Did this year’s success help or hurt the Chicago Cubs for 2016?


Chicago Cubs are seen as favorites in 2016, but Cubs’ fans should just sit back, and enjoy the ride

The Chicago Cubs, by far and wide, blew right through any expectations that were set for the club in 2015.

While some thought they might challenge for a playoff spot, it’s doubtful many had the team winning 97 games and becoming one of the best teams in all of baseball down the stretch.

How many of you had them in the NLCS?

Looking back the past few years at the Cubs, we knew the Theo-plan was in place, and that it was going to take time before we saw the fruits of this thing coming to the surface.

Per ESPN in 2013, Theo had once said:

"Soon, our organization will transition from a phase in which we have been primarily acquiring young talent to a phase in which we will promote many of our best prospects and actually field a very young, very talented club at the major league level. The losing has been hard on all of us, but we now have one of the top farm systems in baseball, some of the very best prospects in the game, and a clear path forward."

We hear teams say this, but how often is it the case that a plan such as this works this well, and so soon? Let alone coming within four wins of the World Series.

It’s almost stunning just how fast this rebuild plan worked, and coming to fruition so quickly. Kris Bryant, who was undoubtedly named Sporting News’ Rookie of the Year for 2015, outdid his own hype heading into the season.

Both Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber came up and bolstered the Cubs on the field and into the playoffs. Schwarber’s Game 4 home run that helped dispatch the St. Louis Cardinals from the NLDS adds to his legend while Russell shined at second base and later shortstop, showing the position is his to lose.

So this winning is good, right? What kind of the question is that you ask?

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The Cubs went into 2015 as a quiet and confident bunch. Joe Maddon helped to instill a winning attitude and was able to push all the right buttons throughout the season.

After a year in which the Cubs won 97 games and saw the bright potential turn into MLB-stardom, the team is expected to continue that trend.

As of right now, Las Vegas has the Cubs as the favorites to win the 2016 World Series, with 11/1 odds, according to WGNtv.

Now, of course, that must raise an eyebrow and bring with it an unbridled amount of excitement. Then you step back and think ‘the house always wins.’

For me personally, as enthusiastic as I was about the Cubs and their 2015 season and playoffs, I wouldn’t dare let myself think ahead of the next game. I had been through 2003. I knew better than to test the fate of…goats? Well, it doesn’t matter.

As silly as it seemed, I felt as if the wrong thoughts, greedy thoughts of playing into the World Series, would somehow damage the special ride.

Of course, it was of solace to remember this team blasted through any expectations they had prior to 2015. They weren’t even supposed to be here, and now this team has the potential to get back to the playoffs and beyond over and over again.

Oops, there I go again. Well, the future is definitely bright. I do like their chances, how can you not?