I remember way back in days of dating, there was never a sort of out-loud warning that you were about to break up.
One day one of you would say... "It's over."
And the one receiving the bad news, that one was left saying, "Why?"
That's not happening with the Cubs.
This young positional core put together by Theo and Jed... when it started it all seemed like a throwback idea.
They shut down the team, collected the high draft picks or traded off the last of the Hendry players (except Javier Baez).
Rizzo, Bryant, Baez, Russell, Almora, Contreras, Schwarber, Happ...
These were the chosen ones - the mostly home-grown team we'd all get to watch grow from little baby players to monster bashers who'd take over Murderer's Row and win it all again and again.
Now it's 2019.
There will be nothing ambiguous about a break up if these Cubs don't perform.
These guys have all been studied and microscoped, scored by eyeballs and computers, statted and numbered and exit interviewed so they each understand what's expected.
In a really great Greenberg interview (the Athletic, subscription required) the other day, Theo said lots of stuff including almost going over to that Goose Island Cody Parkey field goal kick challenge thing (except he pulled a quad).
But this was the bottom line:
Sure, lots of general managers say that exact thing.
But for us fans and those players, it's really really real.
If they don't perform, I imagine the only guy who wouldn't be dangled would be Rizzo.
Joe Maddon would be long gone.
A big change.
Not gonna spend too much time thinking about that now, though.
Pitchers and Catchers report in a couple weeks.
Pretty soon, we'll be eating hot dogs instead of soup.