There’s a magic in the smell of the air. College basketball is heating up, and of course the boys of summer are getting ready down in Arizona.

This is my fourth edition of the Chicago baseball ultimate preview playlist and this year it’s the most special. ICYMI, the Cubs are the defending WORLD CHAMPIONS.

This year also features two teams on polar opposite sides of being competitive. Prior to this season, arguments could be made every off-season that the Sox could be competitive.

That’s not the case anymore, the Sox are following Theo’s blueprint and are in a complete rebuild.  It’s the right move and they’re already on an amazing start, more on that below.

The Cubs on the other hand will win over 100 games and will repeat as champions. Let me tell you why, mixed in with some favorite songs of course.

That’s Cub, man
Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe

Joe Maddon, the manager, the World Champion and the creative genius behind motivational team slogans. “Embrace the Target” was a thriving success so why not go for round two. “That’s Cub” is the 2017 team motto and I’m fully on board.

“That’s Cub” has transformed in meaning from blowing September division leads to being to primary reason why the Cincinnati Reds’ pitching staff broke the record for serving up the most home runs in a single season. It’s all thanks to Joe Maddon for keeping these guys loose day in and day out.

The Fire Sale is in Full Bloom
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Give It Away

Last year, I mentioned how odd the whole Drake LaRoche saga was involving Chris Sale. Sale went on to pitch an amazing year while cementing his reputation as a head case. I.E. – cutting up a locker room full of throwback jerseys with freaking scissors.

That had to be a reason why he was dealt to Boston this offseason. In addition to trading Sale, Kenny and Co. also dealt Adam Eaton for a hefty package from Washington.

Experts now list The Sox farm system as one of the best in baseball. Yoan Moncada, Carson Fullmer, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez will hopefully be household names for Sox fans in the coming years. Moncada is a complete monster and regarded as the best prospect in the game. Only time will tell, which is exciting as it is terrifying.

Do the Cubs Have a Weakness?
The Killers – On Top

Nope. This team is better than last season’s team. Wade Davis has better numbers than Chapman. Kyle Schwarber will be playing everyday and leading off. His on-base percentage doesn’t make me worry about losing Dexter. All that remains is if we are going to beat the parade numbers this year -coming for that top spot, Kumbh Mela pilgrimage.

Robin Left the Nest
Miles Davis – Bye Bye Blackbird

I questioned if Robin Ventura would make it out of the 2016 season with a job last year. He did, but stepped down right after and that allowed former Cubs’ manager Ricky Renteria to take the throne.

In four seasons under Ventura, the White Sox only went .500 once, it definitely was time to pull the plug. Theo picked Ricky Renteria to lead the rebuild; he didn’t know that Joe Maddon was going to fall out of the sky. IMO, Renteria made strides with young Cubs players and is great fit to lead the new young Sox.


 
Start of a Dynasty
The Rolling Stones – Start Me Up

The fun thing about a successful rebuild is that your core (which is large) is under club control for the next several years. Nobody is going anywhere anytime soon, except Jake Arrieta. After the Cubs won it all, I wanted Jake to be traded because I knew his contract demands would be too steep. Yesterday, news broke that Arrieta wants a 6 year, 200 million plus mega deal. The Cubs aren’t going to pay that, so unfortunately this is probably his last year as a Cub.

Everyone in the core is so young and only going to get better, which is terrifying for teams like the Cardinals. A Blackhawks-esque dynasty is about to reign, more fun times are ahead.

Cubs Prediction

102-60, 1st in the Central, 2017 World Series Champions. It’s going to happen.

White Sox Prediction

70-92, 5th in the Central, a tough year reminiscence of 2013 Chicago Cubs. Get used to tracking prospects in the minors like thunderstorms, it’s actually kinda fun.

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