Now there's an image to get you pumped up for the 2009 season, eh? Am I right? Bueller?
Anyhoo, when last we left our friendly north side baseball club, they were being handed their own asses on a platter. But why dwell on the past, right? As a new season begins, the hopes and dreams of Cubs fans everywhere are the highest they will be all year.
The slate, as the say, has been wiped clean. Gone are the painful memories of last year. In their place is the hope that this year is the year. It's a good feeling, no matter how fleeting.
So, as we count down the hours until Z takes the mound, I thought I would break from the blogger tradition of season previews and predictions and offer up a few things that won't happen in 2009.
1) The Cubs Will Not Win the World Series
Sorry, I thought it would be less painful if I got this one out of the way first. As much as I like this team and the additions that our buffet-loving GM made, there are still more questions than answers. Will Harden and Bradley stay healthy? Can Fuku remember how to connect the bat with the ball? Can the bullpen survive without Wuertz's sliders or Guadin's facial hair? Do the Cubs have any outfield defense?
Sadly, the answers to those questions are: No, No, Never, and God No. That will make it hard to win the division, let alone the World Series. Lucky for the Cubs, the NL Central is going to be horrific.
2) Carlos Zambrano Will Not Win the Cy Young
He will be a 20-game winner, though, so there's that. Maturity and command, two things that have eluded Carlos his whole career, will finally help him reach that elite pitcher status. Fear not, Z fans. You can still count on him for a tantrum or seven and possibly a few questionable hair styles.
3) The Cardinals Will Not Go Away (Until August)
A nucleus of young talent will help the hated Cardinals keep pace with the Cubs until after the All-Star break. Then, after failing to land Peavy at the trade deadline, they will collapse under the considerable weight of their shitty rotation.
4) Jake Peavy Will Not Finish the Season a Padre
Unfortunately, he will also not finish the season a Cub. After a fierce bidding war, the D-Backs will land Peavy in a trade that sends the struggling Justin Upton and a collection of minor league arms to San Diego.
5) The White Sox Will Not Finish In Last Place
They will finish second to last. Quentin and Ramirez will come back down to earth. Fields will be a bust. The rotation outside of Buehrle and Danks is awful. Not good news for a division that may be the strongest in the AL this year. I hope they do better, but I doubt it.
Let's get it started. Go Cubs!
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!