The Cubs season starts this Thursday and I couldn’t be more excited! As always, the start of the season signals that spring is here, and time for a fresh start filled with hope. Probably sounds like bullshit, especially since Wrigley will be freezing, and it will be at least another month or two before the ivy comes back to life, but baseball is magical like that. Or something.

I think the Cubs have a lot to prove in the coming season; the end of last season was a disappointment, to say the least. Blame it on injuries, or the whole 30 games in 30 days to end the season, or having to play game #163; at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter - they’re a World Series contender that didn’t even really make it into the playoffs (the wild card game doesn’t count).

Not trying to sound like an entitled fan here - I almost enjoyed the Cubs more when they were the lovable losers, when it was just plain fun to go to a ball game on a beautiful summer’s day, who cares if they win or lose. But with all the talent this team has, you’ve got to make the most of it before the window closes. Because it will… and sooner than we think.

Despite not making any major moves this offseason, I still think the Cubs are contenders this year. In spite of making moves, they doubled down on their core, and for this season to end better than last season, a couple key players are going to have to have better seasons:

Yu Darvish - without doubt, Darvish’s 2018 season was the most disappointing. Not jumping on the blame Darvish bandwagon here - a season ending injury in May is disappointing, and not his fault. With Darvish back healthy, he’ll slot in well somewhere in the middle of a very formidable rotation. There’s a lot of talent and upside to him, and we haven’t had a chance to see it in Chicago yet. I think this year we will.

Kris Bryant - another Cub with an injury filled 2018, Bryant missed 60 games with a shoulder injury, and even when he came back late in the year, his swing wasn’t fully there. With a fully recovered shoulder, let’s hope to see that MVP caliber bat back in the lineup.

Speaking of injuries, Pedro Strop’s hamstring injury definitely hurt the end of season run. I’ll never complain about a pitcher hauling ass running out a ground ball, but lets try to avoid close, important games where the closer does have to haul ass to beat out a ground ball.

Regardless of where this season goes, I can’t wait to get back to Wrigley on April 8 for Yunker New Year, and I can’t wait to hear Pat Hughes back on the radio this afternoon.