I don’t know about everyone else, but I am well past the point of being ‘excited’ about this season. I’m freakin pumped. Obviously a lot of that has to do with the expectations everyone has for this Cubs team. But at the same time, the game of baseball seems to be making a bit of a comeback in its own right. The new studs that have emerged have definitely played a big role in terms of league popularity, but the coolest thing going on in baseball right now is the sort of changing of the guard that has vaulted traditional losing franchises into the top of their respective divisions. Take the Royals, Mets, and Astros. All three teams have seen stretches of historically bad baseball, with bright spots coming few and far between — until last year.
Cubs fans know this tale too well. Lovable losers. The drought. Bartman. We have been among the crowd of diehards across the country that root on their painstakingly unsuccessful franchises year after year, always meeting the end of their season with the all too familiar cry: wait till next year!
Well maybe it is ‘next year’ for the Cubs. I sure seem to think so. But the beauty of baseball is that we just don’t know. David Schoenfield wrote a piece for ESPN that included some computer simulated projections. Here’s an excerpt that perfectly sums up the unpredictability of baseball:
“Miller presents a fun chart, each’s team best and worst record among the 100 sims. And guess what? At some point, every team wins 100 games — thePhiladelphia Phillies, at 100 wins, barely got there but get there they did. At least once. And every team loses 100 games at least once. The Mets, Mariners and Cleveland Indians had the lowest “floor” at 60-102. The Chicago Cubs could go 121-41 … or 58-104.”
Now, I think it goes without saying that the high and low ends here are pretty realistic. But the point is anything could happen between now and October.
In the mean time, I’m going to keep my hopes up. We’ve got some of the most exciting young guys in the game in our dugout. We’ve got the defending Cy Young award winner staring you down. We’ve got champions on our roster, and a fearless leader who is “as cool as the other side of the pillow” (credit to Stuart Scott on that one. RIP).
Let’s go win a championship. One W at a time.