For decades, "wait till next year" has been the rallying cry of the despondent Chicago Cubs fan. No matter how crushing the heartbreak of the previous year, the coming of spring brought renewed hope that this season would, at long last, return the Cubs to glory.
It is notable, then, that during spring training fans and pundits alike have thrown around “wait till next year” as much in expectation as hope. The consensus is that the Cubs will stink this year – as they have for the past three seasons, all with 90 or more defeats – but should also start to see the fruits of the full-scale rebuilding project undertaken by Theo Epstein, the former Boston Red Sox wunderkind turned Cubs president of baseball operations.
Youngsters Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Welington Castillo have established themselves in the majors.
Mike Olt made his major-league debut last season, and scouts are impressed by the Cubs’ wealth of minor-league prospects, such as Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler. Even the new manager seems pointed towards the future, with the Cubs hiring away Rick Renteria, known in baseball circles for his development and communication skills with young players, away from the San Diego Padres.
The 2015 season looks full of promise for the Cubs. Unfortunately, there is the small matter of the 2014 season between now and then. Other than Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday, on April 23, there may be precious little for the Cubs faithful to celebrate this year.
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