That’s a four-letter word to new Cubs manager Joe Maddon — more than 100 years of four-letter words to Cub fans.
“See, I’m a part of it. I’m not just that guy,” Maddon said before his first taste of this Cubs thing Sunday night at Wrigley Field. “I’m a part of all this hope I think right now.”
It was all part of a question to Maddon about the burden of a city’s hope in a Cubs season that began Sunday with more hope, and more hype, than any in years – before finishing its first night with a 3-0 loss to Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Maddon said he’s embracing the so-called burden on one hand. But he doesn’t want to hear about hope.
He said the question reminded him of an old scout he knew coming up in coaching, Loyd Christopher – “probably the most intense scout I’ve ever met,” Maddon said.
“One day having a conversation, I brought up the word hope, and he got really upset with me,” Maddon said. “Because you never hope for anything in a situation like this. You’ve just got to go out there and make it happen.
“Hope is a quality or an attribute or a thought that when you’re really in a desperate moment probably is necessary. But in our circumstances we’re trying to create and make this magic occur.
“So Loyd taught me not to hope.”
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Loyd once played for the Cubs (one game in 1945).
“I believe if we’re playing the game properly that hope is going to be fulfilled,” Maddon said. “But to just worry about people hoping and feeling the weight of that, I can’t do that.”