1981 Chicago Cubs
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 1981 Chicago Cubs / Franchise: Chicago Cubs / BR Team Page
Managed by Joey Amalfitano
 History, Comments, Contributions
The 1981 Chicago Cubs became the nationwide butt of jokes, especially during the first part of the season. In the strike-torn season, the Cubs played the first "half" with a record of 15-37. Night show host Johnny Carson made regular jokes at their expense.
The team improved somewhat in the second "half" of the season, going 23-28.
Still, the team was pretty bad. The team batting average was .236, in a league that hit .255. The team slugged almost 25 points below the league slugging average, in spite of playing in the homer-friendly confines of Wrigley Field.
Bobby Bonds, hustling but hitting only .215, finished out his major league playing days in 1981.
Among the hitters, nobody had more than 10 home runs. Bill Buckner led the team in slugging and tied for the team lead in home runs, which wasn't a common occurrence for him. Buckner was the only one of the five regular infielders who hit better than .234, as two of them hit under .200.
And in the city of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Phillies were eyeing Cub shortstop Ivan DeJesus, and would engineer a trade in the off-season between 1981 and 1982 to bring DeJesus to Philly to help the team win the 1983 pennant. To get DeJesus, all the Phils had to do was trade oldster Larry Bowa and unproven youngster Ryne Sandberg. The Cubs would win that trade handily.