This Cubs bunch is quite the thing. Last year they basically had a party every time they won a game and sometimes had a party when they lost. This year everyone is arriving to spring training two weeks early, even the new guys, just because they feel like it. It’s clear that the chemistry in the locker room is off the charts. Oh, and they’re also really damn good at baseball.
All of this translates into local and national baseball people predicting the Cubs to win the World Series this year. They are the favorites, and deserve to be, but I’m tired of hearing about how much they “feel like” a championship team. First, that whole notion of something feeling like something in sports usually never works out. How many comparisons were made between the Panthers and ’85 Bears in the sense that they “felt like” a Super Bowl winning team. How’d that work out?
It’s especially irrelevant in a sport like baseball where the postseason is a random series of events that not even the smartest GM’s can really plan for. In fact, every baseball game could almost be characterized as random. When you put those random events into a 162 game span, that’s when trends start to flesh out.
That’s why the best team rarely wins the World Series (the Royals last year were an exception). It’s why Wild Card teams are thought of as moderately successful. The Wild Card teams usually sneak in with 83-87 wins and are clearly less talented than division winners, but they have “success” because of the randomness of a seven game series. Seven games is not enough to flesh out which team is actually better. No matter how well the team bonds in the locker room, no matter how well they do during the regular season, and no matter how much they “feel like” a World Series team, nothing is guaranteed.