The Chicago Cubs are baseball’s lovable losers. They haven’t been to the World Series since 1945, let alone won one since 1908. The Cubs have not even won a playoff series since 2003, and we all know what happened that year. There is supposedly a curse upon the franchise because an angry bar owner wanted to bring a goat to the stadium. I’ll take the side of the Cubs in that matter. It’s bad enough being stuck behind a pole at Wrigley. Who really wants to be stuck next to a goat too?
The Cubs tied up their NLDS series with the St. Louis Cardinals last night, and have the feeling of a team of destiny in Joe Maddon‘s first season at the helm. There are a lot of reasons to be rooting for the Cubs.
Here are the five best:
5.) Takeru Kobayashi ate a goat.
The Japanese eating champion wanted to do his part to end the Curse of the Billy Goat. Along with three other friends, Kobayashi took down a 40-pound goat in 12 minutes. Curses aren’t real, but Kobayashi made sure the one allegedly surrounding the Cubs was put to rest.
Kobayashi with the aftermath. 40 pounds if goat gone in about twelve minutes. That was…disgusting. pic.twitter.com/ACnMgScwxT
— Matt Lindner (@mattlindner) September 23, 2015
Is that the type of effort you really want to see wasted? No, I didn’t think so.
4.) It was predicted in Back to the Future II.
In the classic Michael J. Fox film, Fox’s character gets the idea to go back in time and bet on sports after discovering that the Cubs beat the unnamed Miami franchise in five games to win the 2015 World Series. The makers of this movie were obviously very forward thinking people, as there was not even a team in Miami at the time the movie was made.
Anyway, if the Cubs win the World Series this year, doesn’t that mean that more movie predictions can start coming true? Maybe my Hogwarts letter will finally arrive.
3.) More Joe Maddon things.
In yesterday’s 6-3 victory, the Cubs pulled off consecutive safety squeezes to plate two runs. The Cardinals were flustered by the unconventional approach. Jaime Garcia threw one of the bunts away down the first base line after Yadier Molina called for him to throw home at the last second. It was too late for that, and Garcia fired an errant throw into right field. If you love good managing and baseball strategery, then you’ve got to be rooting for Joe Maddon to lead this team to the promised land.
Maddon is the ideal manager to handle a team of rookies and young, budding superstars. His club was not even fazed by the Game 1 shutout loss. Maddon has fun and keeps the team loose, and at the end of the day, that can be more important that any strategic decision made from the top step of the dugout. I can only imagine the hijinks that Maddon would get into on a World Series championship parade.
2.) More Jake Arrieta starts.
The caption of this photo is “Jake Arrieta celebrates his no-hitter in mustache pajamas.” Do I need to say more? This is a guy we need to see pitch as many times the rest of the postseason. Besides the fact that Arrieta has developed into one of the best personalities in baseball, he’s the best pitcher on the planet right now.
Arrieta has posted a 0.36!!!! ERA in his past 13 starts spanning 97.1 innings and threw a complete game shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card game. If the Cubs make it all the way to the World Series, we could potentially be blessed with at least four more Arrieta starts, each of them wildly entertaining. I have no idea if the ride that Arrieta is on right now will continue next year, but for now, I don’t want it to end.
1.) This Cubs team is extremely fun to watch.
The Chicago Cubs are not supposed to be in the playoffs this year. They have a 21-year-old shortstop, a 23-year-old third baseman, a 22-year-old outfielder/catcher, and another 23-year-old outfielder who hit a home run yesterday. The best player on the team is 25 years old, and the longest-tenured player on the team is also only 25. Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, Anthony Rizzo, and Starlin Castro are the core of a team that was supposed to contend for a World Series, but not this year. Not even close.
The Cubs are way ahead of schedule under Maddon, and are a youthful, fun team. The energy surrounding the club is electric, and nothing seems to faze them. The Cubs are showing that age and experience do not necessarily trump youthful exuberance, and that is very fun thing to see develop. The players on this team do not buy into the cursed history of the Chicago Cubs franchise, and could have just enough moxie to carry the Windy City all the way to the World Series.