Joe Maddon is proud. We should be too.

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“I’m proud of these guys.”

Joe Maddon’s words last night after the Cubs 4-3 loss at Pittsburgh may have caught more than a few fans a little by surprise.

But this is a different team, with a different vibe. With a different manager. No need to wallow in that trademark Cubs negativity.

Exhibit A: another late inning comeback – a bases loaded, nobody out situation where the Cubs were able to plate two but just didn’t get the clutch hit that would have tied the game and potentially give them the lead.

This is progress. And we should all be proud.

Starlin Castro this week said himself that Cubs teams of the last few years used to quit when they were down.  But this team, according to Castro, never quits.

He should know, considering that during Castro’s entire tenure the Cubs have never been three games over .500. He has been part of quite a few epically bad teams.

No wonder Castro had more than a few lapses in focus over the past few seasons.

Now that #wearegood is in full swing, Castro has shown a flair in the field and at the plate that only stand as even more reason to believe in his all-star ability.

But now the middle of our batting order looks like a list of all stars and potential all stars with Soler and Bryant in there.  It feels like there is no run deficit they can’t overcome. And Rizzo and Castro aren’t left to do it alone.

That could be dumb Cub fan giddiness, but honestly it feels good.

So let’s follow Joe Maddon’s lead and be proud.

Proud of how Theo and Jed have turned this team around ahead of schedule.

Let’s be proud that they had the guts to go after Maddon.

Let’s be proud of all of us fans that made it through the 100 loss seasons and have every reason to believe that isn’t going to happen again for a long time.

Let’s be proud of how our team is playing solid, competitive baseball.

Let’s be proud that we have ownership dedicated to fielding a great team and restoring Wrigley Field, a baseball icon.

We have every reason to look forward, and not backward.

Heck, Javier Baez is reporting to Mesa for extended spring training today.

Young pitching phenom Kyle Hendricks is taking the mound.

And Kris Bryant is starting in center field.

Whatever works.

We used to say to the National League, “we’re coming.”

It’s time to say, “We’re here.”

 

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