You would think that following up two near runs at the playoffs over the past 10 years with the worst record in baseball would make any sports fan embarrassed to wear the jersey of their favorite team if not winning the World Series for 192 years wouldn’t it. (I know but it FEELS like 192 years.)
Or, certainly finding out the most successful, charismatic Cub since “MR. Cub” was a doped, cork drilling, dinger-defrauding narcissist would make you at little less willing to call yourself “die-hard.”
Not me. The only negative expression seen on me is proudly wearing road gray’s the day after going 71-91 or 66-96. And part of the reason for that is that the widely acknowledged Cub fan was hopeful, saavy, big hearted and undyingly loyal, and not some fly-by-nighter that starts showing up when Pujols is signed.
Even the town rags were trying to make fun of us for filling seats and making the Ricketts a bit richer during the depressing first few months of the season - an incomprehensible action to the US Cellular crowd.
When the Sun-Times ran an article early in the week that Cub fans on Twitter were all worked up over Ryan Dempster’s nixing of the young Dodger pitching prospect deal, I thought it was just more bored Chicago sportswriters trying to make hay.
However, castigating comments toward Ryan ran about 4 to 1 against, and I was shocked. This man only has a few years left of maximum earning potential before he has see if his shtick will perpetuate his comedy career in places like Akron, Ohio. (Can you ever get tired of a Harry Carey impersonator?)
Didn’t he make fan life a little easier during the Middle Milton Bradley Ages and personally cut the Cubs Carlos Z psychiatry bills in half? How many of your young pitchers learned how to adjust not just physically, but mentally to the game because of Ryno 2.0?
This is a guy who came back from a 6.54 ERA, 3-7 season in 20 starts AND Tommy John surgery to climb his way back into the bullpen, then closer and rotation near-ace. We all knew he SHOULD have been the #1 pitcher during Z’s last two years, but he never went to the media or complained a lick. He just went out, did his job and threw a few whipped cream pies in front of the WGN cameras for our entertainment.
He lived with payments of left over stadium peanuts for the first few years until we realized the character of someone WE saw as one of us. The winner buried within the ankle weights of failure. And let’s not mention the medical demands on his family as well, that the Dempsters turned into a tireless effort to help many more than just themselves through Chicago and beyond.
And these idiot fans want to complain?
When Kerry Wood came back from the Yankees at a fraction of his value, and then didn’t perform as expected, there were a few light-in-the-mental-lobe losers who complained of Wood’s lackluster performance. But most of us realized that he gave up cash money to retire a Cub, and we were still grateful.
Shouldn’t we be equally thankful for a guy who knows that if he hadn’t earned his no trade option, Theo and company would have already shipped him off? Shouldn’t we be thankful that he told the new front office, that he wanted to retire a Cub, rather than stick through what everyone knew (and was told) would be two to three years of dim cellar dwelling in the NL Central?
These fans embarrass me. They do NOT exemplify the hopeful, good faith, appreciating of players who not only give their all – but their hearts to the worshipers at Wrigley.
While we Cub fans have lived through losing Greg Maddux, Rafael Palmeiro, Dennis Eckersley, (and of course, Lou Brock), we have more than enough reason to be gleefully hopeful for what is coming in the next two or three years. If you want greedy and boorish – skedaddle to the South Side with your Occupy Wall Street friends. Those are the folks that think other’s people efforts should come under their control.
In this age of pessimism, cynicism and selfishness, one of the great things we held as Cubs fans, was that we WERE a bit different.
No – we ARE different. And we aren’t going to let you idiots corrupt the character of the Chicago Cubs. So, STFU!
And Ryan, know that you are loved and appreciated not only for what you have done for the Cubs and we fans, and if at all possible – most of us would love to have you back after you’ve taken care of what is best for your family.