Does Kevin Gregg [bottom right] owe Shane Victorino an apology?
A funny thing happens when a guy fails colossally for the Chicago Cubs: he starts to get blamed for more than his fair share of guilt. If it goes on long enough, the poor sap can achieve legendary status of abysm (yes, it's a word; no, it doesn't mean what I'm implying it means . . . yet; it will catch on as the act or state of being abysmal).
It's called . . . the reverse Chuck Norris effect.
The positive side of the routine has gained popularity on a commercial level with the Dos Equis beer ad campaign about the Most Interesting Man in the World, but we all know it originated with Chuck Norris. You can read them on into infinity (which Chuck Norris has counted to . . . twice) at www.chucknorrisfacts.com. It has some real gems like these:
When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.
Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.
You can find a great alternative on Twitter that sings the praises of 24's Jack Bauer. Just follow JackFacts24 (or merely follow the link; you need not tweet to read tweets) to read more tremendous founts of hyperbolic grandeur like this one:
Jack Bauer's killed so many bad guys that #5 on the World Most Wanted list is a Malaysian kid that downloaded the movie Dodgeball.
See. It's funny. It even reaches peak hilarity in the baseball world over at The Ted Lilly Fan Club. But when it happens in the opposite direction, sadness creeps in. Don't get me wrong, it's enormously funny, especially when it happens live on Twitter, as it did last night. The downside is that sad events (like anything involving Aaron Miles or Kevin Gregg) precipitate the folly.
The joking began directed at the indescribably bad Aaron Miles. I suggested he was the reason Tony LaRussa started batting his pitchers 8th, and things snowballed from there. People started adding the hashtag #reversechucknorris to their insults to make it easier to track (you can read the conveniently organized hatin' right here).
But by the time Kevin Gregg gave up his third game-losing home run of the year, any ire directed at Miles shifted dramatically and overwhelmingly at Kevin Gregg, and not even those goggles could have shielded him from the hatred radiating off our collective screens. The rage was too acute, too intense to channel into meticulous hashtaggery. No one thought to accuse Kevin Gregg of being the real beer tosser (until now) as tweets gave way to torches, and the fun of it vanished.
Had it not been for the outlet of ridicule that Twitter provides, though, I'm afraid the rage of that moment would have been much worse. It's at times like these that Twitter comes in real handy. It gives any fan a chance to vent without destroying things. It makes the bad a little less painful. And it makes the good (like when I had the good fortune of predicting Kosuke's 3-run homer against the Pirates) even more fun than usual.
Again, even if you're not a tweeter or twitterer or tweetist, you can follow the commentary stream in any number of platforms. Cubscast has its convenient and friendly 140 Characters from Home Plate page. You can search for #cubs on Twitter. Or if you join Twitter, you can comment from within the MLB Gameday applet (for free . . . for now). It won't fix the closer situation, but it will help us deal with the brokenness. If you're already tweeting, be sure to follow me, @Adambuckled . . . or not. I tweet too much.