Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Will it be World Series or bust in 2016?

jfrancis
Aug 16, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs fans cheer after the Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs fans cheer after the Cubs defeated the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /
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The story has been told for generations. The “Lovable Losers” are on the verge of needing a name change, whether the Chicago Cubs win or lose the World Series.

108 years since the Chicago Cubs won it all. 39432 days. 946368 hours.

Model T created by Henry Ford. World War I. Great Depression. World War II. NATO established. Brown versus Board of Education. Kennedy assassinated. Martin Luther King, Jr. Man on the moon.

1927 Yankees. Babe Ruth. Ted Williams. Mickey Mantle. Roberto Clemente. Jackie Robinson. Hank Aaron. Rollie Fingers. Sandy Koufax.

Ron Santo. Ryne Sandberg. Ernie Banks. Billy Williams. Fergie Jenkins. Andre Dawson.

Harry Caray.

8379 wins and 8484 loses.

To say that things have happened since the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series would be an understatement. We know this. And, our friends remind us. You know, those fans of other teams that must say something about the team not winning the World Series in 108 years. But now, in 2016, the odds are in the Cubs’ favor.

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Cubs’ fans are excited. A bit nervous, but excited. The 2016 team is one for the ages. They have won 100 games for the first time since 1935. Their pitching and defense are stellar. The roster is stacked with All-Star talent.

Home Grown

Players are being developed in the farm system at a high rate. Wrigley Field renovations keep the tradition and add a modern flair. And, players want to come to Chicago.

Being a fan of the Chicago Cubs is a true test of loyalty. Losing seasons can scare off and numb fans of most other teams. Cubs fans still fill the bleachers, beverage in hand and ready to sing “Take me out to the ballgame.” Even in the worst seasons, over 2.5 million fans flood the gates of Wrigley Field in order to see a game. As a result, they are top 10 in MLB attendance each year.

Agony

For me, it has been 32 years of agony, yet each year presents new hope only give way to reciting the Cubs’ Fan Motto: There is always next year. But I was fascinated with Ryne Sandberg and the crazy guy that announced the games. The seventh inning stretch was must-see television. I soon fell in love with the team due to watching Rick Sutcliffe take the mound. Then came Greg Maddox, Mark Grace. The sound of a ball thrown from Shawon Dunston hitting Grace’s glove popped out of the speakers.

Year after year brought disappointment. Nineteen losing seasons. And yet, ever new year, like most Cubs fans, I sit back and watch with the joy of a young boy watching his first game. There is no telling how many games I watched after school sitting in front of the Zenith console TV at my Mamaw’s house. It annoyed her, but I loved it.

Many of my fellow Chicago Cubs fans share similar stories and feelings. We love our Cubs. And always will. No matter what. And that means even if they do not win the World Series in 2016. Sure, we want them to get there and win. And, if they do, the world will surely not end, but there will be one massive party.

Set for Success

The current roster is set up for success. First of all, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks lead a pitching staff that is better than expected. Additionally, the position players play smothering defense and pose problems to any opposing pitchers. Manager Joe Maddon has kept the roster loose and focused throughout the year, and President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein fills the team with talent. Throughout the season, the Cubs topped the MLB Power Rankings.

The season is one for the ages. But there is more to come.

Epstein received a five-year extension today. The roster consists of players on team-friendly multi-year deals. The depth is beyond that of any other team.  The future is bright for years to come, and thus, the team is on the verge of building a dynasty.

Next: Cubs, Epstein expected to announce a five-year deal

But also for this season. Right now, I join in with my fellow Cubs fans and cheer until the last out of the last game. And then, I will no longer say “there is always next year,” but “I cannot wait for next year!”

Because these are the “lovable” Chicago Cubs.

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