2016 was fun. Young talent. A World Series.
The Cubs did lose, but mostly they won. And when they lost it was in momentary stretches.
The first three months of the 2017 season has been one big funk for the Cubs.
Last year 103 Wins. 159 days in first place. Beating the Giants easily in the National League Division Series, beating the Dodgers pretty easily in the National League Championship Series. Winning the World Series.
These days the Cubs are losing more than winning. As of Friday the Cubs are one game under .500 but only 4.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
No one expected the Cubs struggle in 2017 but still, most don’t expect them to struggle the entire season.
The Cubs are just average right now. Going 12-12 in their last 24 games.
A few trades, or even a single trade for a starting pitcher and they are right there in September, most would reason.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon held a meeting this week with his team. This meeting was regularly scheduled to take place closer to the All-Star break but he moved it up.
He told the team that chemistry makes winning happen. They aren’t that far out of it. They haven’t played up to their abilities but they could sharpen the focus and the winning will come post-All-Star break.
“We’re kind of in good shape right now,” Maddon said Friday.
“We maybe have not played up to our capabilities. We are a bunch of humans, and we have had two long years. Now it is time to really sharpen our focus. I think this could kind of catapult us in the second half.”
Cubs general manager Theo Epstein, largely regarded as the genius behind the roster that brought the 2016 championship, told reporters this week that the Cubs are not looking as much to upgrading the roster as they believe the roster is talented enough as is.
“We’re just underperforming as a group and as an organization,” Epstein said this week. “I take full responsibility for that. To pull ourselves out of it, we just need to play better.”
His manager agreed Friday.
“I’m not concerned or interested about the trade market right now,” Maddon said.
“I believe the answers are in our room. We’ve just got to get that out of our guys.”