After several weeks of non-stop Cactus League action, the Cubs had a well deserved day off today. With no action on the field to report on, this article will instead focus on Cubs fans. Expectations are once again high for the northsiders this year. High expectations seem to be a common occurrence for Cubs fans lately. Ever since their breakout year of 2015, the Cubs have been favorites to win the National League Central Division and compete for a spot in the Fall Classic. While these high expectations have become the new norm, Cubs fans know that has not always been the case.
As a longtime fan, it is hard to reconcile this new normal with what I have lived through since becoming a fan. For the majority of the last 30 years, the expectations for Cubs fans have been fairly tempered. That is what happens when the team underachieves, or the former front office and ownership groups put a less than stellar effort into putting a winning product on the field. Cubs fans were slowly and methodically conditioned to have low expectations and be pleasantly surprised if the team was able to battle for a wild card spot.
Even after winning the 2016 World Series, it is still a bit difficult to accept the fact that the Cubs are a perennial candidate to be playing baseball deep into October. While in years past there was always hope, today’s expectations are grounded in reality and don’t require career years from the entire 25- man roster. The credit for this should go directly to Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and the rest of the front office. They have managed to change the entire culture of the Cubs and even the expectations of their most pessimistic fans.
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