Our Long (Cardinal) National Nightmare Is (Partially) Over

The Dodgers have spared us.  All hail LA.

We know that, in just a little over a week, we will no longer be living in a world that lists the current World Champion as “Chicago Cubs.”  Chicago’s season ended with a League Championship flameout after they were able to barely squeak by the Washington Nationals.  There will be no “back-to-back” business.  You’ll be able to turn on MLB Network or other baseball shows this winter without being continually reminded of a baby bears win.  Finally, we shall have peace.

That’s not to say that everything is hunky dory in Cardinal Nation, of course.  Our complete well being doesn’t hinge on the team from the north.  We want the Cardinals to be good as well as the Cubs to, well, not be and there’s still work to be done to get St. Louis to that level.  As the princess once said, “It’s not over yet.”

Watching the Cubs in the postseason, though, makes you wonder just how big that gap is.  Remember, with six weeks left in the season, the two teams were tied at the top of the NL Central.  Will the Cubs struggle as much in the first half again?  I don’t know, but this doesn’t feel like this unstoppable dynasty any more.  Ben Godar wrote at VEB about this and it all rings true.  Even without moves I think the Cardinals could contend with the Cubs next year and the Brewers should be in the mix as well.  There’s a lot of good young talent offensively in Chicago, but can they stockpile depth and can they fix the pitching?  I’m sure if you are a Cubs fan you have answers to those questions but from the outside looking in, it feels like 2016 was more a peak than a new normal.

Again, we know, the Cardinals have to get better.  The Cubs could still win the division next year and likely will be the favorite unless St. Louis does some really big stuff in the winter.  Still, even with the uncertainty and excitement of the upcoming offseason pending, take a moment and breathe in the sweet, sweet air of the Cubs going home for the winter.

We tip our caps to you, Los Angeles.  Well done indeed.

  • West Coast Redbird

    Are the Cubs no longer unstoppable? Hard to say. They definitely had a season-long Hangover from last year’s success which they never really shook. It’s interesting to me that for all his accolades, Joe Maddon could not get this team to re-engage mentally at the level they played at in 2016.
    We can’t write them off (not that you are). They should come back refocused next year and the Cardinals have areas they have to address this off-season. Chicago is still a very dangerous team, and will be for several years.

    • Cardinal70

      Fair enough and it’s going to depend on what they do this offseason as well. Pitching is their weakness and a lot of it is leaving or getting worse. It’s doesn’t seem to early to declare that Heyward isn’t going to be what they thought and is now unlikely to opt out. The Cubs are still good, but I don’t think they are going to be that juggernaut that we expected with almost guaranteed late October runs. We shall see, though!

      • West Coast Redbird

        They’ve been in the LCS for 3 straight years, so I look forward to the anti-Cub Deadspin posts next year.
        Yeah, right…

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