2012 Chicago Cubs Season Preview
Taking a step back in 2011, the Chicago Cubs needed to bring in some fresh faces in the offseason to try and get back into the mix in the NL Central. The first thing was to find the right person to put a better product in the field, which they got in two-time World Series winner Theo Epstein. Epstein started by bringing former Red Sox third base coach Dale Sveum to be Chicago’s manager, replacing Mike Quade after one full season. Letting Aramis Ramirez go in free agency after nine years in a Cubs uniform was a tough decision, and Epstein hopes Ian Stewart can fill that void. Also departing during the winter is Carlos Zambrano, who was traded to Miami after a career worst 4.82 ERA in 2011. Starlin Castro has not disappointed in his first two seasons at shortstop, leading the NL in hits last season and representing Chicago as the only player selected for the All-Star team. Castro will need the rest of the team to step up around him in the batting order in 2012, now that his protection in Ramirez and Carlos Pena have moved away from the friendly confines. Ryan Dempster remains the #1 starter after a rocky 2011, but the righty still managed to strike out 191 batters on the season and led the National League in games started. Matt Garza joins Dempster at the top of the rotation once again, providing stability with four consecutive seasons sporting an ERA under four in over 180 innings. Veteran Paul Maholm was signed to join the pitching staff after a solid season in Pittsburg, and the Cubs hope that Travis Wood can regain his 2010 form at the bottom of the rotation.
2011 Chicago Cubs Season Preview
Few fanbases know the meaning of heartbreak more than that of the Chicago Cubs. The North Siders have not won a World Series championship since 1908, and the following 102 years have been fraught with disappointment. But, after a lackluster 2010, this might be the year the Cubs turn things around. If certain pieces fall into place, the Cubs may be playing October ball once again. The Cubs faithful have to be pleased with the cadre of young stars they have in their lineup. Catcher Geovany Soto won the 2008 Rookie of the Year and has been a solid option behind the plate. Shortstop Starlin Castro has the skill set to be next in the line of great middle infielders, and at just 21-years-old he may be around for many seasons to come. The offseason pickup of former Rays first baseman Carlos Pena will certainly help the Cubs power as well. The outfield is loaded with potential as well, though last year they did not live up to it. Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukodome and Alfonso Soriano all have the ability to be great players, and as they go - so to go the Cubs. The pitching is the biggest question mark in Chicago right now, but thanks to some offseason moves, they've helped their cause. The acquisition of Matt Garza was a huge get, and Kerry Wood has returned to add some depth to the Cubs bullpen. Carlos Silva was released, so a lot of pressure will fall on Ryan Dempster to see if he can be the reliable starter he is capable of being.
2010 Chicago Cubs Season Preview
Every baseball season is full of twists and turns, elation and defeat - and probably no fan base knows that better than the supporters of the Chicago Cubs. Though the franchise has not won a championship in more than 100 years, it has come tantalizingly close several times - and the 2010 seasons looks like it might be another squeaker. The parts are in place for a successful season. Veterans Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee, may be a step slower, but they can still hit the ball for miles. These three have comprised the core of the Cubbies for the past several years and are no doubt itching to deliver a long-awaited pennant to their eager fans. As long as these batters can put runs on the board, the sound Chicago pitching staff should take care of the rest. Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells, Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly make up one of the most complete starting rotations in the national league. When these hurlers can pitch deep into games, closer Carlos Marmol will be on hand to shut the door on opponents with his blistering fastball and crafty off-speed pitches. With their fingers crossed and hopes high, the Chicago Cubs enter the 2010 season with something to prove.
2009 Chicago Cubs Season Preview
What else can you say about the 2009 Chicago Cubs other than maybe this will finally be the year. Cubs fans will surely have both their fingers and toes crossed heading into the new season. There is reason for optimism in Wrigleyville because the Cubs won the National League Central Division title in 2008 and return Manager Lou Piniella this year. Chicago also returns many of their key players for 2009, including; Kosuke Fukodome, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano and Jeff Samardzjia. In addition the Cubs added outfielder Milton Bradley and pitcher Luis Vizcaino, so the Cubbies lineup will be stacked. If Bradley can repeat his outstanding 2008 season, when he led the American League with a .323 batting average, then Cubs fans could add their first World Series title in over a century. The Cubs will play their 2009 home games at venerable Wrigley Field. Wrigley is one of the oldest (since 1916) and most majestic stadiums in sports. If you have never been to a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field, then you are missing out on a great experience. A day game at Wrigley during the Summer goes beyond sports, it is a true life experience.
2008 Chicago Cubs Season Preview
The Chicago Cubs are always one of the most well-loved and exciting teams to watch each year in Major League Baseball. The 2008 season will mark 100 years since the Cubs last won a World Series. The Cubs did finish last season with a division title, but had a disappointing run in the playoffs. This is a common thread for much of the history of the team, but Cub's fans are again optimistic based on their team's regular season performance that this next year is the year to get back to the top of the league. How fitting would it be to win the World Series 100 years apart?