Baseball Begins!

No doubt you’ve seen the #BaseballBegins marketing campaign on Facebook this week. My personal favorite was the Cubs photo last night of a backlit silhouette of Jon Lester heaving the ball amongst Arizona’s cacti, this may of course be due to the fact that it is now 2015 and the passengers of the DeLorean have predicted that the Cubs will win the world series this year.
Thus far the Cubs have had quite an off season, it seems the Ricketts’ family and the Cubbie faithful are doing all they can to make Back to the Future II a reality, I mean minus the part where Biff steals the sports almanac and the DeLorean and murders Marty’s father, I think I can safely say we’d all prefer it if Biff does not get rich on stolen sports bets…nevermind that. Tom Ricketts 5 year deal with Theo Epstein, and the faith that has been put into Epstein, may finally pay off. Epstein has 2 years left on his deal and he has already made massive moves in stacking the deck with young players both on the team and in the minors. The availability of manager Joe Maddon this off season was another huge moment for the Cubs. While picking up Maddon was partially due to the luck of his opting out of his contract with Tampa Bay, Epstein was right to scoop him up, despite my love for Ricky Renteria Maddon was an opportunity it would have been foolish to ignore. Jon Lester, another huge off season gain for the Cubs, while I am still silently weeping that Samardzija and his beautiful hair are gone, Lester may be one of the biggest pick ups Epstein has made yet for the Cubs. Lester, having only played half a season after being treated for Lymphoma, helped then Epstein’s Red Sox clinch the 2007 World Series by pitching over 5 innings and winning game four. According to everything I’ve read, he is ready to bring the World Series to Chicago’s North side. According to reports from cubs.com Lester, when speaking with Epstein referenced the Great Chicago fire of 1871 saying the fans will “burn this city down again” when the Cubs win the World Series, though the reference is slightly inaccurate since Mrs. O’leary’s cow burnt the city down the first time the point is still well taken and valuable. The 2015 Cubs are ready to win.
In January, 1st baseman Anthony Rizzo predicted that that Cubs would win the NL Central. Rizzo was excited enough to show up early for Spring Training, only pitchers and catchers were due to report today but Rizzo arrived as well saying (from Cubs.com) “The expectations are set at a higher bar this year and we’re all excited for it.” The Cubs farm system is ranked the best in baseball with prospects like Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Albert Almora. When Lester joined the Vegas odds on the Cubs went from 50 to 1 for the Cubs to win the World Series to 12 to 1. All of these omens; Back to the Future II, the epic renovations to Wrigley Field which celebrated its 100th birthday last season, the additions to the team, MLB opening day being at Wrigley, these are all nothing compared to the attitude that the players, front office, owners and most importantly the fans seem to have. The Cubbie faithful have stood by since 1908 waiting, never faltering in our undying love for the most disappointing team in sports history and this year our wait may FINALLY be over.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the unfortunate passing of one of the Cubs most beloved players, Mr Cub- Ernie Banks. He had just as much faith in the Cubs as the rest of us, so if ever a team deserved a win, let them dedicate the season to Mr. Cub and his legacy. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for Spring Training to begin, so let baseball begin!

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