The Chicago Cubs will enter the 2017 season as the defending World Series Champions. Year after year, the Cubs and their fans alway heard “wait ’til next year”. Well, it’s next year. And we indeed can’t wait.
When the 2016 season began for the Chicago Cubs, there was a lot of pressure and expectations on the young team. Joe Maddon did his best to talk about, using his “Maddonisms” to help drive home the fact the Cubs would be a target. His “Try not to suck” and Embrace the target” were more an open dialogue for the team than anything else.
The Cubs were a young team, but not untested. An unexpected run into the NLCS in 2015 helped to raise the bar for a team that simply hadn’t needed it raised. They beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS, and Cubs’ fans believed it was a “changing of the guard”. That turned out to be true as the Cubs nearly went wire-to-wire to win their first division crown since 2008 last season.
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The team won 103 games. Kris Bryant was the NL MVP. The Cubs had three pitchers in the running for the Cy Young. They gave up big talent at the trade deadline in order to acquire bigger talent in Aroldis Chapman. Each move worked, as the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in one of the most pulse-pounding World Series in recent years. In the seventh game–AND in extra innings.
So now, the guest appearances and parades are over. The players are back out in Mesa getting ready for the 2017 season. Just a few of the names have changed, but most of the faces you see will be familiar ones. We’ve been saying it for years. Wait ’til next year. It’s become a similar phrase to Maddon’s “The Cub way”. Taking what was once a negative connotation and turning it into something good.
We waited–mind you–not as long as we have before. An offseason punctuated with a World Series lead to a shorter amount of time to celebrate. What seemed like eons when the Cubs lost flew by in the blink of an eye. It’s time for the Cubs to come out and defend their title.
The expectations are there once again. If you thought the Cubs had the target last year, it’s going to be even worse this year. It’s only been one World Series, but some people are using the word “dynasty”. As excited as people were to see the Cubs shed the “lovable loser” tag, not many want to see a dynasty. And not the Cubs, right? What about all the jokes?
The jokes all stop here. Because this IS next year. And the Cubs are ready to make history again.