I'm almost speechless to think i'm sitting here on August 2nd and seeing the Cubs in 1st place. It's almost like a dream after the nightmarish start to this season, but its happened.
Jim Hendry's offseason plight to save his job has brought about a quick turn around in the team's fortunes and combined with a weakening NL on the whole (thanks to limited offseason activity by the top teams and a lack of impact prospects spread throughout the league), the Cubs have a legitimate shot to get into the playoffs and do some damage. It's a beautiful thing and while i'm aware of the $72 million in committments we have to 6 players come 2009 (DLee, Aramis, DeRosa, Marquis, Lilly, Soriano) and openly terrified of this clubs future, i'm living in the moment and loving 2007.
I questioned this plan all off-season while all the way suggesting if it brings a championship run in the next 2-3 years it'll be worth it and with Tim Wilken at the helm restocking the farm system we could still have a chance to be successful further down the road but it would ultimately be severely dependent on his ability to restock the system quickly.
Regardless i'm really happy right now and am looking forward to a pennant chase down the last 8 weeks of this season.
As i've learned when i've gotten older, the journey is often more important than the end result. The 2006 Bears brought me one of the most unforgettable seasons of my sports fandom life capped off by watching the Hester kick return next to my dad in person at the Super Bowl. The 2003 and 2004 Cubs brought me two great years of pennant chasing and while they came with a lot of heartbreak, they also came with a lot of memories of watching games with my father or sitting alone in my fraternity room rocking Leo Mazzone style hoping for something good to happen. Every day i'd wake up with a smile on my face and looked forward to every game, while i've done this pretty much my whole life with the Cubs, Bears, and Bulls its a different feeling when those games are being played in a playoff run. And I cherish all those feelings that come along with it, because its not every season you get to enjoy those feelings. When I was younger, i took for granted the Bulls run and thought it was more important for bragging rights than anything else. Now as i'm older, the important things are the memories i have from those days, not the trash talking of friends and rivals, but the cartwheels i tried to do on the lawn after MJ hit the game 6 winner in Utah or the feeling i felt getting on a plane during the Bulls letdown against Portland, only to find by the time i had gotten off the plane they had another victory and were on their way to another championship
So today and for the next 2 months i'm going to soak in every moment of this pennant chase and enjoy everything it brings.
While i'll be rooting as hard as i ever have for a happy ending and god do i hope there's a happy ending behind this.. i'm going to make sure to enjoy the journey