Dear Cubs Fans,
This is from the future. What you choose to do with it will be your own decision. Just promise me that if you decide to stop rooting for the Cubs you don't start rooting for the White Sox. Not because they're not necessarily bad (they suck), but because in this day and age, in the year of our lord 2013, they're not much better than the Cubbies (They're worse) and it's probably better just to start rooting for the Hawks. Trust me.
I know it may come as a surprise - but this will not be the nadir of the Chicago Cubs organization. You may think that after starting the season by losing your first twelve home games, that it couldn't really get any worse. You may think that after Tuffy Rhodes, the inimitable Tuffy Rhodes, the savior du jour of your Cubbies, the man who would only go on to hit five more home runs the rest of the year, that it couldn't really get any worse. You may even think that when the season ends, strike shortened as it was, that there was no way that the steaming pile of poop that the Cubs dropped this year, couldn't get any worse. That when millionaires fought against billionaires it couldn't get any worse . That this sad sack group of Cubbies, this 15 games under .500 Cub team couldn't get any worse. That our last place landfill of lost hopes wouldn't get any worse, well, brothers and sisters, I really feel bad right now, but I have to tell you.... it does. Oh, boy, it does.
Sure, over the last twenty years, we have seen some nice things. We saw a season or two of Woody and Prior (Guys who you will come to love, but beware, they will break your heart). We witnessed Sammy Sosa (yes, that Sammy Sosa) don Cubby Blue and take over the nations attention. We saw the advent of the wild card (like nineteen teams make the playoffs now), winning a one game playoff (against our future manager), Lou Piniella (yes, that Lou Piniella) guide us to the best record in the National League. We saw the first winning playoff series (Against Greg Maddux and the Braves), a stable of young talent and veterans take us just a mere five outs from our first World Series since just after World War II and a couple more really seminal moments that will only serve as momentary lapses in pain.
But that's about it. I mean, there were some other things that I am leaving out - but when I tell you that was about it, that was about it.
We saw kids with chops come and go. We saw 100 million plus payrolls (yes, about half of the major leagues will have payrolls near or over 100 million dollars. Yes. 100 million dollars), we saw Old Style become $8.00 a pop. Saw the price of bleacher tickets exceed $45 dollars, and parking meters that operate on Sundays (not to mention cost about $6.00/hour downtown). There were steroids (they're not just for Olympic sprinters - trust me you will understand), expansion franchises win multiple World Series, the DH stick around, (Spoiler) the White Sox win a World Series, and a million other travesties of justice.
We have seen several terrible iterations of moribund basketcases pretend to know what they are doing. We have seen our hallowed grounds at Wrigley Field turn into a beer garden for Bro's (a term you will learn oh too well) and pink hat wearing trixies. We have seen a franchise trade hands from the Tribune (not a bad thing) to the Ricketts (their hearts in the right place) all while still selling at least 30k tickets a game. We have become the fourth worst team in all of Baseball (just ahead of the White Sox who are third worst), all while promising that next year will be better, like always.
We have lost many things, but alas, we are playing from the silver linings playbook (a really cool movie that you will probably like, even though it takes place in Philadelphia). We have a stable of bats that, unless there is a Cubby curse, will bring us 100 rbi seasons, 30-40 home run seasons, terrific defense and a top 5 offense. We have a GM and Veep (A great show on HBO - yes, that HBO. They actually make their own shows now, and they're amazing) - and a VP who claims that he knows what he's doing, because he won a World Series with the Red Sox (yes, those Red Sox. They won one before us, and it was actually kind of cool).
We have lost many things -- but, boys and girls, we haven't lost everything - because we haven't lost hope. So, dear friends of 1993, err, 1994, you will go through a lot, you will damn these Cubs to hell at least three hundred and fifty thousand times, your interest will wax and wane, you will swear them off, just like me, but, you will never lose hope. Because, the Cubbie Cliche that pisses off every White Sox fan that side of Madison, we will always have hope. We don't have a World Series ring, but we will always have hope.
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