Just before Spring Training, Cubs manager Joe Maddon stated that his team’s goals are “much bigger” than they were last year.
I don’t think we should just crown the Cubs just yet.
Yes, this is a post about my disdain for the only professional sports franchise that I just don’t understand. I don’t get it, and what Madden said above is something that I can’t put a finger on. I’m not going to flip a switch and follow it.
Wasn’t the Cubs’ goal last year to win the World Series? So what is “much bigger” than that?
Oh, wait … wasn’t the goal to make the World Series last year? If winning it is considered “bigger”, than what is “much bigger”?
Wouldn’t that be putting themselves among baseball’s greatest teams ever?
Can you mention the 2016 Chicago Cubs in the same group as the 1927 New York Yankees (110-44), or the 1954 Cleveland Indians (111-43), or the 1998 Yankees (114-98), or the 2001 Seattle Mariners (116-46)? Only two of those teams won the World Series during those years, and both wore black pinstripes.
Does an NLCS finalist team + off-season acquisitions (notably John Lackey and Jason Heyward) necessarily = World Series champion? If that were logically true, then we would have the same champions every year.
The only thing that means is that the target on their backs is much bigger than what they perhaps like it to be. The added baggage on this particular target is the immense pressure to win a World Series, something that hasn’t been done since 1908. Because these aren’t really veteran players on this team, I expect the rest of baseball to catch up to them.
It means the 2016 Chicago Cubs aren’t going to win a World Series.
What the Cubs need to be thinking about is making the playoffs. Because when you think you’re all big and bad, it will just pass you by.
I see the 2016 Cubs suffering the same fate as last year, losing in the NLCS.
Notice I didn’t predict all hell for them. When Madden joined the Cubs, and right when Kris Bryant was making a name for himself as a top rookie, I figured that the Cubs would finally get their World Series at some point during Bryant’s 7-year contract. Essentially, the Cubs will win a World Series before 2022.
I see 2017 being that year.
Give the kids another season under their belts, give them experience being targets, and I’ll be excited to see as we “wait ‘till next year.”
Until then, hush!