I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discussed, both in my own head and with actual people, which of the recent Cubs’ seasons was the most fun. The obvious answer is 2016 because of how it ended, but I think I had more fun as a fan during the previous campaign. I felt more unbridled joy in 2015, what with the 13 walk-off wins and experiencing this incredible new ride for the first time.
To re-use an analogy from one of my recent posts, it’s kind of like the first time I went to Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. Going through the line and climbing aboard that maiden voyage of Expedition Everest is right up there at the top for me when it comes to feeling like a kid again. There were many subsequent rides, each of which presented an opportunity to catch a new little detail from a different vantage point, but that first one was the best.
This is obviously an imperfect analogy, since the Cubs winning the World Series pretty much trumps all other experiences and outcomes of previous seasons. It also raises questions of whether and how we can ever enjoy another season of baseball as much as we have these past couple. The answer, at least for me, is no. That’s not stopping the Cubs from doing what they can to move the needle a little closer to maybe, though.
A report from Sports Hochi, shared on Twitter by Kazuto Yamazaki, says that the Cubs are close to re-signing utility infielder and all-around good dude Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league deal.
Cubs, Munenori Kawasaki on verge of minor-league deal: https://t.co/tBJFJasbbl
— Kazuto Yamazaki (@Kazuto_Yamazaki) January 3, 2017
While Kawasaki offers little more than organizational depth as far as actual baseball is concerned, he’s one of those guys who you just like having around. Cubs fans have been spoiled of late with a collection of talented players who seem to genuinely enjoy playing the game and being in one another’s company, and Kawasaki is basically the embodiment of that spirit. Of course, the nature of his deal is such that we may not even see him in Chicago at all.
Even so, his presence on Iowa’s roster should have a positive impact on those players who will be a part of the organization long after he’s gone. So here’s to Munenori Kawasaki and all the other players who remind us that baseball is supposed to be fun.