Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Changing the Subject

Spring training starts and there's a huge "Ho Hum..." from the Cubs fans. With four of the other five teams in the National League Central getting worse this offseason, the Cubs are expected to roll to their third straight NL Central title and a playoff appearance. And, with nine consecutive playoff losses, including first round sweeps the past two seasons, there's a lot of people who are approaching the 2009 regular season as just the dress rehearsal for the 2009 post-season.

Count this writer as one of those people.

What's interesting is that Lou Piniella seems to know that, too. Why else is he bringing up the tired old bit of Alfonso Soriano moving down in the order?

The answer seems to be to give the professional media something to write about other than, "Does the regular season matter?"

The last thing this team needs over 162 games is everyone focusing on the 11 wins needed following the regular season. Anything Lou can do to reduce the number of people talking post-season success, and past failures, is a good thing.

Probably not going to work that well. 2009 is all about post season success. Anything less than three wins after October 4th and the season is an out-and-out failure. Some might even say that for this season to be successful, the Cubs actually need to win the pennant.

Think about this: For fans that think this way, the Cubs now have Yankee-like expectations. About time.

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