CHICAGO -- There are seven basic plot types for a story, but only two kinds for the Chicago Cubs: Ones about failure and ones about hope.
When it comes to the Cubs, it’s all about the past we’ll never forget, the present we can’t stomach and the future we’ll never see.
Under the Ricketts regime, the present has been execrable. But a blissful future is always an outfield sign and a minor leaguer away.
All the talk about patience and commitment and foundation for sustained success have filtered into the brains of the most devoted Cubs fans. It’s not a bad thing to be patient, and it’s not a good thing to be angry about a perennially lousy baseball team.
But don’t tell Cubs president Theo Epstein he doesn’t care about winning this season.
As part of the public demands of his job, he has to sell hope and patience. He does it well, with charm and an earned baseball sophistication.
He’ll tell you that winning and building are intertwined, and it’s true. But it doesn’t feel good for him to answer questions about dealing with a wasted season before it’s even began. Because for Epstein, the owner of two World Series rings, baseball is better when you win.