The Cubs made three consecutive appearances in the NLCS before they faltered last year.
CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs took a long, hard look at themselves over the winter.
There was nowhere else to go.
Chicago begins spring training with largely the same group of players who blew a five-game lead in the NL Central last September and lost to Colorado in 13 innings in the wild card game. On consecutive October days at Wrigley Field, the Cubs watched as Milwaukee celebrated its win in the tiebreaker for the division title and then the Rockies put a bow on the disappointing finish for the 2016 World Series champions.
“When something’s taken from you there — I think we deserved to keep going, we had a good year — that state of hungriness and that work ethic even lights up a bigger fire in the offseason,” center fielder Albert Almora Jr. said. “So it’s a good time, it’s a good time to be us and…