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1 Year Ago Today: Top 10 Things We Love About the Chicago Cubs

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01: The Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 9-3 to win Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Things have changed in 1 year, but not much other than winning the World Series.

 

According to newscastic.com

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It’s always a plus to have a manager with World Series experience leading your team. On top of that, he is well-respected across the league, he is loved by all for his time with Tampa Bay, and he builds teams with great chemistry. Plus, he wants to buy everyone in Chicago a beer. There’s no downside.

Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta
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Lester is a proven ace who has shown the ability to lead a team to World Series titles. Here’s a stat: Lester is 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA for his career in the World Series. He is a big game pitcher that we can rely on to pitch Game 7. Please send donations to the deity of your choice for the purposes of the Cubs getting to play in a Game 7.

Arrieta is coming off a career year in which he established himself as one of the best pitchers in the National League. His stuff is filthy, and if he has the same command as he did last year, he could be up for a Cy Young Award.

Together they make one of the best 1-2 punches in all of baseball, and can go toe-to-toe with anyone any day of the week.

The Kids Have Arrived
There is a reason our farm system was ranked No. 1 last year: These guys are good. Jorge Soler, Arismendy Alcantára, Javier Báez (I’d like to see him significantly cut down on strikeouts), Kris Bryant (more on him later), and Kyle Hendricks makes for some mean power throughout the lineup.

Soler added 27 pounds of muscle to an already beastly frame and has shown off his power in spring training, and once Bryant arrives, the Cubs will have a lineup no pitcher will want to face.

There is a reason our farm system was ranked No. 1 last year: These guys are good. Jorge Soler, Arismendy Alcantára, Javier Báez (I’d like to see him significantly cut down on strikeouts), Kris Bryant (more on him later), and Kyle Hendricks makes for some mean power throughout the lineup.

Soler added 27 pounds of muscle to an already beastly frame and has shown off his power in spring training, and once Bryant arrives, the Cubs will have a lineup no pitcher will want to face.

Kris Bryant
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a.k.a. my man crush.

This dude is legit. He was Minor League Player of the Year last season, batting .325 with 43 HRs across Double-A and Triple-A. Anywhere you look, he is either the No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in baseball. He can match anyone in the league when it comes to hitting home runs, and he also hits for a good average. Possessing enough speed to steal some bases is just icing on top. He also currently leads the league in home runs during spring training.

His one downside is he struggles on defense, which he will need to work at, but this kid is going to be a star and will be the face of the franchise, alongside Anthony Rizzo, for a long time.

Although a reliable lefty may be tough to find in the Cubs’ bullpen, one thing that will not be lacking is velocity. Between Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, Justin Grimm, and Héctor Rondón, the Cubs have 3-4 guys that can throw 95 mph.

Bullpens are all about velocity these days, and the Cubs can compete on that level now. No more worrying about whether or not Carlos Marmol can keep a 5-run lead.

Theo Epstein

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Cubs have the best farm system and are adding another top ten pick this year. Theo has done a great job with the draft in his three years (Almora, Bryant, Schwarber and many more), so look for him to continue to add talent.

He should be arrested for stealing with the trades he has pulled off over the past couple years. Prior trades have helped build both the farm system and current MLB roster.

Now, as possible contenders, he will have the assets to go out and add any available player he wants at the trade deadline for that extra playoff push. With the amount of talent in the Cubs’ system, no player will be off limits. Theo will get his man.

Wrigley Renovations

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As much as I love Wrigley Field, it is time for some updates. The players will appreciate it and if they’re happy, fans are happy. Plus, the new jumbo-tron is going to be massive. The revenue from all the new signs can only help the team. Hopefully the bleachers will be done by June.

Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro as Leaders

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Both of these guys were all-stars last year while playing for a team destined to come nowhere near the playoffs. They have matured greatly over the past few seasons and are hungry to lead the team to October baseball.

With a stronger lineup around them, I expect these two to have even better years than they did last season, and really evolve as leaders amidst something truly special.

Here’s a stat: Rizzo hit 32 home runs while missing a FULL MONTH of the season last year. That was still good enough for 2nd in the National League.

Crosstown Classic

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There is no denying the North Side – South Side rivalry has lost some of its flavor the past few seasons, as both teams were hanging out near the bottom of the league. The Cubs–White Sox rivalry should be renewed this year as both teams should have competitive teams.

Better baseball equals more heated games. It should be fun again.

There’s Always Next Year

I felt it was appropriate to end this list with the most cliché item I could think of about the Cubs.

I actually mean it though. With the amount of young talent, plus the available dollar amount to spend on free agents, this Cubs team should be one of the best in the league for years to come. A new era is beginning on the North Side.

GO CUBS GO!

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