I have decided that I have a magical power that I am sure someone from the front office will be calling me about soon. In the past I have blogged about certain players who were struggling a bit. I posted their dismal numbers hoping you all would see it my way. Then, magically and much to my surprise each time I called out a specific player, the next game or two their performance improved. I have another example of such events. Just the other night I was finishing my first blog for ESPN Des Moines and talked about 2 specific players that needed to (and I quote) “step into their roles to keep this ship on course”……Rizzo and Schwarber. Tonight a combined 5 for 8 with 5 RBIs. You’re welcome Cubs Nation. And the Crosstown Cup returns to the Northside…….
Yes, I am a Cubs fan, but I am also a baseball fan. I appreciate and clap for good plays no matter who the team (sometimes it’s much harder based on what uniform they wear) but I will always give credit where its due. Today I was embarrassed for a team (see any sports media outlet talking about the route of the Milwaukee Brewers vs. the Washington Nationals). It has always been my theory, to be the best you have to beat the best. I do not like a team in the central getting beat up by the Washington Nationals. Yes, any team. It doesn’t help us to play a Milwaukee team that is struggling and giving up and not playing their best. How will that get us prepared to play deep in a season against the league’s best? I know some of you are booing me right now but think about it. If we cruise into the post-season without having really been tested, will we think we can cruise through the playoffs too? I am not by any means trying to put the carriage before the horse, but trying to use what our ultimate goal is as motivation. Yes, the way we slid into the All Star break, we needed the front part of this half of the season to go a little easy on us, but now that we are seeing signs of the 2016 World Series Champion Cubs, we need to be challenged and tested. We need our pitchers to feel pressure, we need our bullpen to know what getting out of innings that are important and have meaning feels like, we need our offense to be able to hit and produce and make effective in game adjustments against good, hard throwing quality pitchers. We need to know how to win games that might seem unwinnable on paper. So I am talking myself out of loving this “soft” second half of the season schedule. We do have 1 major thing going for us (well a few more than 1 but this one is a biggie)….
You know how they say “act like you’ve been there before”? Well…..we HAVE been there before. These guys know what it feels like to hoist that trophy and ride in a parade said to have been the largest gathering of humans this world has seen. These guys know what that takes mentally and physically. And thank goodness because there are a few teams gunning for this Cubs team and we need to be prepared for those other teams to bring their best game. And maybe a rain delay or two……..until next time.~~~Bryz