Maddon wants his Cubs to ’embrace the target’ in 2016
The Chicago Cubs were thought to be in a rebuilding process at the start of the 2015 season. Manager Joe Maddon was brought in to help get the most out of the young players, much like he did in Tampa Bay.
Instead of another year without playoff baseball on Chicago's north side, Maddon and the Cubs went on to win 97 games, good for third best overall in baseball, making it all the way to the National League Championship Series.
In 2016, the Cubs aren't being looked at as if they are rebuilding, they are full on World Series contenders. Especially after a terrific offseason bringing in Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, and John Lackey.
After the newfound success from 2015, Maddon is wanting his Cubs to embrace the challenge of exceeding expectations in 2016.
“The target's going to be bigger, and I want us to embrace the target,” Maddon said, according to MLB.com. “The pressure is going to be possibly greater, and I want us to embrace the pressure. The bigger target, the greater pressure, I think, equals a grander chance for success. So I'm all about that, and I definitely will bring that to our guys' attention.”
Despite teams seeing the Cubs more as a threat, bringing back the triple threat of the NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant and Manager of the Year Maddon — along with the offseason signings — will surely keep the Cubs from experiencing a decline.
Bottom line, watch out for the Cubs in 2016.