There’s no doubt that we are seeing the Cubs in a state of transition. Sure, Soriano might be around for a few more years, but there are some major pieces to the Cubs puzzle that have been around for years that won’t be on this team in the somewhat near future.
So what is this Cubs team? Nobody really knows. The identity of this team has not been formed. With Mike Quade’s short two-year contract, you can’t help but think he is filling a gap. Quade is a solid system guy without a huge personality. Even though his contract is only two years, this team will look quite a bit different at the beginning of the 2013 season as compared to when he took over in August of 2010.
We’re seeing a team that is playing decent, but seems to be struggling. Marlon Byrd wrote in his blog that what this Cubs team is lacking is swagger. Byrd is probably right. This is a team of highly-paid veterans that honestly don’t feel the need to play with urgency. They are getting paid. They have spent the last two years on a team that has not produced and that hasn’t influenced their paychecks, or really, their lives.
Then you have the young players. They haven’t experienced anything to give them swagger. Swagger is not a trait that you just create. It is a form of confidence that develops through winning and success. Byrd has this swagger and I think he’s a good guy to have in the clubhouse. He is a guy that can put his arm around a guy like Barney and assure him that his success this year is not a fluke and he can instill some of that confidence in the young players.
I think this is a .500 club, but I think if they can get on a hot streak, things could really start rolling with this group.
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