BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK: Hope Springs Eternal

Drink it in, it always goes down smooth.

Drink it in, it always goes down smooth.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since Monday, you know that Tuesday afternoon the Cubs became the talk of Spring Training, as prospects Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in a preseason game they didn’t even win. Not that wins mean all that much in Spring Training anyway. In the hierarchy of what’s important, they rate far below player conditioning and far above whether an individual is allowed to bring their own food into the ballpark.

That being said, man…it was awesome. Because Ludwig Mies van der Rohe didn’t design baseball. Less isn’t more, and form doesn’t always follow function.

Being a Cub fan has always been largely about hope. Believe me, I’ve been at it for damn near a half century. My dad before me. Whether it was watching Bob Speake hit 10 home runs in May 1955, making everyone believe he was the next great Cub first baseman only to hit another two the rest of the way, or seeing the Durocher Cubs burst out of the gate, only to fall short when the leaves turned brown.

When it comes to these three, we’re still seeing the prologue get written. Soler’s the only one of the three that’s even guaranteed to be in Wrigley Field for the opener. Bryant is almost certain to be sent down in order for the Cubs to maintain control of his contract for an extra year. Baez is still very much a work in progress, and whether he can make enough contact to get his ticket back to Chicago punched is still up in the air.

But that will all play itself out. For now, we got a glimpse into what may someday be. It was tantamount to running up the ramp in the ballpark to catch yoour first glimpse of sun from within the Friendly Confines. Your first kiss. The first time you got the keys to the car.

Just as your first kiss didn’t lead to marriage, and your first time driving was a little bumpy, there will be fits and starts with these guys. We saw it last year with Baez and Soler, we saw it the year before with Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. And like it or not, we’ll see it this year with Bryant.

But for a few glorious minutes in a meaningless game that the Cubs lost, we got our first ray of sunshine, our first quickening of our pulse, our first feeling of acceleration. That one moment where, for the first time, it all came together, albeit briefly.

And once more we go into the breach, hearts on our sleeves, ready to hope and to believe yet again.

Let’s play two.

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