In two days, pitchers and catchers will report to camp marking the return of baseball but most importantly, and on this side of the border at the least is the near end of the winter season. Some cities have eight foot snowbanks at the end of driveways so when I tell the neighbour about Cubs baseball, well he shouldn’t be surprised. Bring on the warmth of Arizona, the HD digital sound of the ball smacking leather.
I’m not talking about Fifty Shades of Grey either.
It’s a clean slate once the players report. Forget the expectations on the Cubs this season, and let me tell you that it feels really good that there are expectations put on the Cubs for a change. No more,”Well, we’re hoping to evaluate players and see where we’re at.”
Those days are gone.
This season, Cubs fans aren’t necessarily expecting a World Series championship, all though that would be nice; this year’s edition of the North Side is to go out there and win. To finally compete against the big boys of the division like the Reds and the Cardinals.
I was watching that football film Rudy, not a great film but nevertheless uplifting. So, I decided to look back at John Baker’s pitching gem. Folks, if you get a chance to look at that game again do so because it’s fantastic! A true underdog game. The Cubs are not these guy anymore.
The one area that isn’t different than any other year is that everybody will be competing for a spot in the lineup.
All right, maybe Tony Rizzo’s job is safe.
“It’s always dangerous to write up a lineup card in January because guys can get hurt,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said, “but there’s no doubt that guys batting sixth, seventh, and eighth now will be more experienced, more talented and certainly have better on-base skills than they have in the past.”
It’s pretty cool when just about every player has to compete for his job. So, whether the Cubs are legitimate contenders for the World Series or like the Washington Nationals paper champions, one thing is for certain that very few critics and journalist will argue;
The Cubs are going to turn a lot of heads this season. With the best farm system in baseball, this Chicago team will not be push overs.