The 2013 Chicago Cubs will open their season in Pittsburgh 24 hours from now. This is a team with some emerging talent–Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, opening day starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija–and a growing stockpile of promising young pieces in the farm system, all of which point to some fun, competitive years ahead. But make no mistake, this year’s team will likely subject their fan base to all manner of dreadfulness before autumn, at its wits’ end about what to do with it, mercifully smothers the season in its sleep.
So, Cubs fans, how should you cope? Here’s a list of 10 things that might help you get through this difficult time in your life.
The place is almost 100 years old and has been crumbling for decades. Despite the ongoing wrangling between the City of Chicago, the Wrigleyville rooftop owners, and the Ricketts family ownership about how to pay for it, the family has hinted they may go ahead and start with a few tweaks to the player facilities before they get a comprehensive deal in place. Fear not, gentlemen readers, for your everyone-watching-you-urinate-into-a-trough experience will continue unabated for the time being.
2. Ronnie “Woo Woo” Wickers is still around.
And for that, we can all be delighted at his antics and ashamed we don’t try to help the man.
3. Irrational, insensitive, no longer timely Cardinals-hating t-shirts.
Even with Albert Pujols firmly entrenched in Anaheim, I guarantee this shirt will find itself displayed prominently on most Wrigley-adjacent vendors’ carts.
4. Hopeful closeups of Dale Sveum’s ear.
After an offseason hunting accident with friend and Hall of Famer Robin Yount, which led to perhaps the greatest misleading headline ever, television camera people will hopefully zoom in on the Cubs manager’s injured ear to distract from the gory mess on the field.
5. Bleacher Nation‘s continued coverage.
No jokes here. Brett Taylor’s Bleacher Nation is the best Cubs website around and one of the finest examples of what the blog medium can do. His beast of burden work ethic should be an inspiration to writers everywhere.
6. Starlin Castro’s errors being blamed on his new fatherhood.
Castro and his girlfriend recently welcomed their first child to the world, so anytime the defensively mercurial shortstop makes a miscue, expect broadcasters to give the ol’, “Must be tired with the new Cub of his own to take care of.” Many yucks will be had.
7. “Inigo Montoya Watch” every fifth day.
Again courtesy of Brett at Bleacher Nation, Cubs fans can only hope Jeff Samardzija attacks each hitter he faces as he would the six-fingered man.
8. Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer “Dream Phone”-ing other GMs into one-sided deals.
Seriously, nobody deserves to be this good looking and this successful. All the swooning will throw opposing general managers off their game so much, the Cubs’ front office duo might be able to get some quality prospects for damaged goods at the trade deadline.
9. The Cubs Dixieland Jazz Band.
These guys transport you to the time of rag, a simpler era in which you could gamble at the ballgame then run to the local speakeasy for some illicit hooch.
10. Chin up, kid, you still get to see them play the good teams!
Want to see the Upton brothers team up? The Braves will visit Wrigley in September. Strasburg, Harper, and the boys from the Capital will be in town for a three-game set in August. With the full-season interleague play MLB will utilize this year, Mike Trout will get to roam the Wrigley outfield for the first time in his career in July. No matter how grossly overmatched the Cubs will be in those series, it will be fun to see some of the best teams in baseball. And remember: A window of contention will soon open for the Northsiders.