Chicago Cubs: Why a shortened season would be great for this team

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /

With the Chicago Cubs and the coronavirus set to shorten the length of the MLB season, we look at why that may be an excellent thing for this Cubs team in 2020

The Chicago Cubs and the coronavirus has made its impact around the world and put the sports world into a period of disarray. After the cancellation of March Madness, the pause of the NBA and Masters, Major League Baseball became the next to shut down temporarily. A huge disappointment as we were just a little over a week from Opening Day.

With this delay, we can reasonably assume the season will not play out the typical 162 games, resulting in a shortened season. Based on the last two seasons, I can’t think of a team this could benefit more than the Chicago Cubs.

No one is certain of the extent of the delay to the season just yet, but anything less than the 162-game marathon will just mean more to this Cubs group. We have watched the Cubs self-destruct at the end of the last two seasons, leaving an incredibly foul taste in the mouths of everyone around the team.

In 2018, we saw the Cubs enter September with a five-game lead over the Brewers, only to watch them blow the lead and fall into Game 163 for the division. They couldn’t get themselves out of the rut in the tiebreaker game and fell even further into the Wild Card Game, which didn’t end any better. After the free-fall to end the regular season and two’ ‘ win or go home” losses, fatigue was brought into question.

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2019 was supposed to show a rebound, but it ended with an even worse outcome. The Cubs held a division lead on August 22nd, only to proceed with a record of 13-16, which included a four-game sweep at the hands of the St Louis Cardinals in the biggest series of the season. Missing the playoffs altogether was unprecedented for this group and proceeded to spark dangerous change.

The coaching overhaul should help refocus and light a fire under this team. However, with no significant additions again this offseason, the question will remain: can this team avoid another late-season collapse?

Shortening the season would do wonders for this group. Sure, every team may benefit from this, however, a team like the Cubs who have consistently shown an inability to show up down the stretch would have to show greater results from a limited season.

In addition to being fresher as a team, individual players getting there in age, such as Jon Lester and Craig Kimbrel, have an excellent opportunity to put together strong seasons. These older stars can put more focus into each outing, without being overly concerned with spreading their energy out for the longevity of the season. This could benefit the team in a big way, as the bullpen and rotation will have to be the anchors of this team if they want to have a shot at the postseason.

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The Cubs have a great opportunity at hand. The chemistry is already there, and they won’t need time to mesh as the season goes on, giving them a leg up on a team like the Reds, who are loaded with talent but may need time to come together as a group due to the amount of free-agent acquisitions.

Sure, no one wants a shortened season, but I think at the end of the 2020 season, we will look back at this as a blessing in disguise for this Cubs team.