Chicago Cubs fans are swimming in uncertainty right now

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

Usually at this time of the year I am looking forward to March when baseball begins again and I start getting excited about Opening Day. This year however, along with millions of other Chicago Cubs fans, I face the twin uncertainties that 2022 entails.

First there is the very real possibility that there will be no baseball at all. The lockout has put everything on temporary hold and we can only sit and hope that an agreement can be reached. If affects all the potential progress in that:

"During a work stoppage, teams are not permitted to sign free agents, offer contract extensions and renegotiations, waive/option/release players, or conduct trades. Additionally, salary arbitration and the Major League Rule 5 Draft have been put on hold pending a new Collective Bargaining Agreement."

For Cubs fans though, there is an even greater uncertainty. If baseball does happen in the coming season, what kind of team will take the field at Wrigley? Since the life-saving injection of new leadership in the form of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer nearly a decade ago, we have had the luxury of expecting to see a very competitive team that will at least challenge for the top spot in our division. Now that has changed.

I look at last year in Dickensian terms—we went from “Great Expectations” to “Bleak House” in the span of mere months. The core of perennial All-Star candidates that led the North Siders is a thing of the past. Though several remain free agents, it is highly unlikely that any of them will return to the Friendly Confines as Cubs.

The acquisition of Marcus Stroman notwithstanding, we are left wondering about several serious uncertainties: 1) Will we have enough pitching to be competitive? 2) Can players like Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom continue to perform at the levels they demonstrated in 2021? 3) Will the team re-sign Willson Contreras, one of the final holdovers from the last few years, and if not, is Yan Gomes the right man to replace him? 4) Will a middle infield of Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal work? 5) Who else will be added to strengthen our team?

Next. It seems safe to expect a David Ross extension. dark

There are more questions still to be answered. I know in the face of this uncertainty, I am not as eager for the coming season as I have been over the last decade. Hopefully we get some answers soon and we can all start looking forward to another season of Cubs baseball.