As the late Tom Petty once said, “The waiting is the hardest part…” The Chicago Cubs and their fans have been doing plenty of that since the Wild Card loss.
While many of us (myself included) pine for Bryce Harper or any kind of move to one degree or another, it might be better if the Chicago Cubs stand pat at this point and hope for more production from a coming-into-their-prime lineup and a lack of injuries to key players.
Why? Well, let’s take a look at what the ceilings of our position players and what we could realistically expect in a good year if things worked out in our (and their) favor.
First things first – let’s start at the top with the manager. Joe Maddon is on record that he wants to be more involved on a day-to-day basis with what’s going on outside of the clubhouse and on the field. He wants to do more coaching. The three-time Manager of the Year wants to be on the field.
Sounds like he wants to hit some fungoes, watch batting practice and be more involved in swing mechanics. While I can’t speak to Maddon’s personal abilities in any of those domains, I do know he is a great communicator and has made it a point to say he will be doing more coaching this year on the field, before the game. Everyone also knows he’s is a “lame duck” manager, working under the last year of his contract, given the fact the front office decided not to extend him.
I don’t necessarily think that status will affect Maddon or any of the players, it bears watching to see how the season starts, whether positive changes occur with players and how much Maddon deviates from what he has done in the past. Bottom line: You can expect him to be on top of his game – and we all know what Maddon’s ceiling is – World Series champion (2016) and Manager of the Year (2008, 2011, 2015).