It’s that time of the year again. Baseball season. Growing up in a state where there aren’t any professional sports teams (Iowa), I’ve always thought I was cursed. But then I looked at the situation. Without any professional teams, I don’t have to display a pissy attitude any time my “team” fails to make the post season. At the same time, having the luxury of not having a pro sports team in your state opens up the possibility of having to choose from teams in St. Louis, Kansas City, Green Bay, Detroit, Minnesota, Indiana, and of course, the one I’ve chosen, Chicago. But that gets me back to the first reason of growing up in a state with no sports teams. I’m pissy all the time, I like the Cubs. When you see headlines in papers in the Chi town area that read, “Cubs get ready for playoffs – Buy big screen televisions.”, you know there’s a problem.
The reasoning behind choosing a city like Chicago is simple, losers. I come from a state where riverboat casinos are huge. On casinos, the house (the casino) always has the odds. That means, we (the gamblers) have a terrible chance at winning. So, in effect, Iowans are known for being losers, if riverboats are known for being in Iowa. Therefore, I had to choose Chicago as a sports city. I can relate to losing, and so can Chicagoans. Get it?
Since I’ve been able to yell at the television, I’ve adopted Chicagoans as my own. Unfortunately, the adoption process has been brutal. There’s the Bears, the Cubs, and Bill Murray. And although I liked Ghostbusters, what have you done for me lately?
This article will focus on the Chicago Cubs, since their history of losing seems to be cursed by the Great Bambino… wait, that’s the Red Sox. The Cubs seem to be hexed by the great Ron Cey, the Penguin as he’s known in Chi town. Well, not really, I just liked typing Ron Cey.
I’ve been a Cubs fan since the days of Ryne-O. That’s right, since the ’80s. Although I haven’t experienced the last 100 years of the Cubs’ short comings, I have experienced my share. What irks me about the Cubs is that they always seem to be rebuilding.
Every off season, they have remarkable acquisitions, on paper at least, as noted by every broadcaster associated with the organization.
Things like, “With the addition of Alou and now, Karros, they’re sure to make a run this year,” and “Now they have a manager in Dusty Baker, the Cubs are a team the National League Central should be looking at,” and lastly, “We finally got rid of Todd Hundley, let the party on Rush Street begin,” can usually be heard by Cubs fans.
But no matter how many good acquisitions the Cubs make in the off season, for some reason they’re always mathematically eliminated after the first game of the season. Therefore, in my opinion, the Chicago Cubs are like women in Penthouse; they look really good on paper, but when you finally see them in person, it’s like, “Man, what month are you again?”
They look so good on paper, people buy season tickets, which equates to buying a subscription to Penthouse. Now I don’t know which is better to have…well actually I do (hiding the stack of Penthouses under my bed), but what I do know is, Cubs fans don’t care if the team wins. And this is what bothers me.
So the question I ask is, why are we even signing big names like Dusty Baker and Sammy Sosa? No matter how many homeruns Sosa hits, one man can’t take a team to the World Series. He’s proven that the last several years. The only person that can take a team to a World Series single handedly is George Steinbrenner. No matter who you put on the field for the Cubs, people will go to the game.
This is what should happen. We should trade Sammy Sosa and Dusty Baker. That relieves the Tribune millions of dollars in salary that can be used to pick up a few minor leaguers. Having that extra amount of cash on hand, Cubs fans that attend the games, namely the first three games in May, should not have to pay the seven or eight dollars for a glass of beer, the $10-20.00 for parking, the $5.00 for a ball park hot dog (wait, I’ll still get the hot dog, erase that last item), or the $25-50.00 for tickets. We’re going to go to the games anyway. It’s bad enough we’re going to lose, but do we have to be broke also?
I’m not just lobbying for these three days in May, despite what any of my friends say. I’m just thinking about the thousands of people who happen to be going to the Cubs games, specifically the first three games in May 2003. Even if prices just drop for these three games in May, I’ll feel that this column has done justice, not for me, but for all Cubs fans tired of saying, “Maybe next year,” only to look in his or her wallet and say, “I’m glad my Penthouse subscription is paid for.”