There’s nothing worse than the moments following a signal of impending doom.
Whether it’s that tickle in your throat at the start of cold season, the words “removed from game with elbow discomfort,” or a courtesy flush in a public restroom, you just know that something awful is coming. Powerless to stop it, you hold your breath — literally in some cases — and endure a maddening purgatory of anxious fear.
You know what that’s like, right, Cubs fans? After all, you’ve spent most of your time in support of your team just waiting for the other cleat to drop. Hey, I get it. I’ve been there too. But I think it’s time for all of us to let down our guard, to break up this paranoid phalanx.
I suppose now isn’t the best time to deliver this message, as the advent of Spring Training has even the most curmudgeonly crusader turning mental handsprings of joy. Perhaps you can file it away though, as I’m sure it’s going to come in handy at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Because Jon Lester’s going to have a rocky start. Javy Baez is going to strike out…a lot. Kris Bryant’s shining visage is going going to curl into a frown. Joe Maddon might say something that fails to be both flippant, disarming, and brilliantly complex at the same time.
My point here is that there will come a time, maybe several times, when your newfound faith is shaken. It’s entirely possible that when the dust settles on this potentially-resurgent season, the Cubs are sitting shy of .500, and that’s okay.
I think it’s equally important to temper our reactions to Bryant’s exploits. Yes, he’s going to hit a lot of home runs; he’s going to turn the clubhouse Gatorade into Sofie; he may even help Albert Almora to walk.
But he’s not going to just put this team on his back and carry it to a World Series title. Unless, you know, he does, in which case you can all feel free to fall prostrate in front of him before throwing back some riot punch and shutting down Chicago for a week or so.
In all seriousness though, this thing is still building and there are going to be some peaks and valleys to come. There should be a general upward trend, but let’s try to avoid the hysterics that so often come with aberrant departures from the mean.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch this fan-produced hype video for the eleventy-billionth time.