(sorry, any excuse to drag this clip out again)

With a roster featuring such young stars-in-the-making as Jake Arrieta, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler — not to mention the soon-to-emerge Addison Russell and Kris Bryant, one could be excused from expressing optimism in GM Theo Epstein’s long-term plan for the historically hapless Chicago Cubs. Unless, however, you buy into the cynicism of the Chicago Sun-Times’ Rick Telander, whose patience is exhausted to the point where he says of Epstein, “he’s a genius, and everyone else is dumb.”

What are three years with a record of 80 games under .500 when, by 2019, the Cubs will have a new TV deal for lots of money?

Hey, hey! That’s only five years from now. Watching Triple-A players is awesome! Anybody can win the World Series, but watching guppies develop, priceless!

Epstein said the Cubs will be better next year (worse than 73-89 should be off the table), but “we’re not going to sell out to win in 2015.’’

Why should they? Cubs fans will take anything. They are more loyal than comfort dogs. And hope? Faith? They eat that like dirt-gorging amoebas.

“I feel like most fans have put their trust in us to get this thing right and bought into the vision that we have,’’ Epstein said. Correctly.

Because that vision is out there, on the horizon, moving like the sun. Just a little farther. Always. And the Cubs fans lurch toward it, arms outstretched, half-insane with desire.

“Even if we win the World Series next year, I don’t think it represents the apex,’’ Epstein said.

Imagine that! A Cubs franchise that hasn’t won a world championship in 107 years will someday be tossing trophies around like marshmallows.