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Relax, Cub fans

I'm not going to say that I'm not discouraged by the two-games-to-none hole the Cubs are in right now, but I'm not going to panic about the NLCS, either. Yes, this situation has a familiar, sickening feel to it. Yes, I think of 1969 every time I see those Mets uniforms. Yes, the Marlins and the Padres are on my mind, too.

But a couple of things. First, this all is happening a year early. We were supposed to make our move in 2016, not 2015. To even be in the NLCS at this point is a bonus. It's gravy. If we lose- so what? This time "wait 'till next year" is a slogan that really does taste of hope rather than desperation. Next year, and many, many years to come.

Theo Epstein will make adjustments in the offseason whether we win or lose. Signing another big-name free-agent pitcher or two might be one way to go. And we continue to have a steady stream of fresh young talent coming up from perhaps the best farm system in baseball.

And then, there's this team. The attitude is different. These are not the 1969 Cubs, or the 1984 Cubs. They may lose, but they won't choke. Joe Maddon's handling of his players has been masterful, and their attitude- oriented toward playing hard, doing their best, having fun and not worrying about outcomes- is exactly the one that produces success, whether in baseball or in life.

No, I'm not going to say that I'm not nervous about tonight's game, or about Jake Arrieta's tired arm, or about the Mets' momentum. But we're in our house now. And this year for a change, even losing wouldn't be so bad.

We weren't even supposed to be here. Next year still really is the year good things are supposed to happen, not as a wistful hope but as a sober expectation.

And the year after. And the year after that. And the year after that...

One thing about having waited 107 years: we're in no hurry.

And this time, we're not going away. Not for a long, long time.


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