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On Cubs baseball, mental breaks and the offseason

We talk about this on the new edition of the BCB podcast.

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
A lonely Willson Contreras foul ball in August at Wrigley Field.
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

I don’t often write articles when Andi Cruz Vanecek and I release a new episode of Cuppa Cubbie Blue unless we have a special guest, but today I wanted to make an exception. We took a bit of an unexpected break that wound up being a good thing for getting our mojo back. It also wound up being informative about the role baseball played in Andi’s life and mine during this crazy pandemic season.

Pandemic baseball was far from perfect. The lack of fans was hard to get used to at first and despite months of planning MLB’s protocols were only as strong as the weakest link on any team. There were outbreaks, rule changes, a lot of seven-inning double headers and an ad hoc postseason bubble that didn’t wind up being strong enough.

But there was also baseball. Balls, strikes, double plays, towering home runs, mammoth bat flips and all of the things that make our national pastime so great. Those games provided a mental break in a time that is teeming with anxiety. I didn’t even realize how important that mental break was until the Marlins swept the Cubs out of the postseason and I just immediately felt worse than I’d even anticipated.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I thought the Cubs winning the World Series would fix anything, it’s just that having those moments where my mind was fully focused on something other than the pandemic turned out to be incredibly important. Andi and I tried to record an episode before the Division Series and we had some technical issues getting it posted and then it just became really clear we needed a bit of a break. We needed some space to readjust to life without baseball.

We’ve both done that now and the result is a pretty solid episode. We’ll be back each Friday with offseason updates, news and the occasional special guest. Be sure you’re subscribed so you never miss an episode - just search for Bleed Cubbie Blue wherever you get your podcasts.