There is more than an aftertaste remaining with Cub fans since last October. The party is still going on here in WrigleyWorld and more so this Spring in Mesa. Come Opening Day the Cubs officially begin their quest for back-to-back Pennants and World Series Championships. Just thinking of such a possibility gives this writer a mind-quake.
The pleasures of last season can never be repeated, nor can they ever be deleted from any Cub fan’s soul. All the highlights replay themselves constantly and the big blue W waves indelibly in dreams of what’s to come. New pleasures, new highlights await.
There are no guarantees in baseball. But three factors of the 2017 team add a strong pulse to the possibility of going two for two. The team is young, talented, and focused.
Young, but not too young. Last season’s experiences have added virtual years to the youngest players and burnished the not-so-older stalwarts and stars. Years of frustration have given way to frolic and fun.
When it comes to talent, the team teems with it at every level and position. Sure, there are question marks – on the mound, in the bullpen, and at the plate. Question marks are part of the game, every day. But when the talents are there and in tune, the game becomes poetry.
And how can the 2017 Cubs not have focus? With a manager having as much fun as his players, the team is still all business because of him. Mr. Maddon is a maestro at molding and motivating his team, keeping them focused on the job at hand while supporting and enjoying one another as teammates. Last season’s team is practically intact. And so is their focus.
But baseball is like life itself – anything can happen and usually does. Injuries worst of all; slumps, locker room squabbles, off-field mishaps, just to name a few. Toss in a curse and Cub fans know that better than others. They’ve “been there, done that” for more than a century while showing a loyalty that is finally (understatement) paying off. And those in the front office are doing all they can to keep that happening
Wrigleyville is still in the midst of its makeover. The Cubs showed off their own in 2016 and are hoping it stays with them for years to come. For the moment, however, 2017 is what matters. Let’s PLAY BALL!