When I was a child, my family and I would frequent Kane County Cougars’ games on a regular basis. Personally, I can remember traveling along with my mother on business trips while enjoying the game. Unfortunately, I was so young at the time that my interest in baseball was yet to be found. However, as I grew older–granted, I’m only 19, so I use the term older loosely–I really enjoyed going to Cougars’ games. Walking within the Cougars’ stadium, I was fascinated to see that the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Josh Beckett, and Dontrelle Willis have all played with the Cougars. That is when I first made the connection that the Cougars were officially associated with a Major League Baseball team. That also when I first dreamed about the idea of the Cougars being a part of the Cubs’ organization.
My dreams have finally come true. The Chicago Cubs announced that the Kane County Cougars have officially joined the Cubs’ organization as the team’s Class A affiliate. Nearly a month after the potential move was first reported, Cubs’ President Theo Epstein was finally able to comment on the big addition to the Cubs’ organization.
“I’m a big fan of having as many affiliates as possible close by the home city,’’ Cubs president Theo Epstein said. “It just creates a lot of efficiencies with rehabs and allows front office and staff to see the team play a little bit more often.
`It also gives our players a feel for the market. Before there’s too much pressure on them, they get an understanding of how important baseball is and get to know the fans a little bit. And then obviously it’s good for the affiliate with the link to the hometown team. Hopefully, it can be a win-win.’’ Chicago Sun Times
This move figures to have a huge benefit for the Cubs’ organization as Kane County is much closer to Wrigley Field than Peoria. As Epstein indicate, this lessens the difficulty of front office officials being able to gather evaluations and scouting reports of the teams top prospects at the lower levels of the organization. Expect Jorge Soler and Albert Almora to begin the 2013 season with the Cougars, and the move to Kane County, would give the Cubs’ front office the opportunity to watch these two prospects as well as others on a regular basis.
While the Cougars will not to change their name to the Cubs just yet, the move allows Cougar players and coaches to get accustom to the atmosphere around Wrigley Field. Granted, there is nothing that can match the true atmosphere of Wrigley Field during a Cubs’ game.