By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) You know, I try. Really hard, I do.
I try as a Cubs fan to not fulfill stereotypes. To not be a cell phone-wielding bro at Wrigley Field. To not sing “Go Cubs Go” after the team’s 51st win occurring in September.
To not indulge in the exaltation of folk heroes.
Folk heroes are for people who have nothing better to hang their floppy hats given to the first 10,000 fans on. Augie Ojeda and Mark DeRosa and Tony Campana and Matt Clement’s beard and Jeff Samardzija’s looking like he should be working the line at Disney World. All celebrated. All mediocre at best.
And now a new low.
Over 16,000 people who don’t understand how sports work or how they get those ships into those bottles have signed a petition begging Cubs owner Tom Ricketts to give former Cub Adam Greenberg one more at bat in the Major Leagues. This is why we can’t have nice things.
You remember Greenberg’s story, right? In his only career plate appearance he got drilled in the head by a pitch and hasn’t grabbed a bat for an MLB team since. He suffered a concussion and dealt with post-concussion symptoms and vertigo for a while afterward. That really sucks.
Know what else sucks? Working hard your entire life to fulfill a dream of playing in the big leagues only to have a spot you deserve instead filled by a guy who has never excelled in professional ball but whom a concussed segment of a fan base wants to play for reasons of pure dumbass pathos.
That’s what would need to happen, of course. The Cubs would have to get rid of a player on their roster to accommodate a feel-good story. I’m sure that ridded player would feel really good about that. “Lose my job to let some guy who hasn’t been affiliated with an MLB organization since 2008 get his Make-A-Wish? Of course I’m cool with that!”
This isn’t Rudy. This isn’t some Veeckian minor league stunt. All jokes about the futility of the Cubs aside, they’re still a freakin’ Major League baseball club, and Major League teams don’t do this crap. Major League teams don’t indulge in the whimsy of lemmings following a filmmaker likely trying to profit off of the story of a trivia answer. Notice how this guy is asking for Ricketts to make this move and not Theo Epstein or Dale Sveum, who would likely have this clown get the treatment of an idiot who runs on the field during play, as though Ricketts would tell Epstein “Hey, Theo, um, yeah, you’re gonna sign Adam Greenberg to a contract and release someone else,” and knock on Sveum’s door and say “Hi, Dale, uh, the Greenberg kid that I had Theo sign after slipping qualudes in his drink? Yeah, you’re gonna need to give him an at bat today.”
Because that’s how things work in this self-proclaimed “baseball fanatic’s” world. This filmmaker is not a fanatic if he believes what he says. He’s a baseball psychotic.
And you know what? Shame on Greenberg, too, for being a part of this foolishness. I respect his attempt at a comeback, and if he were to make it back to the big leagues on his own merits, fantastic, but he’s a hypocrite for using his own story of hard work to act as some coupon for a free swing. Shut up, go about your business, and earn a spot. Baseball owes you nothing. I’m sorry things worked out the way they did, just as I’m sorry for the thousands of other pro players who had minor or major league careers cut short by injury or odd circumstances. I’m sure most of them worked really hard, too, but aren’t part of a campaign to uncomfortably make a team sign them.
Also, forgive me for not being overly sentimental for a guy who graduated high school with honors, attended a fine university, and has his own business. Maybe I’m going out on a limb here (or a deer antler), but if this whole baseball thing doesn’t work out, I think he’ll be just fine.
Thankfully fairytales are not how things work even with a team as bad as the Cubs are right now. Oh, and Greenberg compared him getting a shot to Roger Clemens’ comeback because they’re totally the same thing.
But why does it always have to be stupidity like this, Cubs fans? Why is there a group of cockroaches that survived the Hendry nuclear holocaust and still cling to bad nostalgia and superficial garbage while a new regime really tries to bury the old ways of Cub crapdom? Why would so many of you sign a petition of zero consequence to make very real business into a PG movie? Why must you perpetuate baseball fan stupidity and give the many intelligent, championship-or-failure Cub fans a bad name?
I’m done with you. I’m breaking off, divorcing from the morons in Cub Nation. You who don’t “get” Theologic and all this need to analyze numbers because math is hard and judge only batting average and think hustle equals skill. You who treat going to games as some status symbol or cocktail party. You who think this Clevelander kid should get more looks behind the plate. You who put little guys who try hard and smash into things (or have things smash into them) on pedestals. Get out of my house. Party’s over.
If you are tired of Ronnie Woo Woo and the crumbling stadium and oversized novelty glasses and singing as the ship sinks and “We Got Wood” and putting stock in prospects who haven’t yet proven a damn thing and loving a brand instead of a team and a beer garden atmosphere full of frat boy self-retardation and chicks who only show up to games to advertise their boobs—wait, that last one is fine, sorry—taking precedent over winning baseball, if you want to associate yourself with a higher-thinking Cub fanbase, then sign my petition.
It needs to be known that there is a significant percentage of this fanbase that has championships as its sole desire and cares not for the superficiality with which the organization has become associated (deserved or not). The time for feel-good stories and folk heroes and futility and fustercluckery has come to an end. We believe that intelligent fans of a team care about winning. Period. And as intelligent fans we expect nothing less than an organization doing its very best to put the best product possible on the field now and concerning itself with songs and promotions and mascots way later (if at all).
We are tired of being considered the laughing stock of baseball, and we are especially finished with having supposed Cubs fans perpetuate stereotypes and fan the flames of mockery via their ignorance what is most important. We are critical-thinkers, and we are frustrated.
We are not loveable losers. We are irritable and wanting. We are not eternal optimists. We are pissed-off pragmatists.
We are real Cub fans, and we will not be content waiting ‘til next year.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.