Saturday, October 3, 2015

To: My Cub fan friends, neighbors and colleagues

From: A lifelong Sox fan

I heard you've had a great season. I'm not surprised. I always thought Joe Maddon was a great manager. I used to root for Tampa Bay in the playoffs in those years when my White Sox weren't in. Too many years.

But, no, don't save room on your bandwagon for me. I'm not jumping on board.

I'm happy for you, sort of, in an impersonal way, the same way I have been happy for the good people of San Francisco or Boston or St. Louis in recent years. I don't mention the Cardinals to be hurtful; I mention them because they won. And I always liked Tony La Russa. You Cub fans wouldn't remember, but he was the White Sox skipper in 1983.

City Hall and the County Building festooned with 'W' flags

I don't hate the Cubs. It's just not my team. I feel about the Cubs about the same way I feel about the San Diego Padres. I'm indifferent. I save all my negative baseball emotions for the Yankees. Although I'm not real fond of Kansas City these days either.

I've watched Cub postseason games before. I was tuned in October 14, 2003 when the Cubs were playing the Marlins. I had a good excuse: Former White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillen was the Marlins' third base coach. You Cub fans call that the Bartman game. Why, I'll never know. Mr. Bartman was only one of several fans who tried for a foul ball that Moises Alou thought he had a play on. But the floodgates didn't open until later that same inning, when shortstop Alex Gonzalez booted what should have been a routine double play ball. One run scored before the error; seven came after.

I probably will watch the Wild Card games. I'm not sure how I feel about them. The sudden death aspect of the contest is thrilling... but I'm not sure it's baseball. If the Sox were in such a game, I'm not sure I'd be able to watch. Or breathe. I was stressed out beyond belief in 2005. My heart was pounding so loud that I could barely hear the ball strike the ground in Game 2 of the ALCS when A.J. Pierzynski reached first on that famous dropped third strike....

Anyway, like I said, I'm happy for you Cub fans. Really. Just leave me the heck alone. I will be rooting for a team with blue uniforms in these playoffs, but it's not yours. It's Toronto: I want Mark Buehrle to get another ring. I want to see him on the stage in Cooperstown someday -- with a White Sox cap on his plaque.