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Go Cubs go

Adam Janicki, Sports editor

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While the iconic 1989 movie “Back to the Future” failed to predict the Cubs as World Series Champions in 2015, this year may prove otherwise. After almost a century of re-building, Chi-town has united to support its Cubbies. Forget the White Sox this year, the Cubs are in the limelight now and every Chicago sports fan needs to support their team. Following their 4-2 series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Oct. 22, in the the National League Championship Series, the team will be competing for the World Series versus the Cleveland Indians starting on Oct. 25. Prior to their win over the Dodgers, the Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 in the National Division Championship Series. Wrigleyville fans look towards “Fly[ing]the W” until the trophy is rightfully ours.

For those who have been living under a rock, or have no interest in baseball, let’s just say they are really, really good. The team clinched their division with the fifth-best record in franchise history, 103-58-1. As the rest of the league was competing for playoff spots, the Cubs were comfortably steam-rolling over every team, being the first to reach 60 wins and later 90 wins. One of the most obvious strengths that the Cubs have is their depth. Through a wide array of acquisitions, many of which were successful, the Cubs were able to build a contending-team.

Players such as Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber and Kris Bryant were obtained via Amateur draft, while Jake Arrieta, Anthony Rizzo and Aroldis Chapman were acquired by trades. Additionally, key players such as Dexter Fowler and Jorge Soler were key free-agent signees. Within that depth lies an array of many talented and skilled players. The first aspect that stands out is the team’s three reliable catchers, David Ross, Miguel Montero and Willson Contreras.

Likewise, their offense consists of a balanced, powerful attack. Third basemen Bryant and first basemen Rizzo have been consistent hitters throughout the regular season, each have an excellent .292 batting average. Additionally, second basemen Baez has shined bright with some crucial hits and spectacular catches in both series; at the rate he is playing now, he deserves the MVP award. Relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr and closer Chapman have been terrific out of the bullpen. The Cubs manager Joe Maddon has re-built the roster since he arrived in 2014. Fans have been awed by his slogans, sayings, unique thinking and wealth of baseball knowledge. Having Maddon on our side of the ball-game is a huge bonus, especially in the World Series.

Fans who bleed red and blue have a good reason to brag about their Cubbies. The last time they won the World Series was in 1907 and 1908, winning back-to-back. Similarly to the 1907 and 1908 teams, this year’s squad has little to no weaknesses, which is crucial for contending the World Series. Many organizations have dealt with injuries in the regular season, but as for the Cubs, this post-season they will only have to deal with the loss of left fielder Schwarber due to a fully torn ACL and LCL.

When critiquing the Cubs performance versus the Giants and Dodgers, especially after close-knit losses, it is important to note the team’s struggles. Many star players such as Rizzo and shortstop Addison Russell began the series cold, along with pitchers Justin Grimm and John Lackey. As the Cubs advanced, many of their “cold” players have re-gained their bearing, such as Rizzo, while others have stepped-up, including Bryant and Baez. Also, Maddon, on occasion, over-manages the team, leading to poor decisions. Part of this is due to the inability to convert baserunners into runs. As seen against the Dodgers, Maddon has sucessfully controlled his coaching. To live up to expectations, every upcoming game will have to be perfect when facing such a high-caliber team, which all starts with consistency on both offense and defense.

Other than being an elite team, the Cubs have some of the most dedicated fans in the world. Despite having horrific “W-droughts” prior to the 2015 season, the Cubbies were constantly working to get better and improve their image in Major League Baseball.  According to, on average, a regular season home game was attended by 37,000 fans, the second highest in the MLB. Likewise, they had the highest road game attendance at an average of 35,000 fans per game. Are these not the most dedicated fans in the game? Perhaps this is the year the Cubs are destined to win the World Series. With their elite team and spectacular fan base it is hard not to imagine their success, but even the most perfect teams can lose on any given day

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