Let me start off by saying that I'm from a baseball family, I'm a big Cubs fan, and I am grateful for the hugely successful season they just finished. To advance to the MLB post season 3 years in a row is a tremendous accomplishment, let alone having won the World Series in one of those years in 2016. Let me just make all of that clear.
By now, like most of you, I've heard the World Series hangover theory many times, and how Joe Maddon firmly believes in it, thinking it's a real thing. I actually agree, and believe it has considerable merit, while a more palatable way to put it is that the team endured mental and physical fatigue this past season. I get the point in all of that.
However, there is something off-putting about all of this. Do we really need to hear about the Cubs World Series hangover? Also, reading and hearing Kris Bryant's complaints about being "tired" in the press and on TV, while valid and true, it's difficult to empathize with. It's part of the gig he signed up for, one in which these tired players get paid millions of dollars.
Furthermore, hearing pitching coach Chris Bosio complain about the west coast flight after game 5 of the NLDS, how it was the worst flight he ever had to endure in his career, bordered on eye-rolling. Yes, traveling for work is difficult, it messes with your circadian rhythms. Yes, one of the player's wives unexpectedly had a health crisis that caused a 5 hour layover in Albequerque, after having played a 4 hour game on the east coast, prior to doing the same the very next day in Los Angeles. We get it. All of that had to be maddeningly frustrating, stressful, and difficult to deal with under the already high pressure circumstances. But complaining about it, when that lifestyle is essentially part of the job?
As much as we all love the Cubs, I'm not sure this is something we can take seriously, let alone something we should care about. Elite, multi-million dollar 20-something athletes "tired" at the end of a long season, with the rare opportunity to compete in the post? Essentially playing a kid's game for a living?
It's hard to stomach at a time in our society when the middle class is disappearing, small businesses are being squeezed out of existence, and job security and income inequality are challenges that are not going away any time soon.
The Cubs lost the NLCS because the Dodgers were simply the better team. Even so, the Cubs played a fine, impressive season, and they will continue to have post season successes in many years to come. This season should be considered a success. Let's just lose the "tired" and "hungover" shtick. The rest of us don't want to hear it.
Oh, and the Cubs will win the NLCS in 2018. You heard it here first.
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