“Who gives a s*** who we play? Now the fun starts. That’s what we’ve been waiting three weeks for.” – Jake Arrieta
“I didn’t come here for a haircut… I came here for jewelry.” – John Lackey
“This season isn’t anything unless we do what we showed up at spring training to do – win a World Series.” – Jon Lester
If the Cubs sounds confident, it’s because they have good reason to be. The Cubs currently have:
– 2 legitimate Cy Young candidates in Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks
– A former Cy Young winner who threw a no-hitter earlier this year
– 2 NL MVP candidates and future franchise cornerstones in “Bryzzo”
– The hardest throwing pitcher of all-time
– The best defense ever
– The best record in the majors
The Cubs are like the train in the movie Unstoppable – they’re unstoppable. How could they possibly lose?
A lot of ways, my friends. These are the Chicago Cubs we are talking about here. Their entire franchise existence has been defined by the phrase, “It’s better to be lucky than good.” If the Cubs lose this year, it won’t be because they aren’t the best team, it will be for the following non-baseball reasons:
Curses are real, plain and simple. In 1945 – the last time the Cubs were even in the World Series – Mr. Wrigley refused to let Billy Sianis bring his goat into the stadium. Ever since then, the team has felt the wrath of some vengeful, goat-sympathizing cosmic force. How else can you explain Steve Bartman in 2003?
Of course, the Cubs have already been cursed this season. The Cubs were not only put on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but were also picked to win it all. We know how being put on the cover turns out. If that doesn’t end us, this guy has surely screwed us for years to come.
Tom Ricketts, the owner of the Cubs, has transformed the franchise since taking over as the owner in 2009. He met his wife in the bleachers, and said his entire family are simply “Cubs fans.” Too bad the Ricketts family recently endorsed Trump, donating $1 million to his campaign. A team that backs Trump has no business winning the World Series.
Similarly, Aroldis Chapman is a bad person. In 2015, Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing eight errant gunshots in his garage. He was suspended 30 games by the MLB, but was promptly back in spotlight with the Cubs. If they win, it will likely be Chapman to get the last out, Chapman in the middle of the celebration, Chapman on the cover of every major newspaper in the U.S. I can’t imagine a world where that happens.
108 years. Not even my great grandparents were on this Earth the last time the Cubs won. The city has waited long enough, and everyone is thinking that finally, finally, “this is the year.” Joe Maddon has famously kept the team remarkably loose –they have a room reserved for partying after every win – but the pressure is bound to catch up to the young Cubs at some point. When will Kyle Hendricks realize how well he’s pitching and return the realm of average? When will David Ross’s age catch up to him? When will Ben Zobrist stop being clutch in the playoffs?
They are playing the San Francisco Giants in an even-number year
The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. It’s 2016. We’re screwed.
We’ve seen this story before…
Maybe I’m just scarred from the last time the Cubs were in this position. In 2008, the last time the Cubs had the #1 seed, they won 97 wins, and had the best offense in the majors. I remember going to Game 2 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, thinking there was no possible way the Cubs could head to LA down 0-2… Every infielder made an error, the Cubs lost 10-3, and were swept. The horror.
This is a pain that has been passed down from generation to generation of Cubs fans. My father experienced the 1984 NLCS (best of 5). The Cubs were up 2-0, but the Padres forced a Game 5. Up 3-2 in the 7th, an error by Cubs first baseman Leon Durham allowed the Padres to score 4 runs, and win the pennant. After that 2008 loss, he told me that “in order to have a happy child, don’t be a Cubs fan.”
I hope the Cubs prove us wrong. I hope the city shuts down. I #be108ve! But a part of me can’t help but think that Cubs fans will be feeling a bit like this at the end of the postseason this year: