Many baseball experts believe that the Cubs are entering a grey area between rebuilding and actually competing. But, just a few days into the 2014 season, the players on the roster are still expressing confusion as to whether they should be tanking.
“The whole time I was tossing that shutout on opening day I kept going up to Coach Rick [Renteria] and asking ‘Is this okay?’” said Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija. “He just kept asking me if I was feeling alright. Which I was. But then I started wondering if he actually wanted me to. So I stopped trusting the Gatorade out of the cooler. And the sunflower seeds. That’s how I’d get someone if I wanted to. The seeds.”
Everyone from rookies to clubhouse veterans have been unsure as to why they are currently on this Cubs team. Is it to add athleticism, OBP and good presence? Are the Cubs finally shooting for .500, or maybe even a wildcard spot? Or are they just placeholders until the next wave of kids come up to win?
“Every time I get on base I ask [first base] coach what to do,” said new Cubs utility player Emilio Bonifacio. “He just say ‘You know what to do.’ I think I do. But then I wonder if he means more long-term plan, and then while I’m thinking I get picked off. They tell me keep my head up, but now I think that may be a threat also.”
The rookies, believe it or not, are having bigger problems.
“Am I the guy?!” Cubs infielder Mike Olt asked reporters. “Please don’t tell me they’ve been waiting just for me. Oh, my head hurts. AM I THE GUY?!? WHAT DO I DO??”