How am I Supposed to Watch the Cubs Now?
How am I supposed to watch this Cubs team now?
That is a real question.
When Theo Epstein and the gang took over back in 2011, I had to radically alter my ways of watching this outfit.
I knew they weren’t going to win or even attempt to.
I had always wanted the organization to go young, but this this tanking operation was something that would take some adjusting to. Especially when we were going to be staring it down for three consecutive seasons.
Yet, I was able to still watch this team as a labor of sorts, writing for both ChicagoNow and now our own blog.
Then, all of a sudden, with the call-ups of Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara, a switch was flipped. Just like that, the Cubs were fun to watch again, I wrote. Enter Jorge Soler a week ago.
Whether it’s the young dynamic offense, the newcomers in the rotation like Kyle Hendricks and Jacob Turner, or even the young guns in the bullpen, the Cubs are becoming appointment television once again. That goes for me in particular, for multiple reasons.
For the last few seasons or so I watched the game intermediately being distracted and at the same time coping through Twitter.
Now my focus has shifted back to watching this group wholeheartedly and trying to take it all in while still keeping an analytical eye open.
No matter whether you cover this team for pleasure or for business, it is gotten that much easier.
It hasn’t been easy, however, to make the adjustment again. Just like it wasn’t easy for me to crank my expectations back three years ago, it’s just as hard to turn that back on now. It’s a state of disbelief of sorts.
Is that actually Baez and Soler on my TV? They had become near-mythical figures we had heard tales about.
It is becoming unmistakable that this team is going to start piling up W’s, and hopefully this offseason I’ll be able to make the transition to consider 2015 as the sort of sacred season that Epstein and Jed Hoyer spoke of.
Epstein himself spoke glowingly about the team’s future and even its present on a local radio appearance this past week. Missing was the usual preaching of patience, and there was an enthusiastic emphasis on the now in his statements. That was a switch in itself.
Even after three long seasons, it seems that, almost overnight, everyone is looking at this thing through a different lens.
I will gladly get used to it.