I don’t know about you, but I needed to exhale.
With a third straight long season for the Cubs, and another intense postseason run, I needed a little bit of separation from the “IT’S HAPPENING!” feeling of the postseason and the “OK, get into that offseason vibe.”
Although it was of course possible that the Cubs were going to make another run to the World Series, I suspect we’re going to look back on the 2017 season and think about it something like this:
- World Series hangover, and finding footing again in the first half.
- Fantastic run in the second half, and winning the NL Central again.
- Slobberknocker NLDS with the Nationals that the Cubs were fortunate to win, and used up what they had left.
- The Cubs were in the NLCS? I have no memory of any such thing like that.
And if that does become the story of 2017, arriving at the offseason with a renewed hunger to dig in on the roster and the moves to come seems like it was preordained.
I wouldn’t say I like the offseason more than the season, but I definitely do love the offseason, with its analysis, rumors, debates, transactions, and more. With the Cubs having won the World Series last year (people forget that), the offseason certainly felt neutered of some of its excitement. As it was happening, it didn’t feel like “the thing.” It felt like the World Series residue was “the thing,” and you’d be kind of silly to focus too intently on much else.
Now, though, the focus is wholly the offseason, and I’m excited to get into it. Unpacking what happened in 2017 as it relates to the future. Considering the shape of the roster and the moves available to the Cubs. Keeping track of the broader market and the Cubs’ outgoing free agents. The roster deadlines. The winter meetings. The Rule 5 Draft. Arbitration.
Yes, I am a baseball nerd, and some of nerdiest moments of the calendar year lie ahead. Let’s enjoy it together.