Chicago Cubs: Why fans should be thankful this holiday season

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Amidst coaching changes and countless free agent and trade rumors, the Chicago Cubs and their fans have plenty to be thankful for this offseason.

Inconsistencies and a disappointing final few weeks have left a sour taste in the mouth of Chicago Cubs‘ fans. Headlines so far this offseason have been about what’s wrong with this team and how it can fix the many issues that kept them from advancing past the NL Wild Card Game or even winning the division.

While the Cubs’ playoff hopes were quashed earlier than we all expected, there are certainly things that the North Siders and their fans can be thankful for this holiday season.

There are six players on the roster capable of starting a game before the Cubs would have to turn to Tyler Chatwood.

Every Cubs fan should be ecstatic that the team exercised their option to bring back Cole Hamels. Not only was Hamels great down the stretch for the Cubs, but his presence means Tyler Chatwood is even further away from having to toe the rubber in 2019.

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The Cardinals still haven’t recovered from their devastating defeat at the hands of the Cubs in the 2015 NLDS.

That’s right, the Cardinals haven’t made the playoffs for three years! After being subjected to countless original jokes about 1908, it’s only fair that the Cardinals and their fans finally taste some of their own medicine.

Jason Heyward‘s $184 million deal is almost halfway over.

Only 5 years and $118.5 million to go for someone who has accumulated 4 fWAR in his first three seasons in Chicago!

It’s easy to follow news about the Cubs’ top prospects because there are none.

Not only did Theo Epstein bring the Cubs a World Series, but he’s also significantly cut down on my time I had to spend reading up on those promising minor leaguers. Thanks Theo!

The Cubs dropped the price of some upper-deck seats.

In 2019, I can spend a little less money to squint as I watch the Cubs try to manufacture a single run against mediocre pitching staffs while sitting in the upper decks at Wrigley.

Cubs fans will never have to witness another Terrance Gore at bat in the playoffs.

Well, technically Gore is a free agent, so there’s a chance this isn’t entirely guaranteed. I’m just praying that I’m never subjected to that horrible experience again.

Yu Darvish will be healthy in 2019.

In all likelihood, Darvish will be back and ready to go for the 2019 season. That means the Cubs can count on adding a great pitcher back to the rotation. I don’t know about you, but that 4.95 ERA before his DL stint last season is sitting pretty well with me.

Hero and clutch hitter extraordinaire David Bote will get to play his first full MLB season next year.

After his god-like pinch-hit grand slam to walk off the Nationals, Bote hit .176/.244/.315. Seems like he’s really earned his status as a fan favorite.

The Cubs best reliever is actually a first baseman.

If the Cubs don’t bolster the back of the bullpen with a strong left-handed option this offseason, don’t worry, Anthony Rizzo will lock things down. I wouldn’t say he’s as good an option as Josh Hader just yet, but that 0.00 ERA last year is pretty enticing.

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In all seriousness, there are countless things that the Cubs and their fans can appreciate this offseason.

In the non-stop onslaught of news and analysis, it’s hard to forget the big picture. We’re watching Cubs baseball at the most successful time in the franchise’s history.

This season marked the first time ever that the Cubs made the postseason in four straight years. It wasn’t too long ago that simply competing for a playoff spot would’ve been deemed a success in Wrigleyville. Now we’re bemoaning the disappointing year that saw the Cubs win only 95 games.

Sure, this roster is too talented to perform the way they did down the stretch, but I’m thankful that I witnessed the Cubs win a World Series and be contenders for three more.

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Where does the team that won the most baseball games over the past four seasons call home? The North Side of Chicago. Last year didn’t end well, but we’re living in a golden age of Cubs baseball. Let’s enjoy it.