Recent post on my Twitter page:
“Good thing about the Giants win last night? The Cubs are once again in the running to win the World Series.“
Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning the 2010 World Series. Not many paid attention to the Series in comparison to other years but it does nothing to dampen the thrill of victory for the Giants or their fans, I’m sure. A series, filled with pitchers with excellent resumes and two teams who would be providing a first if they were to take home the trophy, this one was something more fans should have enjoyed despite the lack of usual headliners. Seeing as the All-Star game proves to be a very difficult thing for the NL to win year in and year out, it’s nice to have the championship trophy reside with a National League team. Hopefully, next time it finds it’s way to the North Side.
And isn’t that the best part of the season ending? YOUR team has a shot yet again at winning it all. As soon as the ‘E’ is posted next to your team’s city in the standings, the rest of the season is for every reason OTHER than winning the World Series. All valuable in their own way, however none worth as much as winning it all. Once the season ends, the playoffs run their course and the final out of the Series is recorded with players dressed in laundry other than that of your favorite players spraying each other in champagne (or ginger ale as it were this season in the Texas locker room) all of a sudden, we’re looking at next year and what moves are necessary to elevate your team to the promised land. The promised land of course is a bit much as nothing is promised, especially that of a World Championship. Anyway, it’s a saying, so I said it…the point is, the beauty of the Giants finishing their parade route is that door has closed and a window of opportunity has opened for the Cubs. Let’s hope the right moves are made so we’re thrilled it’s open. The wrong ones could make us want to jump out of it.
Mike Quade will be our manager in 2011 and I’m excited at the prospect of what that means in a 162 game sample of what he’s capable of achieving. There is something to be said about the way he handled young talent like Castro in his benching early on in Quade’s interim tenure and the way the veterans got behind him as a candidate for the one of the most coveted job in all of sports. Coveted in that, the man the manages the Cubs to the World Series victory the city has been waiting for, for over a century, will be appreciated in a way no other coach or manager would ever be or has ever been in all of sports.
There is also something to be said for the way the organization kept on nearly the entire coaching staff, something I’m sure Quade had a say in. To me it says that this team believes that with Quade and this particular supporting coaching staff, they have the leadership that can take the Cubs all the way. At least the best that their money can buy right now and are willing to let ride on the small sample we were privy to at the end of 2010. As a side question, what happens to Eddie Vedder’s Cub anthem if we do go all the way? An ‘I Told You So’ remix perhaps?
The belief Hendry and the Ricketts have in this compilation of leadership in the dugout/bullpen and the loyalty the players and organization have displayed towards Quade in the early moments of this off-season makes me proud to be a Cubs fan. I believe it’s setting a strong tone of all focused on one goal as it needs to be, as early on as possible. Hopefully the small sample of success demonstrated in the last few days of 2010 translates into greater success with the opportunity to do so in a complete 2011 campaign.
The length of the Quade contract is also wise. Enough to give Quade a shot but not enough to eliminate other options if it doesn’t work out. Including I’m sure, giving Ryno a little more time getting experience under his belt in case he were interested in the position once again a few years from now and the Cubs thought he was ready. Remember, Quade was passed over for the Cubs job once before. Never say never and nothing is ever impossible when it comes to hires and fires and coming and going in major league baseball. Makes me want to keep an eye on the length of contracts guys like Girardi sign with the mindset of perhaps the length of the deal they sign may show whether they’re still keeping the Cubs job prospect alive in the back of their minds.
The key lineup devisers and skill coaches are in place. Now we have holes to fill and hopefully we land players looking to start anew with the Cubs and give themselves and us as fans, lots to cheer for and be excited about. A starting pitcher, bullpen help, a power hitting first baseman and perhaps a strong utility infielder are all positions the club should be looking to fill this winter (a lot will be said for how the club feels about Hoffpauir and Vitters with their off-season moves). As per usual, all eyes will be watching the news and reading the sports sites for updates on who may or may not be a Cub in 2011 and those resource outlets won’t disappoint when it comes to rumors and predictions.
The Cubs Convention tickets are on sale now, a great sign that 2010 is over and everyone is looking forward to 2011. Especially the fans as we’re all ready for the club to land that elusive championship. Time to start the clock over as winners when it comes to Chicago Cubs baseball. It’s time to move the AC clock to read AC000000.
Speaking of ‘new beginnings’, on a personal note, my wife gave birth to our first born on Oct 23rd. Below are a few pictures of our son, Rhys Lewis Maloney, all 9 lbs 6.5 ounces of him. I’ve already started reading the sports section to him and telling him every story I can think of to assist in his love of baseball. I can’t wait to enjoy games with him and am already planning our first trip to the ballpark. Parenthood has already been a trip with a ton of diapers, multiple sentences uttered including the words ‘butt paste’ that I never thought I’d say and even a few occasions where I was unable to beat the clock and was as a result…peed on. Good times. Rhys has been a great baby though and it’s been awesome to have some time off to spend with him and my wife for a couple weeks after bringing him home from the hospital.
To new beginnings. Go Cubs Go!