By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) If you’re new here, it might seem strange that when the Cubs clinch the NL Central, perhaps as early as Thursday night, they’re going to act as if they won a championship. This is how they operate under manager Joe Maddon, so don’t mistake joy in the moment for complacency.
This team constructed a designated, customized party room for celebrating regular-season wins, complete with thumping music and flashing lights and a drain in the floor. They don’t need much to set it off at any given opportunity — perhaps pouring champagne on someone’s head for completing a Tuesday crossword, throwing confetti for a properly delivered pizza or breaking into a choreographed team dance in honor of a nice visit to the dentist. They have their fun, then get on with the rest of their evening.
The “act like you’ve been there” curmudgeons and the “they haven’t won anything yet” grumblers don’t understand that this youthful bunch is completely aware of the true goal and has been every step of the way. Their manager encourages them to appreciate all the positive points of the journey, without losing perspective about what matters.
If the Cubs don’t win the World Series, it won’t be in any way due to how they revel in their accomplishments beforehand. So just enjoy it along with them.