The theme of the night is the future, and it seems that has been the theme since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over baseball operations on the North side of Chicago.
I can say without any hesitation that the Chicago Cubs WILL be playing October baseball. That, of course, is a given, since the regular season doesn't end until the first weekend of October. What most folks might prefer to hear is that the Cubs will make a sustained run through the month of October, and maybe surprise a few people. Despite the Vegas oddsmakers being a bit optimistic for our sakes, nothing is really guaranteed in baseball except that someone is going to make an out at some point.
But let's throw that aside for a moment, because no baseball has been played yet. Heck, the full squad barely did their first workout today. As far as we know, the Back to the Future prophecy can still happen. Every prospect can click into place despite the long odds. The Cubs could be the best in the league (or at least sneak into the playoffs, yay second wild card) and create even more excitement than we have right now.
Even if that doesn't happen, I'm going to predict that we aren't going to be too disappointed, because expectations aren't all the way through the roof yet. We know that the Cubs have the top ranked farm system according to everyone with a column and a scouting tag. We know that the rotation and bullpen look solid on paper, and that there are at least two legitimate offensive threats in the lineup with more on the bounceback. I think we'll be excited up until the end of the season, and maybe beyond. Even if this team falls short, we will know that there are just one or two pieces left to complete this developing juggernaut.
So no matter what, October is going to be a good time for Cubs fans. It's a year of good hope and reasonably high expectations that aren't going to devastate us if the team doesn't go all the way. Yeah, it's a bit of a cop out, but it's better than hoping for a high draft pick again. There's a much better chance of Chicago getting burned to the ground again than a high draft pick, and that's a pretty good thing to be excited about.
It's a very good time to be World Series Dreaming.