Hope Springs Eternal

Wrigley Field, June 2013

Wrigley Field, June 2013

Pat

I do very much love this time of year. We have the NCAA basketball tournaments wrapping up with the final four. Everybody’s brackets are busted, you know they always are. That’s what makes the tournament so great. It is always unpredictable and that is why we like to try to predict it. My wife is killing me on her brackets as usual. I am always all logical about my picks and that never works.

But the most wonderful thing about this time of year is the opening of Major League Baseball. Everybody is even and we start the long journey which is the MLB season. You can talk to fans of every team in baseball that can tell you why their team is going to do it this year. As they say, hope springs eternal. And it does for most baseball fans who, even if they may not pick the Cubs to win it all this year, are hoping for a much improved team moving towards a winning season so that sometime soon they can pick their team to win it all. The season is so long that you can probably name fifteen or more teams that you like to go to the World Series. That’s why the Cardinals eleven Championships since 1900 is the most in the National League. Once a decade average doesn’t sound that successful but it truly is.

I must admit there is one thing that has changed in April that I wish wouldn’t have and that is the NFL Draft. They have moved it about thirty days later into May. I guess I can wait but  I always looked forward to it just after the opening of Major League Baseball.

Masha

If you’ve been reading this blog for any time at all, you know that Pat is a Cardinals fan and I am a Cub fan. Despite attempts at breaking away from the Cubs and embracing some other team (Rockies have been the most recent attempt), I still remain a Cub fan. And it’s a direct reflection of the title for today’s blog. Hope springs eternal. Much like walking away from a slot machine that hits big for the person right after you, walking away from the Cubs now seems like a bad idea. New owners, Theo Epstein’s magic, and a rebuilding farm system all contribute to a team on Opening Day that’s dramatically improved. Oh, I know, they still lost. But they looked better. Really, they did. Go Cubs. *sigh*

Hope Springs Eternal

Masha

Every year at this time I have the same internal debate. I don’t want to be a Cub fan. No, I just can’t take it anymore. I hate the off season drama about the roof-top seats. I hate the team stats. I hate our overall record in the World Series. I want to be proud of my team’s accomplishments in September. I want to be a fan of a winning organization; a team that makes good solid trade decisions, one that has a history of winning (or at least winning once every 100 years or so…), one that has an established farm system. Yes, that’s it. I’m going to change my allegiance to a team that’s closer to where I live now. One that wins every once in a while. One that doesn’t choke in the clutch. I’ve had it with the struggles, the jokes, the disappointment. I’m done. Yup, happens every February, around the time that the catchers and pitchers are reporting and Pat is making his standard joke about everyone having a chance at the pennant this year. So far in my life, I’ve attempted to become a fan of the San Francisco Giants, the San Diego Padres, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Colorado Rockies; all dependent on which team was closest to where I was living at the time.

And yet, after all the debate, on Opening Day, I’m there in my Ryne Sandberg jersey, wishing I had a dog and an Old Style. I cheer for the Cubs. I can’t deny it. I want to change, really I do. But then the 8-year old takes over during the first game and old allegiances will not be denied, despite the ongoing pain of living with a vocal St. Louis Cardinal fan. I’m sure you’ll hear more about that…

So hope springs eternal. We have an exceptional management team now (c’mon Teddy…), a new manager, an owner that is willing to spend money, and everyone has a chance at the pennant now, right?

Pat

My first inclination was to give my wife a hard time about the Cubs. But I just can’t do it on the eve of Valentine’s day. Plus, I know I am lucky to have been raised in St. Louis. In my first MLB game in 1960, Stan Musial hit a tenth inning walk off home run. I was a Cardinal fan for life and for over fifty years they have been a very sound organization. But I was also raised with the St. Louis Football Cardinals. That hasn’t been that wonderful. The Seventies were not bad. They have had some good years, but all and all there were many years where it seemed they did everything wrong. Like Masha, I toyed with changing teams, like the Broncos since we live in Denver. But we are both loyal fans and we just can’t do it. We are stuck with our teams and we will be rewarded for it. The Arizona Caardinals are looking pretty strong and for sticking with the Cubs, Masha will one day get her World Series championship.  That’s just how being a sports fan works.