Unreached hype blinds Cubs fans from season’s successes

Hannah Mason, co-editor-in-chief

When the famous, time-traveling Marty McFly read a hologram newspaper that the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series in 2015 in the classic movie, Back to the Future: Part Two, I doubt people took the possibility into consideration. It was just a sports joke thrown in to mock the Cubbies’ 107 year drought of not winning a World Series.

When we entered this 2015 season, the Internet and Cubs went viral with the hope that this was the year for Chicago. This fire fueled by Anthony Rizzo, first baseman for the Chicago Cubs, predicted that the Cubs would win the National League championship.

Let’s be real though: Cubs fans have been patient. I mean we’ve been really waiting for this, but after 107 years why should we believe that we’re going to win all of a sudden? Is it because we really are the best fans in baseball? Though true, I think it is fair to say that amid all the hype of 2015 season predictions, it was hard to consider us winning a World Series.

Then, something strange started to happen…the Cubs started winning. Gasp! They called up players such as Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler and others. We acquire Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, and a handful more. All this happening while adjusting to the new manager Joe Maddon.

With a mix of young rookies and new management, I would have thought it would have been another two-to-three years before the Cubs made it to the post season. In case you have been living under a rock, for the first time since 2008, the Cubs did exactly this.

This past playoff season, they’ve overcome obstacles such as beating the Pirates in a Wild Card game on Oct. 7, 4-0. Soon after, they played long-time rivals, the Saint Louis Cardinals, clinching the series 3-2 at Wrigley for the first time in history and advancing to the National League Championship. Unfortunately, we entered reality and the Cubs got swept by the New York Mets with the season ending on Oct. 21. However, I think it’s fair to say the Cubbies exceeded our expectations.

I know some of you are angry, have lost hope and are completely over this team, but hear me out. Be patient. I know people have been saying this for years, but the Chicago Cubs organization is on an upward slope. Getting to the postseason this year, we ended the regular season with one of the best records, 97-65 ,that we’ve ever had  and that says something.

You may ask, why now? What was different about this season compared to the past 107? Easy answer: Theo Epstein. Epstein, the Cubs President of Baseball Operations, was hired in 2011. Before coming to Chicago, he became the youngest General Manager (GM) for the Boston Red Sox at age 28 in 2002. With the Red Sox, Epstein broke the “Curse of the Bambino”, the Red Sox streak of not having won a World Series since 1918 until 2004, this just after two years of being the organization’s GM. If anyone could break this Chicago curse then, I’m putting my money on it being Epstein.

As mentioned before, this was Joe Maddon’s first season as the manager for the Cubs. After jumping between managers for the past few years, the only consistent one being Lou Piniella from 2007-2011, Maddon made a smooth transition into the organization. In a recent article by MLB.com, pitcher Jason Hammel credits Maddon for being“outside the box” and focusing on creating a culture and fun atmosphere inside the clubhouse.

By the looks of any Cubs players’ Instagram, the fun  is only beginning at Wrigley Field. Maddon has done various activities such as bringing zoo animals to the field to having the players wear ‘onesies’ on away game trips. Additionally, hashtags such as #wearegood and #flytheW have trended nation-wide and have united Cubs fans from all over the world.

All in all, the Cubs entered this season with energy, determination and promises. Though they couldn’t keep some of those promises, if they enter the 2016 season the same way they did in 2015, there will be great things to come for this hopeful city.