Searching For A Dynasty
While sunning my hairy ass on the beaches of Florida, I began to wonder about the latest incarnation of the Cubs and whether this was just a fleeting respite from the past or a true organizational shift to the future. For Two straight years the Cubs were the team to beat in the NL. Okay, that is a stretch to some degree for 2015, which we can argue ended quite improbably to what we felt would be the true outcome, but 2016 painted a nice little target on their backs and even the manager had them believing they were the team to beat. Now we enter 2017 and that target is an obvious bullseye that basically says, “Hey baseball, it all runs through us now, so suck it!”
This team is young, baseball smart, and loaded to the gills with talent. Their manager is a once in a blue “Cubbie” moon spirit that shows up in the night somewhat mysteriously, steals all the sheep from the Cardinals farm and uses the wool to stitch Cubbie nation warm security blankets. Even when Joe makes a dumb decision, we need not look far down the Cub management ledger to see how far up the ladder we have moved in a relatively short time. I mean Mike Quade was our manager a few years back, how is that for flipping things on end? Joe can make a mistake here and there, he has earned the get out of jail free cards.
We are so loaded with talent that we sound like wine snobs at a five star restaurant, unable to agree on the perfect middle infield pairing or outfield combo. It wasn’t long ago that we were hoping to see Augie Ojeda make an appearance in the middle infield just for the sake of being entertained by the five foot nothing shortstop. Nowadays, we want all of our fine young prospects to age in oak barrels and only be served at the major league level when they have reached their peak flavor. When we see the slightest error from a young newcomer, we spit them out and immediately demand a new player. We are talent cannibals with the palette of a French food critic.
We are getting somewhat spoiled, but can we expect a dynasty from all of this and what does it look like?
In my years of baseball fanship, I have seen what I believe to be only one dynasty and that was probably the Yankees. From 1995 to 2015, a twenty year stretch, the Yankees missed the postseason 3 times. From 1995 to 2012 they missed it once, in 2008. They played in all but two World Series from 1996-2003.
That is consistency if I have ever seen it. That is a dynasty!
They also had a stretch in the late seventies that was cute and quite dominant but less dynastic if for only it’s length. 1976-1981 saw the Yankees in the World Series 4 times with a dead end in the ALCS once. Two World Series victories came of this stretch. They then fell off the map for 15 years.
The closest thing the Cubs have experienced was a famed stretch from 1906-1910, which garnered two World Series titles in four appearances. There were blips through the 40’s after this but nothing terribly consistent.
Will this current incarnation of the Cubs be a dynasty like the more recent Yankees of the 90’s and 2000’s or fleeting like the the late seventies version or the early 1900 Cubs? Will this core group make a mark like no other Cub team? Is the concept of a “dynasty” even possible in Major League Baseball’s current layout and design?
What would it take for you to grade the Cubs, who started their winning ways in 2015, a dynasty?