Before I post my thoughts on where the Cubs should go with player and coaching changes for 2009, I wanted to say this about the 2008 post-Cubs postseason.
Is this boring or what? Apart from fans of the Phillies and Rays, who have to be excited about their teams being one win away from the World Series, this postseason has, for the rest of us, been dull and one-sided. There have only been a couple of games -- the Phillies' come-from-behind win in NLCS game 3 and the hugely entertaining, home run bombing, extra-inning Rays' 9-8 win in ALCS game 2 -- that have been either close or had compelling story lines.
Nevertheless, the Phillies and Rays -- who are both good, but flawed teams -- stand one victory away from getting to the Promised Land that we as Cubs fans have always had to watch on television. And so I pose the question to all of you this morning: how are they doing it? They are not the most talented teams in this postseason; they are not the teams that won the most games in the regular season in their respective leagues; in the case of the Rays, many of us have scratched our heads even while giving them respect for their achievements in 2008 and asked, "How are they DOING this?"
So I'm asking you: "How DO they do that?" What is it about the Phillies and Rays -- and at this point, I'm picking the Rays to win the whole thing -- that has gotten them to this point? What do they have that we don't? And what is it that the Cubs could go out and get to bring them from a 97-win regular season team, to a team that can win 11 games in October? BCB reader Weeghman Park suggested in this comment made in last night's ALCS game thread something that I've often thought of -- we need that one player, that one leader, to get us over the hump; the guy who'll say, "Screw everyone else, we're in this to win it for US".
But who is that player (or is it more than one)? And how do the Cubs get him and fit him in with the others who will take the field in 2009?
Have at it.