“Cubs-How Get So Good?”
So that’s what a lst place baseball team looks like.
The Chicago Cubs, once lampooned as a laughing stock in baseball, the ones forever linked to the Curse of the “Billy Goat”, the team that plays in old Wrigley Field with ivy on the walls, and the club once owned by the chewing gum guru are now something really special.
These are not your dad’s Cubs of Ernie Banks and Billy Williams. Not grand dad’s team of Hack Wilson. They are not your great grand dad’s Cubs either, from Tinkers to Evers to Chance.
This is a lst place team, built on the draft, on international signings, and thru some very positive trade acquisitions..
Cubs baseball is anchored by the power hitting 3rd baseman they drafted from USD, Kris Bryant, and the 1st baseman they stole in a trade, Anthonyh Rizzo.
It’s a team that loaded up in the draft, with power hitting oujtfielder Kyle Schwarber, currently on the DL, and a team that hit the jackpot with Cuban signings with Jorge Soler, Javy Baez and Wilson Contreras.
On top of that, it is a roster bolstered by trades that have panned out well. Dexter Fowler, the power hitter from Colorado, shortstop Addison Russell from the A’s, and Jason Heyward, once highly regarded in Atlanta. Ben Zobrist plays everywhere and is having a star type season.
It’s a fearsome batting order, with power on the corners, and dangers in most slots. There are few easy outs, and lots of guys who can step up and win you games.
The one chunk of the roster that is different is the pitching staff. There is not one front end home grown arm on the staff.
Jon Lester came in a big money free agent signing from Boston, where he won at Fenway, just like he is winning at Wrigley. Somehow Jake Arietta got away from Baltimore and became gold in Chicago.
John Lackey, ex of Angels-Red Sox-Cardinals succers, arrived as a free agent. Kyle Hendricks was a throw in on a trade as a young prospect. Relief ace Hector Rondon was a Rule 5-guy.
It seems everything team President Theo Epstien and GM Jed Hoyer touch turns golden.
It hasn’t been that easy though, for there was a lot of bad history to overcome.
The Cubs rolled.into Petco Park with a (78-45) record. Since opening day in 2015, the franchise is (175-110)., and will be the favorite to get to the World Series and beyond.
History writes however about bad times. Before all this began, they went a combined (271-377). Included were seasons in which they lost 91-96-101.
They have won just 2-division titles since 1990. They haven’t been to a World Series since 1945-vs the Tigers. They haven’t won a World Series since 1908. That was alot of double plays ago.
Monday was a packed house at Petco Park, even if it sounded like Wrigleyville-West.
These are great times right now in the Windy City and on Rush Street.
The franchise that gave us “Let’s Play Two-Ernie Banks”, the College of Coaches, Leo the Lip Durocher, and Harry Caray, is now giving us great baseball to watch.
The blueprint works. San Diego is a melting pot, and a good baseball town. All it needs is a good team.
Look at the Cubs. Hopefully the Padres are taking notes.