The Chicago Cubs are short on outfield bleachers, but not on confidence for the 2015 season.
After first baseman Anthony Rizzo predicted earlier this month that the Cubs will win the National League Central, owner Tom Ricketts offered the same sentiments when speaking Tuesday.
"We don't like the 'predict, predict, predict' stuff, but I'm telling you that it's been several years in the making," Ricketts told Christopher Placek of the Daily Herald.
"We've built a very strong foundation for our team, and we're going to keep getting better and I do believe we're going to win our division and get to the playoffs this year.
"We'll be saying, 'Cubs win' a lot more."
The Cubs will have to win a lot more games in order for the team to claim its first division title since 2008, as the North Siders are coming off a 73-win campaign and a fifth consecutive fifth-place finish.
It does appear the time is now in Chicago, however, as the Cubs of the last six seasons are a far cry from the one that will take the field at Wrigley in 2015.
The additions of manager Joe Maddon, left-hander Jon Lester, catcher Miguel Montero and center fielder Dexter Fowler added to complement the young core of Rizzo, Jorge Soler, Starlin Castro and Javier Baez give Ricketts plenty of reason to feel optimistic.
"If someone were to come up to me a few years ago and said, 'OK, Tom, we'll give you Theo Epstein to run baseball operations, Joe Maddon to be your manager, you'll be the No. 1 farm system in all baseball, I'll give you two all-stars – first baseman and shortstop – and we'll throw in Jon Lester as your ace,' you think about that and I'll say, 'OK, I'll bet on that,'" Ricketts said.