I'm going to buck the trend around here and point to something positive about this Cubs team this spring. As Phil Rogers (who continues to endear himself to me) stated in his column this morning, the Cubs have made major defensive improvements this year as marked by their performance in Spring Training:
I don't think that should be underestimated for two major reasons:
1.) We were absolutely horrendous with our defense as a team last year--in fact, little league--and I believe that
2.) The performance brought the team morale down, the fan support down, and the pitcher's belief in the guys behind them down.
How much easier is it to pitch with faith in the guys behind you? Obviously for Maddux it's pretty significant. I know that Mad Dog isn't going to come out and say that he thinks this team sucks, however, I tend to side with optimism and I put some faith in his words:
It's also interesting that he suggests that the onus should be put on the pitching staff.....which I think we all agree is the most important factor driving this Cubs team.
Just wondering if there are any others out there who are excited about having a team that is significantly better defensively and faster? I think these two improvements alone lead to more wins over last year. How many more?