The calendar turns to the month of October again today. This tells us that the MLB postseason is about to begin. Too many years this has meant the end of the baseball season in Chicago. For the 3rd straight year, it will see our Cubbies competing for the grand prize.
2015 was like… wow, I can’t believe we were this good. When we lost, it felt unlike any of our previous playoffs defeats. It felt like only the beginning… and we were right. 2016 announced to the world that the Cubs were the best team in baseball. And with all the percentages against us heading into the postseason, whether it be because we had the best record, or because we were the Cubs, it didn’t matter. The Cubs did it… finally. It was the biggest of the biggest bucket list items checked off. It was pure glory. The Cubs were the World Series champions.
2017 brought a foreign term to us; the reigning world champs… The Cubs fought through this most of the year. It was such a rough first half of the year; not so much for me. Not so much for me, because we just did it… we just won it all. I was pumping the breaks on that rollercoaster and still savoring what the Cubs had just given to us. Still, not too be greedy, we still wanted the Cubs to play like we knew they could. Don’t stop at 1 boys… this could be the start of a dynasty is what we were all hoping. The dynasty talks can be tabled at this point.
However, making the postseason 3 consecutive years is something we have not seen in our lifetimes. It’s something to be very proud of. Yet, in the locker room celebration after the clincher, we heard the chant “11 more”. No, not 11 more titles… although that would be nice, 11 more wins; obviously, that’s what it will take for the Cubs to repeat. Can it be done?
The Cubs closed out the regular season on Sunday the first day of October with another win. Yeah, I know it’s not 29 out of 31, but 15 out of 19 to end the season isn’t too shabby. The Cubs are playing their best baseball at the best time of the year. It won’t be easy though… it never is.
And that’s OK. Going into this year’s postseason, it feels a little different. It feels different because for the first time in our lives, we can say “the Cubs did it” and that’s important when it comes to breaking down the postseason chances. For all the talk about the Nationals, Dodgers, and Indians, how many of those teams can say they did it; how many of those teams have won it all? Yeah, I know the Dodgers have their titles, but I’m talking THIS Dodgers team, THIS Nationals team, THIS Indians team…. 0 for 3!
So when comparing these teams to the Cubs, we have a big advantage; we’ve climbed the mountain. We know what it takes; these other teams do not… period. For all the years that argument was used against us, it’s nice to have the whole experience advantage on our side. I think it’s a big deal.
It doesn’t guarantee anything; nothing does other than those 11 more wins. But because of that experience, because we’ve just won it all for the first time in our lives, because we’re still the reigning World Champs, I can comfortably say: Bring it On! The playoffs are here. Hello October! Go Cubs!!!