I’m not trying to get all caught up in the hype. I have watched Dusty Baker take the Cubs to within 5 [filthy] outs of getting to their first Word Seriers since 1945. I painfully watched that club self destruct and miss the playoffs after that. I then watched as sweet Lou Pinella brought his talents to Chicago and got to two back to back playoffs (something that hasn’t happened in decades) and get swept two years in a row. So, excuse me if I don’t get—
Oh, who am I kidding. This is huge news. Joe Maddon is one of (if not the top) the top managers in Major League baseball. Chicago usually loses out on these things (see Joe Girardi) to teams with other draws. Whether it be players, money or warm weather climates. This time though? It looks like the Cubs got their man. I hope this is destiny. Maddon pretty much fell out of the universe. With Andrew Friedman leaving Tampa Bay, it gave Maddon a two week window in which he could opt out of his current deal and enter free agency.
For the Cubs, this caps off a crazy summer. First there was the negotiation to renovate Wrigley Field seeming to get the OK, then fall through, then get the OK. Then there was Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro returning to their All Star form. Rizzo even took it up a notch and posted career numbers in hits, on base percentage, slugging and Home runs. In July and August, we got a glimpse of the future in Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez. In late August, Jorge Solar. I was reading tea leaves as early as Darwin Barney being designated for assignment.
Theo made a point to tell us he wasn’t going to “throw Cubs fans a cookie”. No. He ended up baking a double decker cake and pulling out a gallon of chilled milk. I don’t even know what to call the signing of Maddon. A platter of steak after you already had your desert? Maybe some ice cream to go with it?
So now Cubs nation has the task of tempering it’s expectations. Which will be hard, especially when Kris Brant comes up in late April or early May. Cruel, cruel summer? No. I think those days are over.