Monday, July 13, 2015

The Cubs factor

So tonight is the All-Star Home Run Derby, and this time I might have to watch. It would break my streak of never having watched the Home Run Derby, but you know what they say about records. They're made to be broken.

 Tonight would seem the night to do it, because there are two Cubs in the thing -- Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant -- which means a Cub has a 1-in-4 chance of winning. I want to be watching if that happens, because the skies may part and Harry Caray will reappear astride a golden stallion, flanked by Frank and Bertie from Winnetka bearing chalices of Old Style.

Or something.

Or something, because these are the best odds the Cubs have seen in awhile, and you don't want to miss it.  Mainly you don't want to miss it because it's Bryant and Rizzo, the two stalwart pillars of  a  Cubs future that for once is so dazzling it challenges your ability to forecast doom. You look at where they are now and what they have waiting in the pipeline, and suddenly finding a scenario in which they screw it up becomes unexpectedly difficult.

They're still the Cubs, sure. But Rizzo is already a coming star, and Bryant looks more like Mike Trout 2.0 every day. And all evidence suggests there's more where they came from.

No one would be so rash as to predict a World Series sometime in the not-terribly-distant future. But imagine if it happens. You could put Theo Epstein in a FedEx envelope and ship him straight to Cooperstown, because no front-office type in the history of baseball could match his feat of shepherding two of the three most snakebitten franchises in baseball to the promised land.

Next stop for Theo: Cleveland.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. For now, it's Bryant, it's Rizzo, it's Cubness unchained in the Home Run Derby. The only dark cloud: Albert Pujols, former icon of the hated Cardinals, is also in the thing.

Uh-oh. Tell me I didn't just pick the winner.

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