Thursday, November 3, 2016
The Cubs winning the World Series was one of the least surprising things to happen in baseball this year.
107 years of past futility has very little to do with how this year's Chicago Cubs team took home the trophy. Was there ever a curse? In order for me to truly believe that, I would have to think that there were more moments in my own lifetime where this franchise was tantalizingly close to winning a title. Since my parents were born, the Cardinals chief rivals made the playoffs just twice in the Ryne Sandberg era and once in the Kerry Wood days (zero playoff wins) before the whole Bartman thing. Twice more they made it in the Derrek Lee/Aramis Ramirez/Carlos Zambrano era (zero playoff wins) only to spend the next several years tanked and rebuilding.
Past Cubs teams have been grossly mismanaged, both on and off the field. Every franchise goes through this. This time around, they accumulated young talent and threw a crap ton of money at a manager and some free agents. When the trade deadline approached, they snatched up an unsavory character and were on their way. There was no better team in baseball this season by a wide margin, and the only surprising thing to me is that there was a good enough team to stand in their way enough to make things that difficult. It was a crazy Game 7 that was reminiscent of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series -- poorly played but very entertaining.
With strong management in place and the talent to back it up, I have a feeling that most baseball fans will be as sick of hearing about this team as I was when this season was still getting underway. Of course, if you were already a fan, that's a good problem to have.