The Chicago Cubs are in a good position for the latter half of the 2016 MLB campaign. They own the best record in baseball 66-41 and yet besides Kris Bryant, who leads the National league in Runs with 82, don’t lead any other categories in position players. The only two team statistics the Cubs lead in is HBP(Hit By Pitch) with 70 and BB (Walks) with 452.
“We’re in a good position,” right fielder Jason Heyward said. “And a good mental state. We’re getting everyone’s best every night, it feels like. That’s what you want. You want to be challenged.”
Even when the Cubs flirt with controversy with the signing of Aroldis Chapman, the road to October has remained clear. I’m a believer that all athletes are role models and that’s the most important part of their contract. Their every move is scrutinized off the field so it’s more important for the ballplayer to be that special person for the children to look up to. Believe me, kids watch grown ups like a hawk.
“I won’t watch the Cubs now,” says one-time Palatine resident Glenda Bailey-Mershon, former president of the National Organization for Women‘s chapter in Illinois, who can’t dismiss the fact that Chapman has a history of domestic violence. Chapman came to the Cubs last week after he was traded by the New York Yankees.
One player does not make a team despite an almost sound barrier breaking fastball. There are others on the team that have dug deep into the trenches and slogged their way to be at this point. Javier Baez, who’s name has propped up almost overtime the word Trade has been mentioned in the same sentence and yet, his defensive prowess has kept the perennial underdogs ahead of the pack all season ben when they were in a so-called slump just before the All Star game.
“I really hope our fans, when they evaluate our personnel, to understand you play this game on both sides to be really effective,” Maddon said. “He’s a game changer on defense.”
However the Cubs have done so far, these last two months can be the most gruelling and heart wrenching for an MLB team. This is the time of year where seasons can collapse right before your eyes or make a fan cry out triumphantly and taunt co-workers on the other side of the cubicles. This is where baseball becomes baseball.
“I think you still have to fight to get through August a bit,” Maddon said. “You still have to be mindful of giving people rest. Getting people in and out of there, you design this whole month with that in mind. Having a couple of off days is going to be very, very helpful. Beyond that, I think September creates its own energy. This next 30 days will be the 30 to really make sure that we stay the course, play as well as we have. Rest people and continue to build into that September moment.”