As the Chicago Cubs brass continue their managerial search, two franchises closely associated with the Cubs battle it out for the pinnacle prize of Major League Baseball. The division rival St. Louis Cardinals and, the former home of the Cubs’ Theo Epstein, the Boston Red Sox are at points as a franchise that the Cubs wish they could be.
St. Louis is a model of baseball consistency, even after losing perennial MVP candidate Albert Pujols to the Angels a few years ago. Pujols has struggled since leaving the Cardinal faithful high and dry, while his former team continues to string together excellent regular seasons and now find themselves in the World Series. However much it may hurt Cubs fans to hear it, St. Louis is the measuring stick by which all teams in the National League must be measured against. Unfortunately for the Cubs, the Cardinals are in the same division, making any attempts at consistent winning even more difficult, not to mention the immense talent on the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates as well.
The Boston Red Sox used to be somewhat kindred spirits with the Chicago Cubs. That was until 2004 when the Red Sox finally broke through and won a World Series. Now the franchises seem to be much farther apart. The Red Sox have hoisted a second World Series title and are looking to bring home their third since 2004. The Red Sox have also updated their ancient baseball cathedral, while the Cubs are stuck in neutral as Cubs ownership awaits signed contracts by the rooftop owners to not press law suits for the Cubs’ outfield video screen.
Although fan patience seems to be eroding and has further been exasperated with the firing of Dale Sveum, if the Cubs can produce some quality major league talent from their restocked farm system, their is no reason not to believe that the club can achieve what the Red Sox and Cardinals are doing. However, 105 years without winning any World Series titles will make anyone impatient.
So as the Cubs continue to trudge along in a rebuilding process that may or may not come to fruition in the next few years, Cubs fans do not need to look far to see what possibilities could lie ahead. They’ll just need to turn on their TV sets on Wednesday night and flip to FOX to see what consistent winning is all about and, very likely, any road to a World Series title will go through St. Louis and Boston.