If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been mildly obsessed with the Manti Te’o story lo these last 24 hours (give or take). If you haven’t been following the Te’o story, Katie did a great summary of the whole thing here.
Allow me to hit the highlights for you:
Here’s the shortened version: Te’o and the girl, Lennay Kekua, supposedly met at a Stanford/Notre Dame game in 2009. They liked each other, and that led to a relationship that lasted until she reportedly died after battling leukemia during the 2012 season.
Her death came shortly after Te’o’s grandmother passed away, and then Te’o’s story garnered national attention. Then of course he won a bunch of post-season awards and made it all the way to the national title game, where Notre Dame played like garbage and lost to Alabama.
Fast forward to today, when Deadspin revealed that Lennay never existed – at least in human form. The story is super complicated, but her “relationship” with Te’o only existed on the phone and online, never in-person. He didn’t even go to her funeral, because she said she didn’t want him to miss a game (I have a separate set of problems with this…). And apparently they never met in person, despite the fact that Te’o said they did.
Whack, right? I mean, there are so many questions that Notre Dame’s Athletic Director didn’t answer the school press conference last night, such as: If this was purely an online relationship, where the did the story about Manti and Imaginary Fake Girlfrienf (IFGF) meeting in a Palo Alto parking lot come from? Where did the stories about her visiting him in Hawaii come from? Where did Te’o send the flowers for her funeral? And, most of all, can you really call someone your “girflriend” if you’ve never met them in real life?
While I was puzzling all that out, I came across this:
After a 101-loss season, the Cubs would have to improve by 20 games simply to reach the .500 mark in 2013.
Manager Dale Sveum said being .500 “is not acceptable.” Sveum expects the Cubs to compete with a revamped rotation, a new set-up man and another year of growth from the kids.
“The one thing you hate doing is saying .500 will be good, because it’s not good,” Sveum said. “It’s not 101 losses, but .500 isn’t getting you to the playoffs. Just getting in the playoffs is what’s satisfactory.”
And then this from Theo:
“Behind the scenes, regardless of the results, there’s progress being made. But as far as 2013, you can define it as a success or failure by whether we make the postseason, and ultimately whether we win the World Series. But absolutely. There are stories every year about teams that don’t necessarily look like the favorites on paper that find their way playing meaningful games in September, playing into October, playing into deep October. Baltimore, Oakland last year, they are great inspirations for teams in our position.”
Which got me thinking . . who is more delusional? Manti Te’o because he (allegedly fell) for a IFGF? Or the Cubs front office, who has already defined the upcoming (non-playoff going to) season as a failure?
Let’s chart out the arguments for and against:
For Manti being more delusional: A) He goes to Notre Dame; B) He (allegedly) fell in love with a woman he had never met; C) He cried on national television over the IFGF he never met; D) he put the IFGF he never met’s death on par with his grandmother’s death; E) he let the Notre Dame athletic conference handle the press conference. Speaking of which, has anyone paused to consider that perhaps Lance Armstrong is behind all of this?
For the Cubs’ front office: A) Have already declared the season a failure if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs; B) the Cubs aren’t making the playoffs; C) third base; D) Carlos Marmol; E) a bunch of 37-year old Asian pitchers coming off Tommy John Surgery; E) Crane Kenny still works there.
I tell ya, I think it’s a draw.
If you were hoping to see social media ingenue Sammy Sosa at Cubs Con this year, you’re going to be disappointed. AGAIN.
Cubs spokesman Julian Green confirmed Sammy Sosa was not invited, though he gave no reason for the decision.
“Obviously Sammy was a great player and accomplished a great deal for us, and for this organization, no question,” Green said, adding there were more than 70 players, former players and coaches whom fans will be able to see.
It’s no surprise, of course. Sosa has been estranged from his former team since the end of the ’04 season when he walked out of the clubhouse during the final game.
Whether he ever will return to the good graces of his former team is a question that probably won’t be answered unless Sosa adequately addresses his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Sosa, who hit 609 home runs, finished with only 12.5 percent of the votes on this year’s ballot, suggesting voters believed he was simply a creation of modern chemistry.
“Even if we weren’t inducted on our first time, we are still winners and there is always a next time,” Sosa tweeted on his account, @TheRealMr609.
Keep the faith, Sammy.