The ball has dropped and it is officially 2014. In Chicago there is a blanket full of snow on the ground, but that only means that spring training is just a few weeks away. In the spirit of the new year and resolution making, the Chicago Cubs can also make a few resolutions of their own for the upcoming season. They are not resolutions of going to the gym more or spending less, but resolutions of just the opposite in spending more money and bulking up.
Theo Epstein and company figure to be all-in on highly touted pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. If the Cubs were to land Tanaka, it would instantly bolster the rotation. Every action has a reaction, and with Tanaka signed it could also put the Cubs in position to be all-in with Jeff Samardzija as well. Suddenly, a 1-2 punch of Tanaka and Samardzija at the front of the rotation would make the Cubs much more formidable. The two starters would anchor the impending call-ups of talent that the Cubs have in the minors.
With the rotation bulked up, the Cubs would also like to see current leaders Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro bulk up to new heights as the faces of the Cubs. In 2013, both showed signs of struggles, but without these two playing at an All-Star level, anything else the Cubs do would be all for not. Chicago brought in new manager Rick Renteria in the hopes of helping Rizzo and Castro get to that level. In 2014, the two youngsters figure to rebound and become the leaders of even younger talent.
Lastly, the Cubs need to bulk up the fans’ confidence level. Around Wrigley Field, the word “hope” is known all to well. On the heels of 197 losses in the last two years, the fanbase is growing restless now more than ever. The 2014 season will need to show significant signs of progress for the fans to remain “hopeful” in the plan. Currently, the outlook is still promising, but now results need to begin to show.
This year is the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field. This year also needs to be a season of achieving resolutions in Chicago. While fans may be slimming down in the weeks leading up to Opening Day, the Cubs hope to be bulking up for the year to have any success.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.