chicago cubs hype train

The 2016 Chicago Cubs are supposed to be really good!

How many times have you heard that already, this offseason?

Be it individual power rankingson-field units, best offseason transactions or even the actual, statistical preseason projections, the 2016 Cubs have found themselves among the top of many pre-season lists, riding a hype train as big as (something really, really big).

But, as you know, the team isn’t shying away from the pressure. Cubs manager Joe Maddon even began to lean into the hype, even creating an unofficial slogans like “Embrace the Pressure/Target.”

What else could he do, with so much of it going around?

Although most of the preseason power rankings have mostly come to and, we still have a few weeks to go before the season, and some more hype to build as we approach opening day. So, today, I share with you not one, not two, but three exciting, expectation-laden pieces from NBC, CBS and Fox Sports to read, enjoy and get into.



The first piece comes from Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports, regarding the players’ reactions to the hype and expectations for the season. Although there are some differing opinions from individual players, you’ll definitely get the impression that no semblance of pressure isn’t getting to anyone in the clubhouse. Kyle Hendricks, for example, loves the hype, he sees it as a compliment and just one more reason to believe they really will be great next season. Jon Lester and Jason Hammel, on the other hand, take everything in stride, ignoring most of the “on-paper” pre-season rankings. They expect to be good, but understand that it takes hard, daily work to achieve greatness.

If you’re really in need of a smile, check out this piece from Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports. Herein, he calls the Cubs a near perfect team, with truly impressive redundancies throughout the roster. Even starting pitching – the Cubs area in need of the most improvement – comes with four major leauge starting pitchers stashed in the bullpen, while five more than capable starters fill out the actual rotation. And, if need be, Rosenthal contends, the Cubs have more than enough pieces to make a move for a starting pitcher, throughout the season (Rosenthal cites the A’s Sonny Gray, but does so subjectively). Moreover, Jeimer Candelario comes in for some true impressive praise, as he continues a torrid hot Spring Training, with comps to Robinson Cano (from Theo Epstein) and Bobby Abreu (from Joe Maddon).



Lastly, at CBS Sports, Jonah Keri writes that the Cubs really do seem to have it all in 2016. Recapping what made them great in 2015, Keri explains that their offseason moves closed any potential, remaining holes on the roster. The team added Jason Heyward, John Lackey, Ben Zobrist and Adam Warren to what is essentially the same team that won 97 games in 2015 (especially now that Dexter Fowler is back in the fold). And unlike the Royals, Keri explains, the Cubs success in 2015 should actually work to their advantage as the brunt of it came from players performing above average before their prime seasons/ages. There’s quotes from several players, within the article at Fox Sports, but my favorite comes from the Cubs most recent big league addition: “We’ll be disappointed,” Dexter Fowler said per Keri, “if we don’t win the World Series.”

I made the mistake of reading and writing about these articles while drinking an enormous amount of coffee. Right now, I feel like running to Wrigley Field, sprinting around the bases and giving Clark a high-five. If you want to feel that way too, read any one of these exciting articles above. It’s gonna be a fun year next year, and I can’t wait for it to get started.


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