I’m one of those guys who doesn’t give credit to teams for getting close. If you didn’t win it all, you didn’t win at all. This is why I don’t like the beer and champagne showers after the Wild Card games. But that’s a different story for a different time.
This is about the Cubs and their fans, who, for this one time, get a pass. Now, I didn’t endure all 86 years of the Red Sox world series drought but, I did have to watch them lose Game 7 to the Yankees in 2003 so, I feel for what Chicago is going through.
The Cubs had an offseason that added names to their roster that made you at least turn your head and look. Starting with the acquisition of manager Joe Maddon, and starting pitcher Jon Lester. Maddon gave them a head on their shoulders, a smart one at that. And Lester gave them a big lefty who has had postseason success. And if you’re the Cubs, those are two things you really want.
Then, there was the emergence of the new guys. Jorge Soler debuted in late August of last season but, cracked the starting lineup this year and was a huge edition batting .262 and hitting in key spots throughout the playoffs. Both Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber had their first crack at the majors this year and did not disappoint. Schwarber hitting .246 and Bryant .275. Not bad for a couple of rooks. Oh and Bryant had 26 dingers to go along with it. That’s good.
Oh and their ace, Jake Arrieta posted a 1.77 ERA. That’s good.
Add it all up and you get a team that went 97-65, which was good enough for the 3rd best record in the league but, also 3rd best in their NL Central division. That’s good.
The Cubs are good, and it’s been awhile since we’ve been able to say that. So, fly that W Chicago, because I predict you’ll be flying it a lot in seasons to come. No, they didn’t win it all this year, and some say they weren’t all that close, getting swept by the New York Mets in the NLCS, but I disagree. This Cubs team has something special about them and I’m dying to find out what it is.
Red Sox beat them in six games next fall.