No one seems to be picking the Cubs to make the playoffs this season.
President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer isn’t making any guarantees either, but he did try to put a hopeful, optimistic spin on the upcoming season Thursday.
“I think a successful season ends up in the postseason,” Hoyer said before the Cubs opener the season against Milwaukee at Wrigley Field. “My hope is that this team’s really competitive and plays the game the right way. We have to pitch really well and play really good defense to get to that point. That’s definitely a possibility.
“With what we’re watching on the field here and organizationally, I feel there’s a great sense of optimism. I think we’ve got a ton of young talent in our system, I think we have a ton of talent here in the big leagues and as I drove in today, I felt really good about where we are. I hope that leads to a competitive season, being in the hunt and hopefully making the playoffs.”
When told one national publication picked David Ross to be the first manager fired, Hoyer reacted as if the idea was ridiculous. Ross’ expectations focused on the basics, like playing the game the right way and showing a competitive fire.
“I hope the fan base relates to these players because of how they go about their business, how they play, how they go about at-bats, how they compete,” Ross said. “I don’t think there’s a bigger compliment you can get from your fan base than, ‘I love watching your team play.’
“We got some of that at the end of last season. The talent level has increased. I want it to be said when we’re in first place and making the playoffs.”