Sitting down to write the offseason report card for the Chicago Cubs feels like a student doing an evaluation at the end of a tough college course, where the professor is very smart, and you realize that his faculty study guide is filled with resources you just don’t have.
The 2015 season ended spectacularly, if you look at it from the perspective of prior expectations. The team was expected to be another full year from making a huge mark. Rookies stepped up and became All-Stars. The Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, and winner of the National League Cy Young Award were all on board. Home runs flew out of every stadium in America, one even being enshrined atop the Wrigley Field scoreboard and getting its own Twitter Account.
Not everything was perfect, but when is it ever? Going into the offseason there were some problems to be addressed, and there was a new schedule as well – a mandate. This is the year, the break-out season, the Holy Grail and promised land of Cubs Baseball, and the only way forward was to be “in to win.”
Let’s take a look at how Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon have addressed that challenge.