This week I had the chance to interview Tom Loxas, lead writer of Cubs Insider on ChiacagoNow.com. Born and raised on the northwest side of Chicago, Tom has been blogging about all things Chicago Cubs since 2008. Tom has used his position as Maître d' in some of the city's swankiest restaurants to develop relationships with many of the most important people in Chicago sports. The careful cultivation of these relationships has enabled Tom and Cubs Insider to break some of the biggest Cubs related stories of recent years. Loxas reports have been featured on Deadspin and Chicago Tribune.com. His work has been lauded by Matt Spiegel and Dan Bernstein of WSCR 670 am, Dave Kaplan of Comcast/ The Game 87.7 FM, Marc Silverman of ESPN am 1000, and Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com.
When did you first become a Cubs fan? I started watching the Cubs in 1980 but became a lost cause in 1982.
What is your favorite Cubs memory from your childhood? My first Cubs game in 1982. I will never forget how green and beautiful Wrigley Field looked to me as I first walked up the steps and saw it for the first time in person. The Cubs beat the Astros and Nolan Ryan on that beautiful May Friday not bad for a first game. I got some batting gloves too.
Field a team of your nine favorite Cubs of all-time.
1B Bill Buckner
2B Ryne Sandberg
SS Starlin Castro
3B Aramis Ramirez
C Jody Davis
LF Leon Durham
CF Bobby Dernier
RF Andre Dawson
SP Greg Maddux
It was hard not to put Mark Prior or Kerry Wood on this list, but Maddux edged them out.
What player from the Cubs farm system will be the best player 5-7 years from now? Kris Bryant. This guy from all accounts, is going to be the Cubs version of Cal Ripken JR or Chipper Jones type franchise player. Many have also compared him to Evan Longoria. He just has it. He has the natural born leadership, charisma and last but certainly not least, the ability to destroy baseballs. Let us not forget those piercing blue eyes.
How long until the Cubs next make the playoffs? If everything goes right I really think they can make a push in 2016. However, it's going to take some spending from the front office to insulate (with veterans) some of the kids coming up. I think they will do that this coming off-season and the following as well. What players are your all-time least favorite "Cub Killers"? Have to put Carlos Lee when he was with the White Sox, at the top of that list. Sprinkle in Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds when they were with the Cardinals. Yadier Molina is a current non favorite. Back in the day, Gary Carter, Mike Schmidt, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, and Andre Dawson were all Cub killers that I actually didn't mind.
When will the Cubs win the world series? I unfortunately cannot put a date on that. I no longer subscribe to the "this is the year" narrative. It takes more than just having a good team and it can also require some luck. I think what it's going to take is multiple playoff opportunities like the Cardinals seem to achieve to get to that place, then finally break through.
What will it take to end the curse of the Billy Goat? I also do not believe in any curses. If there has been any curse, it has been the curse of bad ownership for many, many years. I think this current ownership has made one of the wisest decisions by bringing in this talented front office and allowing them to do what they had to do. The Tribune ownership actually made a similar move by bringing in Dallas Green when they first acquired the franchise. However, they did not allow him to finish through on his vision. Tom Ricketts and the business side needs to give Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer all the resources they need to finish their vision.
To not miss a beat from Cubs Insider please follow Tom on twitter @TomLoxas.
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