Do you know who is smiling right now? Tom Ricketts is smiling. Do you know who else is smiling? Theo Epstein is smiling. Do you know who else is smiling? A whole bunch of Cubs fans, that’s who.
Javier Baez has the hopes of an entire fandom on his shoulders right now, and while no one knows how this story will play out, the hope that has been created by a few sweet swings of a bat feels awfully good today.
The cynics remain, as they always will, but the future is clearer now. Castro, Rizzo, Alcantara, Baez as well as the man on the mound yesterday … the picture is in better focus.
While the record is bad, and another high draft choice is imminent, real excitement will return to Wrigley Field today. True excitement will be in those stands this afternoon, and that is wonderful. So let’s get down to it.
- I know the Rockies are bad, but any start at Coors Field like the one Hendricks had yesterday is darn impressive. Nice pitching, young man.
- Speaking of, in five starts, Hendricks has a 2.10 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. This includes the aforementioned start at Coors, as well as games against the Dodgers and Cardinals. He might just be a viable 3 or 4 starter in the Bigs.
- Last week I went out of my way to mention that Castro had not hit a homerun in a long time. Over forty-some days I believe. He blasted one yesterday, and I hope he can get in a groove these last 50-plus games.
- I have not been able to watch everything, but Javy has looked pretty comfortable at second base. This is a good thing. He hung in there and turned two very nicely the other night.
- I said it last week, and I will say it again. I love the hope these prospects bring, but there will need to be a few veterans on this team. Ricky can only do so much.
- I mentioned Coghlan as a possible veteran presence last week. He should play every day until the end of the year. In honor of Jerome Walton, here is to reviving a former Rookie-Of-The-Year’s career!
- Speaking of Ricky, it is really nice to have a smart manager. Or better said, I really enjoy have a not-stupid manager. No one is perfect, but Ricky has done a very nice job.
- Things like this are evident when Walt Weiss is employing a sacrifice bunt in the first inning at Coors Field.
- There are a few former sluggers manning a dugout that don’t seem to have much of a clue at times. To be fair, I am no one, and it is easy for me to sit here and make these claims. But I am one heck of an arm-chair manager.
- Before the All-Star break, the Cubs were in 29th in OBP, 21st in SLG and 27th in OPS.
- Since the All-Star break, the Cubs are 10th in OBP, 4th in SLG and 7th in OPS. Improvement is fun.
- I hope Chris Coghlan is really enjoying himself these days. There are a lot of great stories in sports, but redemption stories seem to be my favorite. I am rooting hard for this guy.
- I love the play to get Jacob Turner. Theo and Jed have had their eyes on him for quite some time. Bosio has proven he can work some magic, so why not?
- Samardzija, Arrieta, Feldman … If Bosio keeps this up, he might be mentioned in a close breathe to Dave Duncan one day. So why not try?
- Also, if the reports are true, awesome work on claiming Hamels. We all know the trade won’t happen, but as David Kaplan said, this should show us something about Ricketts. They are ready to spend money.
- And for the cynics who think this was all orchestrated to make it look like Ricketts is willing to spend money, but he never will, but this will buy him some time … I politely disagree.
- Also, as I have said, if someone is going to argue that the Ricketts’ family has money issues, please prove it. Or, like with second-grade math, “show your work.” People keep throwing this claim around, but I have yet to see a balance sheet, or a checking-account balance, or simple proof.
- For the record, I am not saying this is NOT the case, but I have yet to see tangible evidence.
- I think it is fair to say that for the first time in a very long time, people are excited to watch Cubs games. I have talked with a fair share of Cubs fans the past few days, and there is an air of positivity I have not heard in years.
- The future is not here, but it is getting closer every single day. And that is very exciting.
Many fans will pass through the Wrigley Field gates this weekend. Fans of all ages will take in a ballgame and enjoy themselves while being filled with hope. And this hope is something that cannot be measured. It can only be appreciated. Dare to dream.
With that, I hope everyone has an enjoyable, safe, productive and fulfilling weekend.
And until next time … Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!