There is a devious, wicked plot unfolding within the Chicago Cubs front office, aimed directly at the vulnerable hearts of loyal fans. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been carefully and shrewdly building an organization that could be making annual postseason runs and adding significant anxiety to the lives of those who follow them closely.
“Our goal in 2015 is to win the National League Central,” said Epstein, perfectly content to cold-heartedly fray the nerves of Cubs followers.
Epstein and Hoyer have lured Cubs fans into a state of anesthesia, becoming accustomed to 90-plus-loss seasons and sparing them from any meaningful games. But the baseball bosses want you awake for this next part, sadistically setting the stage for white-knuckle contests that might even require some rescheduling of your calendar in the months of September and October.
This isn’t the first time these nefarious tacticians have plucked a fanbase from a comatose state and thrust it into total lunacy. After Epstein’s first full season with the Red Sox, the city of Boston added a new stanza of heartbreak to their melancholy song. Picture Kolten Wong hitting a walkoff, pennant-winning home run to send Cardinal Nation into a frenzy and the Cubs home.
Then, with a series of audacious moves to improve the defense of the 2004 iteration, the city witnessed their squad fall into a 3-0 series deficit to the Evil Empire. And that was the year after the Aaron Boone home run. Epstein was at the helm for all of it, steering his Red Sox and their faithful into harm’s way.
And lest we forget, Epstein directly impacted the fortunes of the Cubs long before he took over as President of Baseball Operations. Do you remember where you were when the Cubs landed Nomar? I was sitting at my parents’ computer, constantly refreshing ESPN.com as the 3pm trade deadline approached.
When the news broke I almost lost my mind, convinced Nomar was the star needed to send the Cubs back into the playoffs. I remember reading Red Sox message boards as fans disparaged Epstein for trading their prized shortstop. At the time, I had no idea the Cubs season would end in such a sickening fashion. Thanks for getting my hopes up, Theo.
So try not to be a fool as the season creeps closer. Epstein and Hoyer’s jobs are to make your life and mine exponentially more stressful. They are not interested in letting you safely observe a 78-win season. Their sincere hope is that Cubs baseball not be for the faint of heart, perhaps even coming with an October warning as the games become appointment television.
So find some Enya records. Invest in a zen garden. Take up smoking. Because if Epstein and Hoyer have their way, Cubs baseball is going to take a lot out of you.