Morning Cubs Roundup: It’s Opening Day, enjoy it!
today at 9:27 am
It’s been a long spring, coming after a long winter, and a long fall (with just a short stint of fall baseball for the Cubs), and a long summer…
It’s been a forever 13 months. For everyone. As Cubs fans, we’ve had little to cheer about, despite the fact our team managed to win the Central Division in 2020. It was an ugly win, with many of the team’s star players failing to put up their usual numbers. The Cubs were a flawed team, despite their victories, and most sensed the Cubs stint in the playoffs would be short lived. Any hope for an overhauled roster during the offseason quickly dissipated when the Cubs traded away their one star player who burned brightest last season.
I can understand if some fans feel the 2021 season will just be more of the same. The offense remains mostly intact, without the “fix” we’ve been promised the last couple of offseasons. The pitching staff is aging, and is without the staff ace and closer from last year. No prospects managed to force their way on to the Opening Day roster, save Adbert Alzolay, who has been around long enough that a bit of the unknown element has been eliminated from his game.
It would be easy to look at a roster with half of the players set to become unrestricted free agents next winter, and no players under the age of 26, and feel deflated.
Hope can be difficult to muster, even during the time of the year when it springs eternal. But at least for today, I urge all to stay positive, to find hope where you can and grasp it.
Remember, sports are supposed to be fun. This is entertainment. And today is a time to celebrate that.
I know from my end of things I am super excited to get Minor League Baseball back, even if it is in an altered form. Not only do the Cubs have an exciting batch of young players set to make their organizational debuts this year, but the Cubs former top boss has also set up some experiments for new rules throughout organized ball with the hope of kindling more excitement within the game.
I’m also curious how the roster evolves over the course of the season. Changes are coming. The thought of losing some great players makes me sad, but it is also energizing. For whatever reason, the mix hasn’t worked as well since 2016, and time is almost up for this core. Today marks both a beginning and an end for this group of Cubs players. Service time demands it, and age is an opponent no one has managed to conquer yet.
If you can, I would urge you to find as much hope and pleasure from the start of this new season as you can. And hold onto it as long as possible. You deserve it. We all do.