I found myself watching a Cubs game in late April and thinking; Man we look pretty good! I know every year Cub fans say this is our year, but the feeling I get watching the 2008 team is totally different from any other Cubs team I've ever seen.
They are a very special team and here are the 10 reasons I think this is "OUR YEAR":
10. Sam Zell, current owner of the Tribune company which owns the Chicago Cubs, is a very savvy business man.
Who would have not sold the Cubs already? Is it because he has the same feeling I do about this team? Does he think this is our year too, driving the sale price of the Cubs way up?
9. Sweet Lou is our coach and not Dusty Baker
Dusty would be too worried about whether or not the players liked him rather than winning. I am so glad I only have to see his wristbands and toothpicks 6 series out of the year.
8. Carlos Marmol.
This kid is filthy with a capital F. Through the his first 22 innings pitched this season he racked up 40 K's while only walking seven batters. He is what I like to refer to as DDFN. Dirty, Disgusting, Filthy, Nasty. I would crap my pants if I was in the box against him.
7. Fukudome and Soto.
Soto leads all rookies in Homers, RBI, SLG, and OPS. Fukudome has great plate discipline. He leads all rookies in hits, walks, and OBP. These guys are ROOKIES! I know Fukudome isn't a traditional rookie, but you talk about an easy adjustment. Don't even get me started on the upgrade he provides to defense in right field.
6. Fukudome's plate discipline has become contagious. The Chicago Cubs have the second most walks in baseball this year. It's nice that Geovany Soto can bat behind Fukudome. I bet Soto's average is 20 points higher than it would be just because of the amount of pitches Fukudome sees.
I'm sorry I have to take a break because I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about this team. There is no greater summer event than taking in a game at the Friendly Confines on a summer day. Old Style in hand of course. I better get back to the countdown before I get off track and go buy Cubs tickets.
5. The Cubs pitching has been overshadowed this season by the offense when in fact the Cubs have the 3rd best ERA in the National League.
Ted Lilly is finally pitching well and what can you say about Ryan Dempster's start? Carlos Zambrano has been lights out while the bullpen continues to be strong.
4. This is a resilient team.
The Cubs have not lost three straight games all season long. If this team somehow continues this, and in the mean time puts together a couple more 7-3 or 8-2 home stands...
3. Strength of Schedule.
The Cubs have played a top 15 schedule thus far. Not too bad, not great, but they still have the best record in the National League.
Meanwhile the Diamondbacks have had the second easiest schedule so far. The team with the easiest schedule so far? The St. Louis Cardinals. (I love taking shots at the STL when I can, and who else is pissed that Jim Edmonds is a Cubbie?)
2. The Offense.
This teams batting is very cyclical so far this year. This means when half the order is hitting the other is not and then they flip flop. There has been the exception a couple of games when the Cubbies pound out 13 plus runs 3 times already.
This squad has speed, power, patience at the plate, hit for average, and play as a team. There are great individual players on this team, no doubt about it, but these guys pick each other up night after night and it's fun to watch.
And the number 1 reason the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series in 2008:
1. This is OUR YEAR!
One hundred years of Cubs baseball and no World Series to show for it. We are the only baseball team to win an '08 World Series so far and I don't think that will change.
This one will be for everyone who ever had an Old Style or who calls the Cubs their team. This one will be for Hack Wilson, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ryno, Andre Hawk Dawson, and most of all for Harry Carey who I'm sure call Cub games up in heaven for everyone.
Well, I can't wait to get there to hear Harry broadcast those games and after this season ends I think I will finally be able to go in peace since the Cubs are going to WIN the World Series this year. GO CUBBIES!!
Please comment on why you think or don't think the Cubs will win it this year.