As the Chicago Cubs fans wait for their playoff journey to begin, there is sure to be a conversation about whether or not the season will be a failure if their beloved Cubs don’t win, and end the 108-year drought. The game of baseball is something that is designed for success over the long haul, that is the 162-game season. So, to judge Chicago’s season a failure, if for some reason they don’t win the World Series, is a mistake.
The Cubs finished the regular season with major league baseball’s best record of 103-58. This season should already be considered a success, regardless of what happens in the postseason. Their history of not winning a world championship should not put any more pressure on them. The fact that they had the best record all year long will put enough pressure on them heading into October. The sport’s playoff structure of three out of five game series, and four out of seven game series make upsets predictable. Baseball’s playoffs are set up for the inferior team who gets hot to beat the regular season’s more consistent team.
Last year is a perfect example. The St. Louis Cardinals had the leagues best record of 100-62. Can anyone remember what happened to St. Louis last season? They lost to the Cubs in the National League Division Series in four games. So assuming that the same fate cannot happen to the Cubs would be a gross mistake. Both their potential first-round opponents, The Giants and Mets have the pitching capability of shutting down their powerful offense.
This does not mean that Chicago can’t make a deep playoff run, but to assume it as gospel would be a sad misjudgment about the history of baseball. They still need to earn those 11 wins to put rings on their fingers.