Has it really been that long since we blogged? I guess the answer is yes, and it’s something of a miracle that this site is still around after two-plus months of idleness. Going to have to break out the Swiffers to get rid of all this dust, and catch up to everything that’s happened since the Cubs got bounced out of the expanded playoffs.
You can, of course, see that we were pretty up-to-date on the Facebook page (probably should switch to the other platforms more), but as for actual content, there’s so little time and energy left over after having to hole up away from the plague rats that it just wasn’t feasible for us to blog regularly. Between the demands of work (can’t even work from home!), family, trying to stay in good spirits while isolated from others for our communal safety, not to mention all the various current events weighing our minds down, we were running on fumes. Thankfully, we are at a nice end-of-year break where we can take a few days off to just relax and hopefully recharge (some of that is forcibly mandated because the company wants us to take time off so they can get those vacation hours off the books, finances are weird).
And as the world has had its own major upheavals, so go the Cubs…
- Theo Epstein decided to opt out of his contract a year early, leaving the team to Jed Hoyer, who still hasn’t named a new general manager;
- A number of coaches have left for other teams;
- We’ve had to potentially say goodbye to World Series champions Albert Almora and Kyle Schwarber;
- Trade rumors galore as the Cubs are cutting costs;
- MLB and the Players Union jockeying for position regarding both the 2021 season and the upcoming CBA negotiations;
- The decimation of the minor leagues
So it hasn’t been the best year for anyone, including the Cubs and their fans. It would have been a sad downturn for our favorite team anyway, but the end of the world certainly didn’t help.
But perhaps there is hope on the horizon, as the Cubs have had some success developing pitching, and still have very intriguing prospects in the system. They did finally set up the Marquee Network, although there weren’t that many games to show and a lot of us who don’t live in the coverage area can’t even watch anyway. Maybe with the massive cost-cutting expected for 2021 and a plethora of vaccines that could lead to fans being able to attend games again, the team can be retooled for the next run of success (pending the new CBA and whether the Ricketts Family can forgo their monthly yacht to sign good players).
In any case, MLB is expecting to start the season on time even if the billionaire owners are queasy about paying their players, which means we still have a few months to follow the Hall of Fame voting, any upcoming negotiations, signings and trades, and hopefully improvements to our economy and everyday lives. I know most of us can’t celebrate in person with family and friends, but I do hope that you can set up a Zoom or just a phone call to tell your loved ones that you still love and care for them, and to have as good of a holiday as we can muster during this strange time.
Maybe one day, we’ll see each other again at Wrigley Field for a Cubs game. Until then, stay safe and healthy, and keep your mind fresh. We’ll see what happens in 2021.