Dear Baseball Fans of Chicago,

I am well aware of the storied traditions that have been handed down to you by your parents, grandparents, etc. I am well aware that it is not in your nature to root root root for the home team…that plays its games on the other side of town. I am well aware of the deeply segregated state Chicago finds itself in across the city. I am well aware of why Sox “fans” hate Cub “fans” and vice versa, but not all Cub “fans” go to Wrigley with the sole purpose of getting drunk, taking selfies and hitting on women, the same way not every Sox fan is white trash with a penchant for brutally attacking unassuming first base coaches. We need to get past these types of stereotypes and prejudices in order to see each other for what we are at our core. Then and only then can true judgment be passed.

I was raised a Cub fan (Bud Man) by a very knowledgable student of the game, as I’m sure many baseball fans were on both sides of town. I memorized stats, collected cards, played little league, watched games, read box scores and ingested as much baseball to combat injustice. This type of baseball geekery is what unites us, not what divides us. We all appreciate good baseball, and there is simply no denying that this year’s Cubs team is Damn. Good. Baseball.

What you might not be aware of is that the segregation starts with our ridiculous notion that the Cubs and Sox, two teams that play each other six meaningless times a year, are actually rivals. Six meaningless games does not a rival make. Pride? Bragging rights?Please. How about Chicago Pride? If we (as a population) don’t win, it’s a shame.

Your family won’t disown you for rooting for the Cubs this year. It’s not that serious. No one will question your loyalty or character. It’s not that serious. They’re not going to revoke your Sox Fan Card at the gates of Comiskey, because lord knows they’re having trouble filling those seats as it is. In the grand scheme of things, it ain’t that serious. Just enjoy the damn game.

We should all be well aware by now that these Cubs built by TheoCo. are going to be contending for a long, long time. Four rookies (read: rookies) in major offensive roles, five when you throw in Javier Baez’s big game contributions yesterday (2-3, R, 3 RBIs) solidify the notion that the future is now. Critics hated on Cubs brass when Theo Epstein was brought in to build a contender. Patience was tested. Honest Cub fans themselves thought we were still two to three years away from real contention. The emergence of Kyle Schwarber as The Wrigleyville Bambino. The greater than expected production from Kris Bryant and inevitable Rookie of the Year honors. Addison Russell quieting those who scoffed at bringing him to town in the Jeff Samardzija trade. Jorge Soler living up to the hype. The pieces are all in place. Joe Maddon, who in my opinion will stand as the biggest acquisition last offseason, puts the puzzle together night in, night out and will claim another Manager of the Year award.

Plenty of room on this bandwagon…

…scratch that.

Fuck the wagon. Come join the band.

If the Chicago Cubs can advance to the NLCS and eventually win the World Series, there is no limit to the things we can accomplish as a people. We just have to get past our biases, and somehow it starts with baseball. It starts now.

Actually, I lied. It starts Saturday. Procrastinators unite…tomorrow.

 

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