Kevin Tapani - one year of success yields years of optimism
Today I had a conversation about how I feel the Cubs are going to outperform the mediocre-at-best expectations set for them this year. I understand the argument - no key additions to a team that was at-best-mediocre last year. But I take another side. Let's not forget, the Cubs team last year had lofty expectations to be the best in the NL and compete for a Series. This year, similar team, no expectations. Taking away expectations from the Cubs is like taking away the cases of beer at your softball game - all the sudden you actually have a chance at winning (though the former yields more fun than the latter). I went on to say that I think Z has a chance at winning 20 games this year...but I went on to say that I had the same thoughts about Kevin Tapani in 1999, 2000 and 2001:
More you-know-where-this-is-headed after the jump.
The last time I allowed past performance dictate future expectations
This led me to think: what makes me think previous successes translate into future achievement? And the only thing I could come up with was that this is what being a Cubs fan is.
Maybe it was the Sandberg game:
Or A-Ram beating the Sox in extras:
Or maybe it was Kerry Wood striking out 20:
Whatever it is for you, there is always that one memory that you have that makes you always have faith in your player. Is it rational? No. But I would take blind optimism to jaded pessimism any day.
So yes, I think the Cubs are going to really surprise people this year. Just like I have for the past 25 years.