There’s a chance that all Cubs fans will soon believe in a higher power.
The designated hitter could be coming to the National League as early as 2017. Before we discuss why that’s a sign of divine providence, let’s review the past year. Anything that could have gone right for the Cubs did, which is the opposite of Murphy’s Law. Let’s call it Murphy’s Bleacher’s Law.
The rookies the Cubs had hoped would make a difference went far beyond that. Kris Bryant won the National League Rookie of the Year award. Addison Russell played a great shortstop. Kyle Schwarber looked like a Babe Ruth in training with his mighty homers and his corkscrew follow-through.
The Cubs won 97 regular-season games, far more than almost anyone envisioned for them.
Jake Arrieta had one of the best seasons any pitcher has ever had.
It all dovetailed nicely into a quick dismissal of rival St. Louis in the postseason and a trip to the NLCS, where the Cubs lost to the Mets.
Then Jason Heyward decided to leave the Cardinals, taking less money to join the Cubs.
If all that wasn’t proof that somebody up there likes the North Siders, word came out of the owners meetings last week that the National League was open to adding the DH, perhaps as soon as 2017. On Monday, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred tried to backtrack from comments he made suggesting there was momentum for the change. Too late.
What was everybody saying last season? This: It’s unfortunate there’s not a designated hitter in the National League because Schwarber would be perfect in that role.
Although he’ll probably improve defensively, it’s hard to forget his attempts at playing outfield last season. It was like watching someone trying to catch a dragonfly with one hand. What if it turns out Schwarber doesn’t have big-league defensive skills to go with his considerable abilities with a bat in his hand?
Hey, no worries! Just in time, the National League gets over its decades-long aversion to the DH!
If that happens, Cubs fans will point to the sky in thanks. Not an atheist in the bunch.