Cubs Coffee Talk: Can the team win 40 or more games?

Javier Baez (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Javier Baez (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Coffee Talk- Can the Cubs win 40 games?

As I got up from my ergonomically correct chair and made my way down pet aisle one with my Cubs coffee thermos in tote, I could hear the squeaks of chairs as the stooges were also getting up. Then there was the inevitable shuffling sound of feet as they raced to get to the break room for the last drops of coffee from the first-morning pot of Joe.

As I entered the break room mere seconds behind the stooges, everyone was standing in their usual spot socially distanced; wearing masks and Howard, as usual, was making the coffee.  He was sure to cheers me with his mug, letting me know he got the last gulp in the pot.

“Did you see the game format for the Cubs 60-game season?” asked Kris.

“Old news,” said Russell, who often said ‘old news’ to anything anyone said.

I already knew that this was going to go on for five minutes, a meaningless diatribe about who saw what in a Tweet about this one and posted it on Instagram. I could see the precious minutes of Cubs Coffee Talk being flushed down a TMZ rant. So before it could go any further, I brought up the day’s subject.

“Hey guys, do you think the Cubs can win 40 games in the upcoming 60 game shortened season?” I asked out loud as they immediately took the bait.

“How many did they win in 2016?” asked Kris.

“The Cubs actually won 42 of 60 games in 2016, “said Howard, who was great at remembering all kinds of dates that no one else thought were important.

“Old news,” said Russell. “Can they win now is the question? And who’s going actually to step on the field and play? Is everyone playing, or are some players sitting out for the virus?” asked Russell.

“Russell! Tick-tock buddy – back on topic…” I interrupted.  Russell could go on a rant if I let him continue, and we had issues to discuss like offensive production. “I think the Cubs have great bats in Rizzo, Baez, Bry…” I said.

“Bryant!” Kris jumped on top of my words. I gave him the stink eye and imagined shaving his head into a Mohawk. For some odd reason, I have this almost lack of respect for Kris as he didn’t become a Cubs fan until 2016 at the age of 30. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with becoming a fan of the Chicago Cubs in your 30’s, Kris has not suffered like long-time Cubs fans and felt the pure joy of that beautiful 2016 championship because of the life-long wait.

“Rizzo, Baez, Bryant…” I continued giving young Kris the stink eye look again.

“Contreras and Schwarber seem to be the most consistent batters. Yes, they have moments, like Schwarber, but for the most part, that’s five consistent batters. Then you have Heyward, Hoerner, Happ and Almora, who can all kill the ball but have got to get more consistent if the Cubs are going to project any type of offense. In this short season, the rest of the boys have to step it up, “I stated.

“They all don’t have to get hot, they just need to get hot when it’s necessary,” said Howard. “The Cubs are always out of sync. One guy hits a home run, and the next guy gets a double and the next three are fly-outs. They never take advantage of that guy on second or set up the home run to clear bases,” explained Howard.

“Old news,” said Russell. “That’s why they brought in Boss-Ross to manage the game. The lineup is his job now. I think we are forgetting to discuss a crucial aspect to the Cubs winning 40. Do the Cubs have the arms to win more than 40 games?” asked Russell.

I looked over at the clock on the coffee pot to see we had seven minutes until the break was over and had not even delved into pitching.