Despite an unlimited amount of hope and optimism that accompanied the team at the start of the 2013 season, the Cubs are starting to think this might not be “The Year” after all.

“I really thought we had a chance to go the distance this season,” said manager Dale Sveum, whose 52-68 Cubs are currently tied for last in the NL Central. “Turns out you can’t compete in the Major League with a handful of overpaid, burned-out veterans and no-name rookies with no chance of long-term success at the big league level.”

A few players are also surprised to come to the realization that 2013 might not be the year the long World Series drought comes to an end on the North Side.

“When I signed with this team two years ago I had the feeling I was that missing piece; the scrappy, hard-working vet who gives a team a spark in the clubhouse and on the field,” said outfielder David DeJesus. “But I guess my .255 batting average and six home runs weren’t enough to put us over the top.”

Some associated with the Cubs┬ástill feel there’s a chance to make 2013 a season to remember.

“When you look at our record, you have to think that a bullpen that didn’t blow approximately 75 percent of its games would have kept us competitive,” said pitching coach Chris Bosio, during a recent break combing for high school coaching jobs. “Maybe our bullpen can finally turn it around and we rattle off a few 10- or 15-game winning streaks.”

Added Bosio: “That’ll get us close to .500, which would have us only about 10 games out of the Wild Card. Look out Colorado. Here we come!”