There are a lot of sports stories happening throughout the country. I feel that I need to address a few of them and how they relate to our beloved Chicago Cubs.
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City pride can be contagious:
After watching the championship parade for the Blackhawks, one thing developed in my mind. I hope that the Chicago Cubs, and the other Chicago teams as well, are finding a new hunger while watching their counterparts celebrate. As Joe Maddon raised the cup over his head a few days ago, you couldn’t help but watch the faces of the young Cubs team that is full of life and hope.
For many of the players, this should be the driving force. The energy radiating off the fans has been incredible and the players know it. I have envisioned what it would be like if the Cubs ever won the World Series. Tens of thousands of fans pouring into the streets to bask in glory we haven’t seen in our lifetime. The endless aerial shots of the mob cheering under the glow of the Wrigley Field marquee.
This is the goal, this is the dream, and the Chicago Cubs know that they can do it.
Baseball’s future is the story:
Major League baseball is witnessing something that might be the remedy it needs nationally. I have written before on the youth movement inside the Cubs clubhouse. That same excitement is being felt throughout the league. Top prospects are popping up everywhere. The remarkable quality about this is their impact. Kris Bryant and Addison Russell have plugged in and made themselves comfortable.
As you look around the league, Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers has been lighting up ballparks with his mammoth home runs. Francisco Lindor is providing a spark for an Indians team many experts had gone deep into October. Second-year Red Sox Brock Holt completed the cycle and Giants rookie starter Chris Heston threw a no-hitter. It’s difficult to keep up with new faces appearing each day.
Most recently, the Cubs made news again calling up Kyle Schwarber from Double-A. In a flash, we perhaps got to see just how potent this lineup could be in the future with the 17-0 drubbing of the Cleveland Indians.
Cheaters apparently can prosper:
Gaining a competitive edge is perfectly fine within reason. God knows that the Cubs aren’t the poster child all the time. Whether you want to talk about corked bats or punching certain catcher’s in the face, the Cubs haven’t put their best foot forward all the time. With the recent news that two members of the Cubs organization were issued 72-games suspensions for steroids, getting the punishment they deserve. Preserving the integrity of the game should be a top priority.
But when the St. Louis Cardinals, a team with a fanbase so smug and a track record so distinguished that you love to hate them, cheats it draws our attention. Let me just be brief and say that what they are accused of doing is unacceptable. Accused is the operative word here. I would love to jump to conclusions and assume that everyone involved with the team is guilty, but we just don’t know yet.
Corporate espionage happens far more than we would think. If the FBI finds that this was an organizational problem, then we can talk about the next step.
We might be entering unchartered water. What kind of punishment would be suitable for this crime? If we find out that they did cheat, I hope that the league will make an example of them. The team that has spent many years reminding the rest of us how great they are and how we envy their success.
We can fine them, dock them draft picks, maybe even suspend someone, but if you really want to make it hurt, then hit them where it matters most to them. If individual players can be held out for cheating then why not a whole team. Maybe it’s time we discuss the integrity of the sport and holding players and front offices alike responsible when they don’t comply.
But until that is proven, its business as usual. The Cubs are starting to make their presence felt. The summer is heating up and the excitement is mounting. Let’s Go!