Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series. It seems every single person is now a Cubs fan. Being from Chicago, many of my friends are Cubs fans…genuine Cubs fans and have suffered through years of utter misery just to wait for them to do what they now have done. But I’m here to tell you why the Cubs winning the World Series is a bad thing for all of baseball.
Prior to winning the World Series just a couple days ago, the Cubs hadn’t won since 1908. This was a team that would occasionally get close but never really posed a solid threat to winning the World Series. They hadn’t even made a World Series appearance since 1945! Through the years they had good players, good teams and even good managers, but, as some of us Chicagoans say, “They’re still the Cubs”, which means they’ll find a way to lose. Even as I watched Game 7 of this World Series, they almost found a way to lose what seemed to be an insurmountable 5-1 lead over the Cleveland Indians. But, alas, they finally found a way to win. Now it seems they have one of the best teams they have ever had and it looks as though they have the ability to remain extremely competitive for years to come.
Based on this, you now have everybody and their mother saying they’re Cubs fans. I’ve even seen many situations where St. Louis Cardinals fans are happy the Cubs won. But why? How? The Cardinals are the arch rivals of the Cubs and have been since the 1800’s! Obviously it’s easy to love a bunch of kids that have played their hearts out and truly helped bring a city together. But to the extreme for which we are seeing people cheer the Cubs is something that goes even beyond the affinity our country shared when the Red Sox finally broke their curse in 2004.
Why This is Bad
I’ll warn you, this next part is going to sound like sour grapes but I’m a baseball purist. I love the history of the game…I love 1-0 games…I love pitcher’s duels and hate home runs…I’m an American League fan but hate the DH…I love the history of the game and all that goes into it. Now that the Cubs are the 2016 World Champions, a huge part of baseball lore is gone…wiped off the map never to be present again. It’s like finding out Santa’s not real (please don’t spoil Christmas for me and tell me Santa’s not real!) The Cubs were always known as the “Loveable Losers”; the team that could never do it. They were like the “Little Engine That Could” but they couldn’t. It had been 108 years since they last won a World Series title and as the years went on it became a part of baseball lore. There are certain things woven into the fabric of baseball. Think about it…Babe Ruth calling his shot…The ’27 Yankees…The Black Sox Scandal…Ted Williams…Willie Mays…Mickey Mantle…The blown call in the ’85 series between the Royals and Cardinals…This is all baseball lore. Those are only a few examples of something so rich and thick you can smell it in the air at ballparks. Not being from New York, I was fortunate enough to marry a wonderful woman from New York whom took me to my first and only game at the Old Yankee Stadium. When we went they were an ok team but nothing terribly special; but that didn’t matter at all. That’s not why I was there. As soon as I stepped into that park, you could smell the history. That history almost brought me to tears. Granted, being from Chicago, the hot dogs at Yankee Stadium and New York could’ve ruined that moment because that food is some of the worst tasting food you could ever imagine (LOL). But that history of baseball was the purest thing the kid inside of me has ever seen, heard and felt. That is why, for a baseball purist like me, the Chicago Cubs breaking their drought is a bad thing for baseball. Some will say it’s a new chapter and it’s good…and I can see their point, but I can’t see their point from an historian’s perspective nor a purist’s perspective. That history is now history in and of itself…never to be again.
Why The Cubs Winning is Bad for Me
As I mentioned above, I’m from Chicago. So you may be wondering why the Cubs winning the World Series would be such a bad thing. You now understand I am a baseball purist and truly appreciate the history of the game but what you don’t understand yet is that I’m a Chicago White Sox fan. I hate the Cubs…Always have and always will. I take pride in my White Sox and would never root for the Cubs. Beyond loving the history aspect of the Cubs never having won a World Series since 1908, I took pride in the fact that the 1906 White Sox actually beat the Cubs 4-2 in the World Series. The 1906 Cubs were a monster of a team, which won a record setting 116 games. Imagine that, they were 136-36 on the year and were a full 20 games ahead of the second place New York Giants! That means they were winning 76% of their games. Just 7 seasons into baseball, the 1906 Chicago White Sox were 93-58 but were also known as “The Hitless Wonders”. The highest batting average on the team that year was .279 by Frank Isbell and the averages went as low as Lee Tannehill’s .183. But thanks to their baseball tactics, and true baseball ingenuity, the 1906 Chicago White Sox beat those Cubs in the World Series. I wasn’t alive for it but as a true, die-hard fan of the team, things like this bring joy to my heart. It was the first Crosstown World Series and it was, and is, something for White Sox fans to hang their hats on. As a White Sox fan, while they aren’t nearly as possible in the city as the Cubs, we understand that the White Sox are generally far more competitive than that team on the North Side. Many of my non-Chicago friends ask, “You’re from Chicago; how can you not root for the Cubs, for the sake of the city?”. I tell them because that’s not how it works in Chicago. That, too, is part of baseball history. Chicago is unlike any sports city you’ve ever been a part of…we don’t root for each other. In fact, we wish the worst for each other (the real fans do at least). We take pride in seeing the other team lose and our team win. Even if our team loses but we hear that the other team has lost, we’re good. Yes, it’s sick and twisted, but it’s as much a part of baseball history as anything else and I’m not letting that part of baseball history die. As you can tell, I’m a true White Sox fan. I’m not a Cubs fan. I don’t pretend to be and I’m definitely not jumping on this bandwagon. I’m jealous enough and petty enough not to congratulate friends and family on the Cubs victory and I’m not going to apologize for it. The Cubs winning is a bad thing in my mind and I hope they can begin a new, World Series drought now.