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Will mascot see his shadow?

Spring training offers hope for better weather, but will the Cubs win this year? Maybe Clark, the new mascot, knows.

Published: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP)
This artist's rendering provided by the Chicago Cubs shows Clark, a new mascot introduced Jan. 13 for the first time in team history. The team plans on having Clark greet fans at Wrigley Field before and during games.

The groundhog failed to provide us relief from the cold and snow, so northern Illinoisans must turn to another sure sign of spring.

Major League Baseball players will start spring training soon in the sunny South and Southwest.

When teams like the Cubs, whose pitchers and catchers report today, take the field, an air of optimism usually follows.

The end of winter’s discontent can’t be far behind, right?

If only that were the case for discontented Cubs fans.

The past three seasons saw Chicago finish 20 games below .500 in 2011, 40 games below in 2012, and 30 games below in 2013.

In a story earlier this week, a sportswriter for MCT News Service wrote, “Was this the worst offseason in Cubs’ history?”

Recent player acquisitions by Cubs management have not turned heads. What evidence is there that last year’s 66-96 record might improve?

Enter Clark, the newly minted Cubs mascot who was introduced a month ago.

The kid-friendly young bear wears a Cubs jersey and backward blue baseball cap. The costumed mascot will greet fans and try to make ball games more enjoyable.

Skeptics might point out that a winning team would accomplish the same goal.

So, will the Cubs be winners or losers in 2014?

Why not leave that forecast to Clark?

Like the groundhog, the Cubs mascot could become a prognosticator of sorts. On Opening Day, Clark could march to center field, check the skies, furrow his brow, and then issue a prediction.

We’re pretty sure what the first one would be: “Wait till next year!”

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