Monday, May 14, 2012

The Unfair Expectations of the Chicago Cubs

It's that time. Time to punish myself and talk about the Cubs. They have actually been playing pretty good baseball lately. There has been a little bit of excitement building from the fans that I know. But, let’s face it, they’re still not going to be good this year. In fact, they are probably going to be bad. Anyone who disagrees is a moron. Let’s not address them in this post. Let's look to the future instead.

Most reasonable people will also agree that next year the Cubs are going to be bad. Let’s not deal with the people who assume that Theo magic will take the Cubs by storm in 2013.

But in 2014, yeah, I could see them being relevant. I imagine a team a few games above .500 that still falls short of the playoffs. Then, in 2015, the team will be built on Theo’s brains and the Ricketts’ cash. I am a reasonable Cubs fan, so these are very realistic expectations.

But then I realized something. I’m a moron, just like the fans who expect this to be the year for the Cubs. Here’s the reason: We just don’t know. Expecting Theo to be able to build a team in a certain timeline is stupid, because there is no way to know how things will fall for the Cubs.

Look at this past year’s draft. The Cubs had the ninth pick and selected Javier Baez. I don’t know what he’s going to turn into, and nobody else does right now. But the eighth pick of that draft was Francisco Lindor, and scouts are nutting themselves over his potential already. If the Cubs had just been a little worse, they could have had Lindor instead of Baez. There is just no way of knowing how things will break in the future (in that vein, Baez could still become the better player, since there is a lot of time before either guy reaches the majors).

The only thing smart Cubs fans can do is judge the process, and hopefully see things moving in the right direction, while always remembering that the Cubs front office knows more about a player than you or I think we do. The Cubs are in good hands, but they are a long ways off, and setting a deadline will just leave you disappointed. Honestly, we just don't know.

Instead of The Chicago Cubs: Maybe Next Year, let’s change that slogan to The Chicago Cubs: Maybe?

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