Friday, April 7

Spring Is Eternal

The other day when I read Josh's piece on needing to select a baseball team, I started to think about my team. A team that somehow every spring gets me exited to only crush me. Sometimes it can happen quick and other times it can be a long and slow gut wrenching death. Neither being the preferred manner. And when you think you have seen it all, the baseball gods do the impossible. A moment in time that almost seems like it should have been a movie, the Steve Bartman catastrophe.

Yes, I am a Cub fan. Could there be fans of a team in professional sports over the last 100 years that has had it worse? The loyalty of Cubs fans is something that is not easily understood by the outsiders. White Sox fans will say it's because we don't know baseball. Which is funny if you consider that the White Sox hadn't won since 1917 prior to last year. None the less, when you have the highest % of capacity both at home and on the road, the sixth highest home attendance and people from Chicago all over America, you are going to have people who want to see the mystique of Wrigley Field.

Just saying Wrigley Field brings images of sailboats in Lake Michigan visible over the right field bleachers. Grass that is so green, it deserves it's own color in a 64 pack of Crayola crayons. The snap of the catchers glove when the ball hits. The blondes in little to no clothes. Old Style beer, that I never drink anywhere except for at a Cubs game. And the infamous troughs in the mens bathroom. That's right, troughs. Picture pigs eating out of a trough, and replace them with men. It's not a place if you have issues performing in a crowd. And nothing makes you go like Old Style.

The other thing that comes to mind about Wrigley, and probably the image along with the troughs I could do without is, LOSER! The loses are tough ones to. San Diego, San Francisco, Atlanta and yes, the Steve Bartman 5 outs away game. I'm not bitter though. Not anymore!

If the loses weren't enough, the injuries and the free agents and trades that happened and didn't happened. Most notably in my lifetime, Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux won the Cy Young in 1992, his free agent year. Instead of doing everything they could to keep Maddux, they let him go over pennies when dealing in multi-million dollar figures. All he did when he left was win 3 more Cy Young's, in a row! All we had during that time was promise. Kerry Woods record tying 21 strikeouts. Followed by Tommy John surgery, the complete reconstruction of the elbow and the tendons around it. Mark Prior, the most sought after pitching prospect in years, who hasn't stayed healthy. Not to mention the position players who haven't fulfilled the potential. Most recently Corey Patterson. The so called "5 tool player".

They brought Maddux back in 2004. Not quite the same Maddux, but not bad for someone who was 38. And today, one week from his 40th birthday, he pitches a gem leading the Cubs to 5-1 victory over the Cardinals. The original Red v. Blue battle!

Cubs Win Cubs Win! I think this team is good enough to make the playoffs. Maybe make a few trades down the road and go to the World Series! Spring is eternal!

One might ask me, "Why are you a Cubs fan?" There are plenty of reasons, most I didn't even cover, to not be a Cubs fan. Unfortunately you don't chose your team, they chose you. So I say to Josh, don't pick a team to be a fan of, let that team pick you. You will know it when you feel it. Hopefully it will feel better than being a Cub fan!