainly won’t be the Cubs. He’ll then sign that contract, don someone else’s uniform and go about his business. Maybe the type of fans he prefers to see will be waiting for him in that new destination, too.
But this hard-bitten Cubs fan has no sympathy for Matt Garza’s comments. He can make them if he wants to, but he should not expect to score too many points with this Cubs lifer, who just wants the one thing that Matt Garza and the Cubs have not been able to provide.