David Ross Provides Season’s Most Meme-able Moment as Cubs Add to MLB-Worst Unearned Run Total

As though channeling the discontent of Cubs fans everywhere, David Ross became a viral sensation Thursday night when he fired those double birds during his team’s loss in San Francisco. Why did he do it and at whom was the gesture directed? Maybe Tom Ricketts was in the stands.


The more likely culprit was a defense that committed two errors, leading to four unearned runs for starter Justin Steele. Those tallies brought the Cubs to 61 unearned runs on the season, easily the highest mark in MLB. The Rays and White Sox are next with 54 unearned runs, but a vast majority of teams have allowed fewer than 50 and half are under 40.

This is one of those areas just about everyone had pinpointed well before the season began, citing the Cubs’ contact-heavy pitching staff as a reason to solidify the defense. The Cubs currently rank 25th in MLB with -17 defensive runs saved and a FanGraphs Def score of -12.1, so I guess it could be worse. It could also be a helluva lot better, though, which worries me when it comes to roster construction.

The Cubs are in this position as an organization in large part due to the fact that they weren’t able to surround stars with a proper set of complementary role players. Now they’re about to ship out their remaining stars from a team that might have been mildly competitive had the front office opted to spend all the available funds in the baseball budget for this season.

I’m oversimplifying what is a far more nuanced situation here, but the core concept is that the Cubs came into the season as a team that had to have a lot of things break right in order for them to succeed. Everything has since broken bad, hence the double birds and more than a few expletives. I want to believe Jed Hoyer and the rest of his brain trust can make the right moves going forward to turn this thing around, and I love what I’m seeing in the minors, but my ability to trust this organization is waning rapidly.

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