This is it!
Today is once again Game One.
There are other games today – a great slate for college football with Alabama at Texas A&M, Michigan St at Michigan (excited to see the NINERS old coach Harbaugh), Florida at LSU, and USC at South Bend, IN playing my very own Notre Dame Fighting Irish, not to mention the Toronto Blue Jays try to even the American League Championship Series at Kansas City. In my mind and in my heart, all of those games (even the Irish’ game against their arch rival) pale in comparison to Game One. The Chicago Cubs travel to the Big Apple to play the New York Mets in what will be one of the most anticipated National League Championship Series in a very long time. The Cubbies have been waiting since 1969 to repay the Mets for that version’s amazing season. None of the players on this team were even alive back when that happened.
A few days ago, the Cubs won a post season series for the first time since their epic collapse in 2003, the series that broke many Cubs fans though it created one specific fan – me. Over the years, the Cubs have enjoyed a couple truly stellar seasons, though more often than not, endured absolutely dismal ones. This year could be one of the most epic in franchise history. As the season unfolded, I caught myself jealous of my days in Chicago, longing for them, to feel the electricity no doubt enveloping the entire city. I find myself truly loving this team, this specific version of the Cubs, for many reasons, cos (a) they were built the right way, thru the farm system instead of being bought (like the Yankees usually and it pains me to say it my Dodgers of the last few years), (b) have truly galvanized a city, reminding me somewhat of Chicago’s hockey team – the 2009 Blackhawks – that grew up before our eyes, (c) have a bunch of players that (seemingly) are good dudes, “clubhouse” guys as well as talented guys, (d) too young or too dumb or too ignorant of the Cubs history that states they will lose, more specifically, will lose in epic fashion, (e) have ownership and management that are on the same page, and want to win, but want to win the right way, (f) and in fact, do play baseball the right way, and (g) most importantly, they are having FUN!! I could go on and on…
The Cubs chances are good. They were 7-0 in the regular season against the Mets, but the Mets that are playing at this very moment are different than the Mets the Cubs beat earlier in the season. Both the Mets starting – especially their top three pitchers – and relief pitching are scary good; and the Cubs strike out a lot, playing into the Mets hands. That being said, the Cubs’ offense is playing lights out. (I think they are literally punching the lights out with their bombs.) While I love their long ball, what if they don’t connect? Will Rizzo continue to play at an MVP-level? Will their youngsters Bryant and Schwarber keep pounding the ball? Will Baez step up in place of Russell? Arrieta actually looked human in Game Three against the Cardinals; will he go back to being a monster? Will Lester be the postseason pitcher he was paid to be? Beyond Arrieta and Lester, who is there? The Cubs’ relief pitching, a weakness during the regular season, is playing extremely well (especially in the clinching game against the Cardinals when they were mowing down their hitters). Will it hold up? Will Maddon continue to make all the right moves?
The Cubs that beat the Pirates and the Cardinals – the two best teams in the National League – look like a buzzsaw of a team, catching lightning in a bottle!
Cubs in six!!
It’s going to be a great series!
Go Cubs Go!!
Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.
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ALWAYS BE EPIC