Is This Next Year?

By March 13, 2012June 18th, 2018No Comments

This commercial by MLB 12′ The Show about the Cubs is what was the inspiration for this article by special contributor Victor Marinier.

It’s 2012, the Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series in 104 years and Cub’s fans like myself have been saying “wait till next year” my entire life. Which begs the question: Is this “next year”? Stranger things have happened. Hell, it’s been a strange year. If I told you a year ago that a God-loving quarterback who has an arm motion like a sling shot and couldn’t complete 50% of his passes would lead the Denver Broncos to a slew of fourth quarter comebacks and make playoffs in the same year that an undrafted Asian point guard would come off the bench to lead the New York Knicks into playoff contention and start a worldwide phenomenon, would you have believed me? Either I’m full of shit and crazy or the Mayans were right about the end of the world. Both may be true. Either way, perhaps this is the year for the Cubs to make an unlikely run to the World Series.

I don’t want to get to ahead of myself here; plenty of things are going to have to fall into place for the Cubs to have chance of winning this thing. Manager Dave Sveum is going to have to be the second coming of Joe Girardi with the Marlins (at the very least). Girardi took a young, inexperienced team to the brink of the playoffs before butting heads with ownership and Sveum has an extremely young team. Only 3 everyday players are over the age of 30 and all of them are in the outfield (assuming the Cubs don’t try to move Alfonso Soriano and Marlon Byrd before the trade deadline, which is entirely possible). Starlin Castro is going to have to stay focused on defense and stop throwing the ball all over the field. Darwin Barney has to continue to play above his potential and prove last year wasn’t a fluke. Ian Stewart has to prove that Colorado was wrong about him and that he’s a major league hitter. And whenever the Cubs do call up Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson, both players are going to have to show they can rake on the big stage.

Then there’s the pitching staff: another group of misfits and castoffs that (if everything breaks right) could be good. Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster are solid but far from spectacular. However, you can count on them for 200+ innings. After that, you hope that Chris Volstad and Andy Sonnanstine can live up to their potential. This also might be the year that Carlos Marmol learns to control his stuff and becomes the lights out closer he should have always been. If all that breaks right for the Cubs (and a few things go wrong for the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds) who knows? With the extra wild card this year, maybe, just maybe, the Chicago Cubs sneak into the playoffs. And once you make the playoffs, throw everything else out the window. If you’re the hot team at the right time, all bets are off.

Let’s pretend for a minute that all this happens and come October 2012, there are 40,000 fans inside of Wrigley Field and another 30,000+ outside on the streets of Wrigleyvile when the final out is made and the Chicago Cubs are crowned the 2012 World Series Champions. What will happen? Riots? Burning cars and buildings? Probably not. Tears? Yes, lots and lots of tears. And kissing. Everyone is going to kiss the first person they see, and the next person, and so on and so on. If you can’t get laid (male or female) after the Cubs win the World Series, you might as well just turn your private parts in. As for the team, no one associated with the first North Side championship in over 100 years will ever have to pay for anything north of Madison street again. They could even be the first team to have a statue built of the whole team.

I know all of this is highly unlikely but so were Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow. A boy can dream, can’t he? If not, there is always next year.