What Has Happened to the Chicago Cubs?

Once Everyone’s Pick to Be The Next Dynasty In Baseball Now Searches For Answers On Their Future

AJ Shaw, Sports Editor

Entering the 2017 season, many baseball writers and fans were expecting the Chicago Cubs to be baseball’s newest dynasty. After winning 103 games and their first World Championship in 108 years in 2016, the Cubs had the core to win multiple championships.

Now in 2019, the Cubs look nowhere close to the level they played at in 2016, heck even the level they played at in the second half of 2015 for that matter.

Sure, the Cubs have still been competitive in all three seasons since their World Championship, winning the NL Central in 2017 and being in the divisional race up until the final day of the season last year, only to get a Wild Card spot. 

So the question is, what has happened to the Cubs? Why has once the next great dynasty in Major League Baseball turned into a one-hit wonder? 

There have been many issues with the Cubs since their championship season of 2016, but all of the little issues they have had since that magical season can all be summarized by one major issue: The team has just not played to the level of the 2016 club.

The 2016 Cubs were a team that was motivated by goals that they set to achieve from the beginning of spring training. That goal was to win the World Series and they did that by winning the championship.

Since then, the team really hasn’t had that kind of incentive to win a World Series championship. They achieved that dream already, there isn’t any point of trying to do it again to them. 

And while I am sure that all of the players want to win another title badly, it just isn’t going to happen with the snap of a finger. This team isn’t good enough to win the World Series, nor is it good enough to compete for a division title at this time.

The lack of young talent in the farm system currently is very concerning and has, at least I believe, been the major problem for the Cubs since their championship. Yes, they have some nice young pieces like former first round pick Nico Hoerner, but outside of him there aren’t any prospects that should be coveted like diamonds.

The amount of questionable moves by the front office over the past few seasons has been alarming as well, as moves like Jose Quintana from the White Sox for top prospect Eloy Jimenez and the signings of Tyler Chatwood and Yu Darvish have so far turned out to be not as great as people expected when they initially happened.

And sure, there have been some good moves like trading for Nicholas Castellanos at this year’s past trade deadline, but that move won’t matter in the long run if the Cubs fail to make the playoffs this season. 

The issue at the top of the list for the Cubs is consistency. The last three seasons have been great examples of this, as the Cubs have lacked any consistency that they had in 2016 and even 2015. 

In 2017, the team struggled mightily in the first half with a 43-45 record at the All-Star break and trailed the Milwaukee Brewers by 5.5 games in the division. Fortunately, the Cubs rebounded with a 49-25 record in the second half to clinch the division.

In 2018, the Cubs, despite winning 95 games, were inconsistent for stretches throughout the season, especially down the stretch in the final month as they blew a 5 game division lead at the beginning of the month to lose the division title to Milwaukee.

And when it comes to this season of 2019, the Cubs have seen inconsistency plague them all season, minus a stretch from April 8 to May 22 in which the Cubs went 27-11, the team has mostly played close to below .500 ball for most of this season.

This lack of consistency has plagued the Cubs greatly and at the end of the day when we look back at the 2019 season and what went wrong for the Cubs, inconsistency will be the main culprit at the top of a long list of problems with this team.

So in conclusion, the Cubs haven’t won since 2016 because of a multitude of reasons, mainly inconsistency, the inability to play to the level of the 2016 club, and the lack of good moves from the front office over the past few seasons.

In no way is this article in any way trying to rip the Cubs for their poor play of late, but as we near the end of the 2019 season and almost three years since the magical championship of 2016, it is definitely worth taking a look at what has gone wrong for the team since that magical season.