The year is 1 A.C. (after curse), and the Cubs are now champions of the baseball world. What we thought would never happen finally happened, after 10 and half innings, in an epic 8-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians. As much as non-sports fans will tell you otherwise, the world will never be the same.
Cubs’ fans will have until March to celebrate their team’s triumph, and god knows they will. But once Spring Training starts, Northern Chicago will be faced with something as unfamiliar to them as a hotdog with ketchup: life as defending World Series Champions.
We don’t know much about life A.C. will be like, but we do know a few things. For one, we know the Cubs are still going to be good. Now that they’ve got the monkey off their backs, they may be better than ever.
Other than catcher David Ross, who decided to retire immediately after game 7, the Cubs are loaded with young talent. Rizzo and Bryant are the cornerstones of the franchise, and they’re both under 28-years-old. However, the Cubs will have to decide whether or not they want to resign Dexter Fowler, who led off their clinching win with a home run. They’ll also probably try to add a new relief pitcher to work in tandem with whatever is left of Chapman’s left arm.
Another plus is that they still have the laid back demeanor of manager Joe Maddon, who was finally able to pass the title of ‘best active coach without a championship’ to Jim Harbaugh, and arguably the best executive in the history of baseball, Theo Epstein. That’s bad news for anyone with championship aspirations in 2017.
As for the Indians, you can’t help but feel bad. Not only did they choke off a 3-1 lead, not only will their 68 year World Series drought continue, but their Cinderella story was also completely overshadowed by the Cubs and Cavaliers. Unfortunately for Corey Kluber and Carlos Santana, Willie Mays Hayes and Roger Dorn will probably end up remembered better than anyone on this Indians team.
What may end up being the toughest aspect of life after the Billy goat’s curse, is the image makeover Cubs’ players and fans will be forced to go through. Their national charm may be gone forever. They will no longer be the lovable losers. And if they’re not careful, they could evolve into unfavorable winners.