Well, not actually in the city of Chicago. We don’t get a spring. It’s winter and then it’s May 23rd and suddenly it’s summer and construction. But this week pitchers and catchers report, a lot of position players are already there, and we can look forward officially instead of just basking in the glow. Though there will still be a lot of basking. Mucho basking. Bask-a-palooza.
What’s strange is that for the second straight season really, and for the first time for a defending champ, there are just so few questions. What they are are questions of excess. Which of the candidates will take the fifth starter role? We know everyone will get a turn because the Cubs will roll through six starters at points. How will everyone get playing time? Did this last year we did. Is Wade Davis fully healthy? Because there are more than enough arms in the pen if he takes some time.
The recent trend for champions is to struggle to get to even .500 the next year. The Royals won 81 games last year. The Giants won 84 in ’15. The Red Sox finished last in ’14. The Giants won 76 games in ’13. Only the Cardinals returned to the playoffs the following year, and even they only won 88 games and could thank the wild card for letting them back in.
Doesn’t feel like that’ll be a problem for the Cubs this time around, yes?