The Giants’ celebration of their second World Series title in three years continued Wednesday with a ticker tape parade in San Francisco. With the attention officially turning to the hot stove league season, Cubs fans can make one last reflection of the 2012 playoffs.
If you are a hater like me, you can take some enjoyment from the Giants capture of the title because of the stunning comeback they performed on our NL Central division rivals. The Cardinals were up 3-1 in the series, only to complete a Cubs like choke job and lose the NLCS. While fans in St. Louis can still point to their 2011 championship, the Red Birds painful 2012 exit from the playoffs was as good as it could get for Cubs fans when it comes to rooting against the rivals.
But the Cardinals collapse reveals more than just trash talk fodder for North Side fans. It shows the fan base and the Cubs organization alike that this is not a curse or a jinx thing. Solid ball clubs like the Cardinals and Yankees (see 2004 ALCS) have shown that they are human also and vulnerable to heartbreak.
Thanks to the wild card, in recent years it has proven that you just need to get to the playoffs. From there all it takes is a spark and a hot streak to propel you to a World Series title. The Cubs own collapse in 2003 still stings, and the no shows in the 2007 and 2008 playoffs are the most recent memories fans have of the post season. But the Cubs organization is capable of ending the World Series drought in our life time. The key is to build up the team to a point where playoff appearances are the norm. Increase your attempts at a title and at least one will eventually hit. In time 2003 will just be the exception in the team’s playoff history the way the 2004 and 2012 collapses were for the Yankees and Cardinals respectively.