A Reason To Believe
I’ve always just simply believed. Like any other Cubs fan or die-hard baseball fan, you simply believe every season that your team has a fighting chance. I’ve never really looked for reasons to believe, simply hoping that believing would be good enough. Well this year I actually decided to back my beliefs up, and to much pleasant surprise – found some legitimate reasons to the Cubs season and believing that they might actually….well, WIN.
I’ve read it all and I’m caught up – the Bleacher Report, the updates on MLB.com, and my favorite ESPN.com writer – Jon Greenberg commenting on the Cubs season this year and what the future holds for one of America’s favorite baseball teams. They’ve all given me reasons to believe this year, that maybe the dark, brooding clouds that have lurked over Wrigleyfield have now moved on to another baseball team or simply disappeared into the Chicago skyline forever, leaving nothing but clear, blue skies, ready for the Cubs to hurl their baseballs high in the air to have a winning season.
Reasons to believe this year? Here they are, whacky, whimsical and yes, a little crazy…
1. An actual owner to the team – while it was in talks since the ’08 season, the Ricketts family finally officially owns the Cubs, and quickly implemented a new marketing campaign “Year 1″ and the Cubs official slogan “It’s a Way of Life,” with the “W” in the “Way” representing the ever-famous WIN W flags held up after each game the Cubs win, and the Year 1 representing that it’s not 102 years anymore, it’s year 1 of the Cubs, perhaps…finally starting over. You can’t deny the positive and somewhat “dreamy” new make-over to the outside of Wrigleyfield either – it makes your heart beat faster and brings chills of excitement just seeing the new look. Change, in a sense, is good.
Reason to Believe #2 – the addition of outfielder Marlon Byrd and hitting coach Jaramillo. Marlon Byrd, a new outfielder for the Cubs, drafted by the Phillies in 1999, came to the Cubs from the Nationals, with a new sense of renewed energy. Jaramillo, the Cubs new pitching coach is known for teaching players their own swing, and how to fix it and really learn how to capitalize on their own hitting talents – and the Cubs bats have been needing a little something something with their hitting the the last several seasons.
Reason #3 – the new Wrigleyfield bathrooms. I know what you are thinking. Come on,
really? Yes, really. Anyone who has experienced a game at Wrigley knows about the long lines to the bathrooms, and the noticeable smells due to the city’s lovely underground plumbing issues. Not only have the Ricketts refurbished the bathrooms, but they have also invested a cool $10 million for the new PNC club, luxury heated seats with food and beverage, and much more as well as a special viewing area for fans to watch batting practice and opening up Sheffield Grill to the public. I still think many will applaud and appreciate the brand new bathrooms above all else. It’s about time!
Reason #4 – The Cubs have been humbled. Although it’s over and done with, the Cubs needed another season to be healed by the debauchery of the ’08 playoffs season. While they never have won a World Series, the Cubs, well and their fans too have been living off of a righteous belief that well, they deserve to win a World Series. A belief that the championship was rightfully theirs, and learning the hard and harsh way that no one really deserves to win. You have to earn it. 2008 humbled the Cubs, something they may have needed, and now as Soriano quotes “This team needs one more chance to go to the playoffs,” in other words – they know they have to work for it. Just because it’s been 102 years doesn’t give them the right to win, they’ll win when they have played better than any other team in the league, and earn the respect of the league.
Reason #5 – World Series Virgins – while being virgins to a World Series hasn’t helped the Cubs get there since 1908, getting so close in 2008 may have left some leftover ambience with the current team roster that almost tasted what it would be like. Almost is the key word – they almost got there, closer than they have at least in awhile, or at least closest with the most winning season to back them up in a long time. In the simplest words, the Cubs don’t know what it’s like to win it all, and that may be another reason why we can still believe in them. When you have a team that hasn’t tasted it yet, it makes them that much hungrier to get that first, luscious bite of victory.
Reason #6 – The Cubs aren’t favored to win the World Series. And they shouldn’t be. The Cardinals are strongly favored, with the Reds in a close second, no one really thinks it’s the Cubs year. We’ve all seen it – year after year media outlets, sports anchors, and the cursed Sports Illustrated cover saying “The Cubs will win the World Series.” Not this year. Nope. That alone is a reason to believe, it sounds crazy – but for once there is no pressure.
I guess I could go on, but I’m going to stop at 6, simply because it’s enough for this, die-hard, passionate Cubs blogger to believe, just once more. My cup of “believe kool-aid” is full again, whether or not these reasons work for the readers is up to you – maybe you have your own reasons, but I think I can safely say that no matter what, we all admittedly still BELIEVE.