Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo guarantees NL Central title

'We're going to win the NL Central,' Chicago Cubs first baseman says

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2015 in the movie "Back to the Future 2" and current first baseman Anthony Rizzo doesn't think that's just movie magic.

In fact, on Thursday the 25-year-old Rizzo, who was born a little more than a month before the release of the cult classic, guaranteed the Cubs would win the National League Central title while on the Cubs Caravan at a local Chicago elementary school. 

"It's going to happen this year," Rizzo said, according to "We're going to play, we're going to win the NL Central. You guys will quote me on that."

The Cubs finished 73-89 last season, last place in the NL Central, but after signing big-time free agent pitcher Jon Lester, who chose the Cubbies over the Red Sox, and hiring Joe Maddon to be the team's next manager it's not impossible they could accomplish the feat.

They haven't been statistically eliminated from the playoffs yet, though that's a term fans have grown accustomed to hearing each year.

The last time the Cubs reached the postseason was 2008, when they were swept by the Dodgers in a National League Division Series. The Cubs haven't advanced past the NLDS since 2003, when they beat the Atlanta Braves only to run into the eventual World Series champion Florida Marlins.

The Cubs' last World Series win, of course, took place in the early 20th century (1908).

"[The] 2014 [season] is over with, and '13 is over with, and '12. This is it," Rizzo said. "I was saying this to my family that when everything was going down getting Lester and Maddon and signing those guys, that for the rest of my career, I should be on a contending team now."

The Cubs host the St. Louis Cardinals, the reigning NL Central champions, opening day on April 5.

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

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