The 2017 Major League Baseball season is officially underway. One of the biggest questions heading into the season is: can the Cubs repeat in 2017 after ending their 108-year championship drought? No team has repeated since the Yankees won three straight championships from 1998-2000. An argument for the Cubs not repeating this year is that the pressure will eventually be too much and they will succumb to it. The pressure argument would work for any other defending championship team, but not the Cubs.
Generations of Chicago Cubs fans never thought the night of November 2, 2016, when they won the world title, was actually going to happen. So as the 2017 season begins, the newness of the championship still exists, which might have a calming influence on the players as well as the fans. The 108-pound gorilla is off all of Cubs Nation. The Cubs clearly have the talent to repeat and possibly begin a dynasty. If they do win multiple World championships, the hardest one, given their circumstances and history, could be last year’s.
This does not mean that it’s a foregone conclusion that the Cubs will be in the World Series come October. There is a reason why a team hasn’t repeated since 1999 in baseball. The off-season is just too short; players’ bodies do not have enough time to heal from the previous season. Point being that if the Cubs don’t repeat in 2017, it will simply be because repeating in baseball is hard to do, not because of the extra pressure that trying to repeat typically puts on a team. Breaking the 108-year drought could release the pressure valve, not tighten it.