What’s with the Cubbies? The first half of this season felt like the beginning of another hundred-year slump. There may not be any goat in sight but some kind of voodoo is going on.
Last season’s angels have become gremlins – at the plate, on the mound, in the field and in the way-out-of-sight bullpen. Even Mr. Maddon’s masterful magic has been going pffft. Go figure.
This time a year ago Cub fans and fanatics were delirious with possibilities, though still a worrisome lot. They knew anything could happen and for most die-hards that “anything” meant disaster. Not in 2016, though.
The team literally danced to and through the playoffs. The World Series turned out to be another matter but, boy, did the Cubs come through, big time! Chicagoland and Cub Nation are still vibrating from all the thrills.
Ever since last October there’s been a big blue W on the side of an awning shop on Central Street. It disappeared a couple of weeks ago, as if to weep about this
season’s humbling no-show version at
Addison & Clark.
But … halfway is only halfway. Maybe it’s time to shake off the hangovers from last year’s partying. The All Star voting and 10th inning debacle should be better than buckets of ice water to rouse this team to get back to their talents and winning ways and make a proud run at post-season play.
Maybe it’s a matter of team chemistry. Or confronting the pressure to “Do it again, Cubbies!” which they can never do. There will never be another season like last year’s. Never.
So put that in your pocket, Mr. Rizzo, like the last-out baseball of the seventh game, and get the team refocused on their talents.
In baseball, anything can happen. The season is young enough for the Cubs to get a grip – on the mound and at the plate especially.
Desire isn’t enough but it is essential for winning and for a team’s cohesion. There has been evidence of both since the All Star game but there still remains the roller coaster ride to post-season play, both for the Cubs and their newly believing fans.
That awning shop on Central Street is waiting to re-hang its big blue W flag.