Cubs Den, I join you as someone who talks about Cubs baseball on a podcast (I am a co host of Cuppa Cubbie Blue for SB Nation on Bleed Cubbie Blue) and tweets Cubs baseball (follow me on Twitter @bryz_blue) but apparently all of that is just not quite enough. I need to write too.
I previously had a blog on ESPN Des Moines website where I shared my thoughts on the current events in Cubs fandom and bleeding blue while living as a die hard Cubs fan in St. Louis. I plan to make my blogs with Cubs Den an extension of that and hope that somewhere within my writing you find yourself nodding in agreement with a thought or two.
As Cubs fans know every season is filled with many emotions. Many highs, many lows and all the smiles and frustrations in between. The last day of the 2019 season came a bit too early for me. Since then, I’ve felt awash in an abundance of emotions that I suspect are common among Cubs fan right now that I wanted to share with you all, so none of us suffer our feelings alone.
exhausted [ ig-zawst ]
I mean besides west coast road trips and extra inning marathon games there is the overwhelming feeling of just plain old exhaustion. I have been a fan for as long as I can remember and I believe this is a combination of “here we are again” and “somebody do something”. Ever since 2016, I feel ruined as a thick skinned, somewhat tolerable Cubs baseball fan (especially residing in St. Louis). I could take the ribbing, the joking, the insulting banter because what did I have to come back with before 2016? Nothing. Now? One lousy World Series? Maybe to some, but to Chicago Cubs fans that one is everything and if it’s all we have for the rest of our days, no insults, memes, mocking or ribbing will ever take that or the feeling we had when we witnessed it unfold, away. Probably why we are all so desperate to get back there. Nothing will ever be as sweet as the first we experienced though.
eager [ ee-ger ]
The offseason is so long. Which is ironic because it’s nowhere near as long as the actual season which happens to be twice as many days. Monday the Chicago Cubs announced their 55th manager in franchise history. There has been so much discussion about the shape this team could take next season, as far as who goes, who stays and what names (big or otherwise) that could be linked to the Cubs. All of these things make me eager to know who takes the field opening day 2020. Eager for a new start, eager for a new voice, eager for the success we thought we were getting for many years following 2016. But in the same breath……
guarded [ gahr-did ]
I am a bit hesitant about believing this offseason is going to be any different. Therefore I have become guarded. Of course I want to believe that the Chicago Cubs will put the best team on the 2020 roster they can, but there are other factors. Money, contracts, who’s available, trade pieces, too many holes to fill, so on and so forth. Nothing you haven’t heard before.
We listened to the front office in the offseason of 2018 explain to us that those who did not produce would be not be relied on and would not be given as many opportunities, but yet we watched the same thing over and over throughout the season. As a fan, you want to have hope and feel reassured your team will make changes and progression towards improvement and being better. You want to believe what they are telling you. Change is the main topic in many presentations we’ve heard, but it’s something we haven’t seen a lot of, it’s hard to believe. So today I’ll lean towards……
optimistic [ op-tuh-mis-tik ]
If you’ve been a Cubs fan for any length of time, you know you have choices when it comes to how you feel about the upcoming season. You can be indifferent, you can be grouchy, or you can be optimistic. I have chosen the latter this offseason. It’s one that is really growing on me. It sprouts other emotions: hopeful, joyful, happiness, positivity, friendliness, kindness.
I know, eww.
But there is a lot to look forward to in 2020. No one in the Chicago Cubs organization was happy with the way things turned out in 2019 so the chances that this franchise sits on their hands and watches that 2019 season unfold again without doing anything, I believe, are slim. A new manager seems like a very good transistion point to open the offseason. I’ll stay optimistic, make the choice and join me…….Until next time.
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