I’m 24. I am not a long-suffering Cubs fan. I am a suffering Cubs fan, however, but one thing we Cubs fan have no matter what is hope. A good Christian Cubs fan believes and hopes two things: that Jesus will return and the Cubs will win a World Series. It won’t happen in that order, but we hope that it will happen. Most of the time though hope is all we have. If we didn’t have hope we would just be the Rangers. A team with a pretty ballpark and some pretty bats, but no hope to win the World Series. We always hope.
Hope has yet to win a championship for the Cubbies. We’ve come close. Ask a die-hard Cubs fan and they mention years like 1945, 1984, and 1989. How they hoped that that would be the year. I personally remember the Summer of 98. Kerry Wood’s 20 Ks. Sammy Sosa 66 HR. But the Cubs were good and not great and got swept by the Braves, but we were happy to get to the playoffs. I remember the summer of ’03. Wood and Prior. 5 outs away. Alou acting like an 8 year old. Alex Gonzalez learning that it is hard to turn a double play with two hands around your throat. That hurt. We were good, but we have never been this good.
Even last year, we were missing a few things. We had hope, but not that optimistic. There is a big difference between the two. When a doctor comes out of surgery and say that there is a 10% chance of healing, you can be hopeful, but it is hard to be optimistic. When the doc comes and says there is a 75% chance of healing, you can be both. We are at the point with this Cubs team where the doctor says the Cubs are the best team in the NL, you have a legitimate chance at winning the World Series. After all if you get there anything can happen just ask the Cardinals a few years back.
Why am I optimistic? They have 4 really good starting pitchers. Demptster is 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA and is awesome at home. Zambrano will be great or awful. Harden has been lights out with a 1.77 ERA. Lilly has been great in the 2nd half of the season. Their bullpen is much improved and if they can get hot can be deadly. Wood had the mindset of a closer. Marmol is just flat nasty. Samardzija knows whats its like to play with everyone watching you. Marquis has been the best #5 pitcher in the NL, and will help in the bullpen. They allowed the least runs in the NL.
They also scored the most runs in the NL. They have 8 players with more than 50 RBIs. They had 6 players with more than 75 runs scored. They have a good amount of scrappy ball players and big time hitters. Ramirez is clutch. Soriano is special. Lee is solid. Soto is the Rookie of the Year. DeRosa can field anywhere andhit anywhere. You get my point. They got a balanced bench behind them, and they also have Sweet Lou. He has been magical so far this season.
If the Cubs don’t win, it will hurt. It will hurt because we are good enough to win it all. We are due to win it all. It will hurt because if we lose, we will be the story. The Tribune will remind us that anyone can have a bad century. ESPN will write about us being 100 year losers. It could destroy the hope of the Cubs fans if we lose this year. I hope that doesn’t happen. I hope Soriano leads off Game 1 with a HR. I hope someone gives Z a sedative before his start. I hope Manny is the Manny who doesn’t run out groundballs, not the Manny who hits 3 HRswith the wind blowing out. I hope D. Lee is done hitting into Double Plays. I hope Fukudome is a cold-weather player. I hope this is the year, because if it’s not, I’m not optimistic that I could regain this hope next year.