It’s easy to draw some misguided conclusions from the performance of the two teams from Chicago last night. First you have the Cubs who destroyed the Angels. Not only did they flash the power of their offense but also rode a shutout led by ace Jake Arrieta to an easy victory. Then you have the Sox, who looked very much like the 2015 team. They looked sketchy as hell, running the bases poorly and making errors. They escaped with a 4-3 win even though they chased Rich Hill in the third inning and had most of the game to tee off against bullpen arms.
The Cubs looked every bit like a team ready to win a World Series, and the Sox looked every bit like a frustrating mess. Those are the opinions that most fans will walk away with after what is possibly the most over-blown day in baseball. Opening Day is one of my favorite days of the year, and once again I regretted not taking the day off from my day job to sit back, eat hot dogs with grilled onions and drink an unhealthy amount of beer. America. But you have to preset you thinking as you watch these games to realize that 1 out of 162 is relatively insignificant.
It was really exciting to see the Cubs absolutely piss-pound the Angels. Even though LA is probably going to be dogshit save for Mike Trout, it’s good to see the Cubs dismantle a team they are far superior to. It was also reassuring that Jake Arrieta pitched extremely well after some blister concerns in Spring Training. As good as all of that felt, it’s not enough to draw any realistic conclusions. Cubs fans need to temper their expectations because if you expect this team to perform like that on a daily basis you’re not only a stupid baseball fan, but you’re probably going to have chest pains before the season ends. Yes, they could be the best team in baseball…but it’s only one game.
Then there’s the White Sox who are already drawing criticism from skeptics who claim this is the exact same team it was the year prior. It was a pretty comical start to the game. Adam Eaton was hit by a pitch and then promptly picked off first base. Hashtag White Sox baseball. The rest of their play was sloppy, both in approach at the plate and play in the field. However, making the conclusion that this team hasn’t improved is just not fair. It’s not fair to judge a team with legitimate talent additions that just went through the dumbest shitshow I’ve ever seen in Spring Training so early. Yes, this could be the same frustrating team as last year that annoys our baseball senses on a daily basis…but it’s only one game.