With just over a week until Opening Day, I took some time to pen a letter to Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer to express my thoughts and concerns.
Dear Jed, So this is the team that you are expecting your loyal Cubs fans, who number in the millions, to root for? I’ve seen projections that predict they will lose 90 or more games this year. Really? This is your plan?
I realize this is your bailiwick, organizing and building teams, but as a fan who felt enormous relief when the Cubs became winners again, I’m not sure I’m willing to go back. It’s true, we were the lovable losers for a long time and still remained popular, but now, we’ve had a taste of real success and I, for one, want to see that continue.
Sure there is something to be said for building slowly and steadily, but there were options out there that might have helped the Cubs realize some semblance of competitiveness in the short-term. Yet throughout the offseason, you held your cards close to your vest and waited.
And we’re still waiting.
The situation is only made worse by your vacillation on one of the last of the old Cubs. Willson Contreras has proved himself on the field and shown continual improvement defensively. He is still immensely popular among Cubs fans and your continued silence as to your vision for his future only makes things worse.
I’d like to believe that the move to center field might energize Jason Heyward; he is certainly an upgrade over Ian Happ, defensively, but he hasn’t yet demonstrated the type of offense he once produced. Yes, he is a team leader, but leaders lead best by example.
Some closing thoughts from this Cubs fan
In sum, overall, I am disappointed. Yes, I will enjoy watching Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel blast homers, hopefully. It will be interesting to see if Nico Hoerner’s scrappy playing style can help us forget Javier Baez, at least for short spells. And I hope the combination of Hoerner and Nick Madrigal develop into a top-flight double play combo.
The prospect of watching Seiya Suzuki strive for Rookie of the Year honors is certainly exciting. I hope it comes to fruition.
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Perhaps Marcus Stroman and Kyle Hendricks can carry the pitching and we will find a lockdown closer amidst the mix of arms. All of these issues are only speculation and wishes until we actually see the 2022 Cubs play. For me, it represents a lot of ‘maybes’ that must be resolved in our favor.