Now that we’re more than a week clear of the Yu Darvish signing, I think we can fairly say that any buzz we might be feeling is now less about the lingering effect of that euphoria (yu-phoria!?!?), and more about the excitement that precedes a new baseball season. (I mean, having Darvish on the team certainly doesn’t hurt … )
To that end – and please correct me if I’m wrong – I feel like there’s a whole lot more excitement right now for the season ahead than their was at this point last year. Whatever hangover effect the players were feeling from winning the 2016 World Series, I think we were feeling something similar (something I tried my best to sum up in a lengthy take on what happens to a fanbase like ours after winning it all). I think we were excited about another baseball season, but we were also riding the wave of the year before, and also knowing that it wasn’t really going to get better than that.
And maybe there’ll still be a little of that feeling heading into 2018, but I mostly just feel like this is a really good team, in a really good stretch, and they’ve got a chance to win a whole lot of games this year. I’m very excited to see that play out. More than I was last year at this time.
Ben Zobrist sums it up from the player side:
Zobrist can't fully explain World Series hangover effect, but, “I can tell you this: The hunger is back for this team. We’re excited to get back at it and prove to the league that we’re the best team again.”
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 18, 2018
They’ve got the hunger to do it, and we’ve got the hunger to watch it. I feel good. I feel ready. It’s cheesy and it’s easy, but I just like seeing Zobrist saying things like that.
The Cubs’ first Spring Training game is just six days away. It’s gonna be great to see these players back in action, even if it is only an appetizer to get them – and us – ready for the real games that follow.