At Least for Today, Let’s Be April Fools

Every year on Opening Day, I like to think I’m going to put together a long, mellifluous post about the upcoming season, weaving it with deep thoughts on what it means to be a Chicago Cubs fan. And every year I post a picture of some dude making a “let’s rock” symbol with his hand, and convince myself I’ll do it next year.

The truth is, the excitement is either too much or too little. Because I’m equal parts amped (“How can I sit down and pound out 1,000 words on the upcoming season when I’m too excited about the Cubs’ chances to sit down!?”) and somber (“How can I sit down and force out 1,000 words on the upcoming season when I’m too depressed about the Cubs’ chances to get up?”), the writing simply doesn’t happen.

And yes, I’ve just set up my excuse for another year.

Nevertheless, I’d like to offer you a little something. It starts with the bad news. Whatever predictive service you use this year, you’re going to find that the Cubs come up lacking in the win department.  Sports Illustrated sees the Cubs finishing at .500, Baseball Prospectus lands at 79-83, and the AccuScore simulation gives the Cubs just 74 wins.

Wherever you see a disinterested third party pontificating about the Cubs, you read about struggles, at worst, and mediocrity, at best.

Still, I can’t help but think the predictions are overly pessimistic. The Cubs’ rotation is, from one to five, one of the best in the NL. The bullpen is solid, if not great. Yes, the lineup is below average, but allow yourself to imagine Starlin Castro developing power, Aramis Ramirez returning to form, Alfonso Soriano finding some mid-30s magic, Carlos Pena bouncing back, Kosuke Fukudome getting on base consistently, and Geovany Soto doing what he did last year, but in more games. If you can imagine all of that, then you can imagine a Chicago Cubs team that can win the NL Central. Will it all happen? Nah. And some of the pitchers will struggle, too. But, from where I sit right now on April 1, I believe it’s possible.

Of course, it’s always easier to believe in April. There are Pirate fans, right now, gathered together around a steel plant water cooler, talking about how Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata are really going to break out this year. And I say good for them. If you can’t believe in your team today, when can you?

So, even if it’s just for today, I choose to believe that the Chicago Cubs can win the Central this year. I choose to believe the Chicago Cubs can make it to the World Series this year. I choose to believe the Chicago Cubs will go all the way.

In other words, I choose to be an April Fool.

Feel free to join me.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

11 responses to “At Least for Today, Let’s Be April Fools”

  1. Kenny L.

    Fool. Well done.

  2. Jeff

    Carlos Zambrano will be in the Cy Young conversation, Starlin Castro will break out with a 20 homerun, 20 steal campaign, the bullpen will be airtight, mostly at the back end with Wood and his new cutter, Marmol, and Marshall. The offense will surprise with its consistency, Carlos Pena will bat .280 and hit 35 hrs, Alfonso Soriano and ARam will both push 25 hr 80 rbi’s and Marlon Byrd will be a legit number three hitter, Garza will make the Rays look like the fools, Cashner will struggle at first but show signs of dominance in August, September and eventually October, Randy Wells will make us all laugh that he had to compete with anyone, let alone Carlos Silva for a rotation spot, and the Cubs will win the World Series. I wonder if it’s coincidence that the Cubs open up on April Fools?

    1. wax_eagle

      And all Ron’s people said “Amen”

  3. PFK

    A Tribute To Steve Goodman. Go Cubs Go!!
    http://www.youtube.com

  4. Raymond Robert Koenig

    You can’t lose to teams like the Pirates if you expect to contend. It looks like ’09 & ’10 all over again. Maybe next year.

  5. PFK

    Is going to be a looooooooooong season. Pitchers have the book on Colvin and have since late last year. Soto is an average catcher with a very average arm. Soriano is a sad sad figure to watch attempt to play baseball. Absolutely nobody on the bench….Hill, DeWitt, Johnson, Baker? Ugh. Can’t get the timely hit. Can’t even beat the Pirates! Byrd isn’t a number 3 hitter. Castro is a budding super star who will be fun to watch…but that’s about it.

  6. greg

    Woohoo! We still suck and all is right with the world

  7. Bric

    We just lost to a team that let two pop ups drop in the infield. But thank God we have that hitting guru Rudy. Too bad it still doesn’t mean shit for driving in any runs. I said it before and I’ll say it again- we have become the Pirates and they’ve become us.

  8. PFK

    Cubs Story? The 3,4 and 5 hitters left 12 men on base….add in Soto at number 6 and they left 18 men on base! Same old, same old.

  9. Raymond Robert Koenig

    I would post “unbelievable”, but it is the Cubs after all.