Chicago Cubs: Young core and veterans come together in a big way
Of course, the 2015 success ultimately carried over into a World Series championship campaign the following year. The team unexpectedly brought back Dexter Fowler, added the likes of Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist and the rest, as they say, is history.
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Lester finished second in National League Cy Young voting and Jake Arrieta continued his dominance from 2015. Really, it was a team effort – every guy stepped up and pretty much every player put up career-best numbers. Bryant went from Rookie of the Year to Most Valuable Player and, just like that, the Cubs were the toast of Chicago sports.
Now, the Bears are hoping to capture that same type of magic as the playoffs approach. The best part about the team is, similar to the Cubs of recent years, it isn’t just Lester putting the team on his back and carrying the load.
His counterpart, Mack, has absolutely played his heart out all season – but to me, the most important thing he’s done is make everyone around him a better player.
We’re watching second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky start to come into his own and a supporting cast including the likes of Tarik Cohen, Jordan Howard, Akiem Hicks and Eddie Jackson take huge steps forward.
Oh, and what else ties these two teams together? They both ascended to the top of their respective leagues under first-year head coaches.