Can Joe Maddon keep up the crazy?
One of the hallmarks of the 2015 Cubs was the atmosphere. From the exuberance of the hugely successful class of rookies, to the creative and at times inspired leadership of Joe Maddon, this was a team with a perpetual smile they wore straight into the playoffs. There were helmet rubs, hootenannies in the dugout, zoo critters and pajama parties. This positive attitude, spreading through the fans, onto social media with gifs, Twitter accounts, bromances and more, contributed a lot to the total experience. Question number four is this… What’s next?
Anthony Rizzo has stepped it up on Twitter, as have Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber, but these are individual efforts. What will tie the 2016 team together? What will bond the old and the new into the positive force necessary to power through another season, win the division, and make a mark? Who will be the guy slapping and stomping in the dugout where Jason Motte was last year? Who will make that amazing play that we laugh about for weeks, or hit that home run that knocks a bird off the scoreboard?
The 2015 Chicago Cubs were a very positive, very tight group of players with a mission. The challenge is bonding the new and improved team into the same kind of unit – the same kind of family – that brought the playoffs to Wrigley Field and left a ball, encased in Plexiglas, atop the scoreboard.