1: Chicago Cubs: Another championship?
Let’s be clear. Epstein didn’t leave Boston for Chicago to accept mediocrity. Of course he proved that by bringing Chicago a World Series championship in 2016. However, it hasn’t been easy to get back on the horse and the Red Sox, of course, won another title in 2018. Will the 2020 season bring Epstein his next Cubs championship?
Let’s be honest, it hasn’t been easy for the Cubs to get back into championship mode after 2016. The 2017 season was like watching guys that were still hung over from the 2016 season but as the Cubs got their act together late in 2017 they still made their most significant run at the postseason since 2016.
The reasons for not winning were not insurmountable over the last few years. The team had issues with offensive production and pitching and most times both of these shortcomings were at odds with each other. The Cubs could garner a bunch of runs only to see a several run lead deteriorate by pitching shortcomings.
The opposite is also true when the Cubs pitchers were throwing historical games but because of lack of offensive production, one run from the other team turned those magical pitching days into losses. Chicago Cubs pitchers like Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks all racked up a loss that could have been a win with some offensive production.
Epstein isn’t looking backward this season. He’s got a new skipper for the team that will bring energy and enthusiasm back to the field. Epstein’s come to accept that he will have to part ways with one or more of the Cubs main horseman to keep the team competitive and he’s ready to do it aggressively. This next season could be Epstein’s to lose.
Even without perfect pitching and one great free agent, Epstein would still take a championship gift from Santa. Perhaps with a little help from that red-suited, white-bearded North sider, Epstein may just get his wish.