Theo Epstein: Why He Needs Steve Bartman to Throw 2012 Opening Day First Pitch

Jared FeldmanContributor IIIOctober 12, 2011

The Cubs are, apparently, a cursed franchise.

How does one break a curse?

By exorcising it of course.

There are evidently a number of curses befouling the Cubs. Most recently, there's the curse of Steve Bartman.

Bartman was an ordinary fan at an NLCS game who became infamous for catching a foul ball that could have sent the Cubs to the World Series.

Anyway, the Cubs haven't won since and need to find a way to remove the curse before they can be successful moving forward.

The best way to do this is to embrace Bartman.

He has become the bane of most Chicago Cubs fans, but really he was just an innocent bystander. The recent introduction of Theo Epstein means that times are changing in Chicago and acknowledging Bartman's gaff as an honest mistake will help the Cubs forgive and forget.

Epstein's job is not only to improve the team on the field, but the appearance and image of the franchise in general. In Boston, Epstein had Bill Buckner, the same man to let a ground ball go through his legs and lose a World Series game in 1986, throw out the first pitch at a Boston game. Though perhaps not directly, it did allow for the Red Sox to win. They were able to forget the past and look to future success.

2012 will be a new year for the Cubs, so why not have Bartman throw out the first pitch? It will be an homage to the past and also a look to the future. If the Cubs acquire a big-name free agent, a la Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols, have them catch the ceremonial first pitch, proving how the past is now irrelevant.

It is likely that little will make people forget the 2003 playoffs, but Epstein needs to help in any way possible for that to happen. Big offseason moves should overshadow an event that happened eight years previous and Epstein is here to help the Cubs move on.

Baseball is filled with thousands of superstitions and dozens more have spawned from the Cubs' inability to win a World Series. Why not try a different tactic to bring success back to the North Side of Chicago?

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