Cubs Win World Series? What Are The Odds?

Chicago Cubs

With Vegas odds now greatly reduced to 6-1, we all now know that the Cubs are potential favourites to win the Series. Is it warranted? yes. However, there is a great caveat on this prediction. Pitchers and catchers have yet to report and the snow is still fresh on the ground.

There’s a new catcher in town. Miguel Montero and early enthusiasm towards this game breaking guard of home plate, is astounding. We don’t know yet what is to become of Welington Castillo.

That’s okay.

The Cubs are solidified behind the plate. They’re strong on the infield and pitching is respectable although not quite where they want it to be. The outfield could use a few tweaks, but Fowler should carry the load.

With prospects Kris Bryant and Addison Russell leading the pack in the farm system, we know the Cubs are going to be highly competitive and should win between 85-90 games this season.

That’s a fact.

Of course, the excitement that Joe Maddon is bringing to the dugout is unparalleled.

Pitchers and catchers report in less than twenty days. As I write this, I’m listening to The Trio from Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Is this foreshadowing of the National League Central division? Will it be a duel to the end between the Reds, Cardinals and Pirates?

The Cubs won’t be pushed around this season. They’ll compete for the top spot with Ernie’s number patched to their shoulders. The sun will shine bright over Wrigley Field.

Predictions could be dangerous. The Cubs could win and the Cubs could very well lose.

No matter the outcome, what players, managers and fans should take away from the passing of Chicago’s mightiest hero, is to go out there this spring and compete hard, be fair, be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

Remember, players should not play for the name on the back of the jersey, but play for the name on the front.

Believe it.

Has Instant Replay Run Its Course In Baseball?

Every year I attempt to understand the game baseball and every year I discover new things about the game that I didn’t know before.

Last season was the introduction of replay. For better or for worse, it was needed.

It was an experiment that failed.

You see, baseball has no time limits. There’s a reason for that and it goes beyond the game itself.

When we were children, the last day of school meant something more than an end of structure, lessons learned and getting up in the morning. It meant, sleeping in, lazing around on hot summer afternoons, getting together with friends to take part in irrelevancy and revelling in it. To other’s; it meant baseball.

Imagine something that has no time limits? A game where there is the possibility of having no end. It’s almost heavenly, isn’t it?

Before last season, I welcomed the opportunity of instant replay. It was the true definitive decision. There’d be no more,”Would have, could have, should have beens”

At last, there was an answer.

Going into this season, I’m changing my tune.

There’s a reason for this change in attitude. Part of the magic in the game is the, “Would have, could have, should have beens.”

For the most part, baseball is a game of honour. Life isn’t fair.

We’ve been taught that at very early ages and what kind of lessons are we learning if a manager can run out to the diamond and argue a call and be right?

Umpires are paid big bucks to make the decisions and the right calls. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

That’s life. When we go to work, sometimes we have to understand decisions that we may not agree with.

Again, that’s life.

How fair is it for a manager to charge after an umpire to dispute a call? A manager’s role is to work the bench and build the team strategy. An umpire’s role is to call the actions of the game.

The simplicity and magic of the game is for us bleacher creatures to dispute the calls next day or online. “Did you see that play? He was safe! There’s no way that ball was fair!”

We’re only human. We make mistakes. Baseball should be that kind of game where nothing is perfect. Baseball is a game of life.

Believe it.