Forget about who throws the first pitch, and who bats clean-up and even who wins the Cubs home opener against the Washington Nationals Thursday.
The first game of the season is about one thing in Chicago: The beginning of the Theo Epstein era and the new Cubs way.
Cubs fans are eternal optimists. Their catch phrase is "wait until next year," after all. But there's a different sort of optimism in 2012.
Of course, the anticipation is more for what the future holds than what's standing right in front of them, starting with Thursday's opener against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.
The Cubs underwent a major overhaul in the offseason, bringing in Epstein as president of baseball operations and general manager Jed Hoyer.
They hired Dale Sveum as manager and parted ways with Carlos Zambrano and Aramis Ramirez after going 71-91.
Epstein put together the team that ended Boston's 86-year-old drought in 2004 and won another title in 2007, and the Cubs are hoping he can stop a World Series championship skid that dates to 1908.