When you're known as the lovable losers, you tend to grow on baseball fans, even if those folks aren't fans.
The Chicago Cubs were expected to be this good...a year or two down the road. Instead, they've arrived early and look like the favorite to win the National League pennant as they will face the Mets in the National League Championship Series.
Chicago went 97-65, which was only good for third place in a tough, National League Central, that boasted the top three records in baseball. They began their playoff run by beating the 98-win, second place Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League wild card game 4-0, thanks to Jake Arrieta's complete game shutout and runs driven in by Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler.
With their victory, the Cubs had a date with the first place St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series. It was said by many that whoever came out of the one-game wild card in the National League, Cubs or Pirates, would be a favorite to beat the Cardinals, who slowed down in the final stretch of the year after a really strong start. That projection proved to be right, as the Cubs disposed of St. Louis in five games, clinching a series at Wrigley Field for the first time ever.
There's a lot of mystique around the Chicago Cubs franchise. They have the second-oldest ballpark in baseball, with that ivy on the outfield walls, the rooftop seating, and the fanbase has been loyal through all the ups and downs they've experienced over the last century. Oh, and if I may add something else you may already know, they have not won a World Series since 1908 and have not won a National League pennant since 1945. Of course, they came close to making it to fall classic in 1984, 1989 and that infamous 2003 series with Steve Bartman. Also throw in the goat from the 30s and the black cat from the 1969 season for good measure.
Just having the Chicago Cubs in the playoff mix makes it more interesting. Television ratings should be good for the NLCS,, and if they make it to the World Series, it might be one of the largest audiences to watch a series in the last 20 years.
If the Red Sox could end their drought, the Cubs shouldn't be too far away...right?
Oh, and one more thing: The Back to the Future Part II prophecy! There is a scene when Marty McFly travels to the year 2015 and sees a news bulletin announcing the Cubs have won the World Series. By the way, the date was October 21, 2015, which is less than a week away. No hoverboards or hovercars just yet, but maybe a Cubs World Series title will come this year?
I lied. One more thing. I promise. A commercial from the Playstation game, MLB 12: The Show, gives us an idea of what might happen if the Cubs win the World Series at Wrigley Field.