I don’t know what to say. Scholars will be dissecting the Cubs’ collapse in the playoffs this year — from best record in the National League and an offensive threat from positions 1 through 8 (and usually 9) to a brutal sweep at the hands of the Dodgers in the Division Series — for years to come, no doubt.
There’s always next year.
Which Cubs collapse is worst? The loss to the Chicago White Sox, the Hitless Wonders themselves, in the 1906 World Series? The September swoon of 1969 where the New York Mets took the National League Pennant? This?
Cubs fans are chained to their history. So, too, may be the Cubs themselves. The weight of the century of futility. The ghost of Jack Brickhouse saying, “Anyone can have a bad century.”
Will next year be different? Most of the team will be back. We’re losing few players to free agency, and the free agents we have coming up should be resignable. The pieces are in place. We’ll have a new owner. We’ll field a powerful team. I live in hope.
I’m a Cubs fan. I have to live in hope. Because, what else is there?