The correct answer, of course, to the question posed in the headline to this article is, "It doesn't matter!"
Because after 70 years of not even getting to the World Series, we as Cubs fans will be thrilled to get there and whoever the opponent is, we will of course hope the Cubs go on to win the Series and become champions.
Thinking random thoughts about this the other day, though, I wondered if any of you have a preference to the team you'd like to see the Cubs face in the first Fall Classic they're in since 1945.
I do, and here's my thought process.
The Cubs' 10 World Series appearances have come against five teams: Tigers (1907, 1908, 1935, 1945), Athletics (1910, 1929), Yankees (1932, 1938), Red Sox (1918) and White Sox (1906). Though a Tigers/Cubs Series would be intriguing, I'm crossing them and these other four clubs off the list. I'd like someone new, and I'd especially not want the White Sox to be the opponent. There will be enough of a circus surrounding the Cubs' return to October baseball; I don't want the added craziness of the Sox being the opposition. (Once the Cubs get in and win, sure, then let's have an all-Chicago World Series.)
Oddly enough, on five of the six occasions the Cubs have been in the playoffs in the divisional play era, the American League team in the World Series that year was one of the Cubs' previous WS opponents: Tigers (1984), Athletics (1989), Yankees (1998), Yankees (2003) and Red Sox (2007). Only in 2008 was the potential opponent someone the Cubs have never played before, Joe Maddon's Rays.
I'm going to go old-school and say I don't want the Cubs to face any of the expansion teams, including the Astros. That would be weird, having the Cubs play in the WS a team that was one of their N.L. opponents for more than 50 years. That eliminates all but three clubs who were part of the pre-1961 American League: Indians, Orioles (Browns) and Twins (original Senators).
So I'm picking the Indians, the team that has the second-longest World Series-winning drought (1948). Old-school, and whoever wins will have their first title in a very long time.
Vote in the poll. Do you have a preference? Or does it not matter to you at all? Again, this is just a thought exercise.