Friday, June 25, 2010

I Hate Myself For Loving You

Driving home from work just a few moments ago I just about drove my car into a ditch.

I had turned the Cubs game onto the radio and caught the first inning. The Cubs were up but all three batters were retired without incident. My team incidently are playing the White Sox, the hottest team in major league sports right now. The Sox have won 14 of 16 lately, including 9 in a row.

When the South Siders came up to bat the fireworks exploded. Carlos Zambrano gave up 3 hits to the first four batters and then on a slow breaking curve ball that fell right into the batter's wheel house, he gave up a three-run shot to Carlos Quentin.

Eventually Zambrano was able to get the final out but the Cubs were down 4-0. Radio announcers Pat Hughes and Ronny Santo described how Zambrano, in one of his signature temper tantrums, stomped on the bag at first. I used to think that Zambrano's inability to control his emotions was fun... Here was a major leaguer who has so much passion for the game that he brings everything he has to the table while wearing his emotions on his sleeve. But that was when the Cubs were playing well. Today I finally had it. I snapped. I became so angry that I almost drove my white Geo Metro right into the ditch.

Sometimes it takes a managerial meltdown to rally a team back to it's winning ways.

If I was Lou Pinella, the Cubs' manager, before Zambrano got back to the dugout I would have been out there on the field, and in his face. I would have screamed so loud at Carlos Zambrano that the veins in my forehead would have resembled the Eisenhower Expressway. I would have been on him like like a fly on an Ethiopian, cussing and yelling at his side all the way back to the bench.

Then, after chasing Zambrano into the fetal position in a corner of the dugout, I would have trekked back out onto the field, walked into the other dugout, and punched Ozzie Guillen right in the mouth. This would have no doubtedly gotten me kicked out of the game... Maybe the league. So then I would have turned my attention to the home plate umpire. I would have kicked dirt on him, spit on him and shoved him with both hands. I would have kicked at home plate until it gave a little and once able to get my fingers underneath it, I would have pulled it up and heaved it into left field.

By then security would be all over me, so I would have no choice but to retreat back into the Cubs bench where the players would all be at the furthest point away from me, and do one of those fake lunges at them; the one that men do outside a bar on a Friday night when they catch another dude eyeballing their old lady, but don't really want to fight. I would have gone into the club house, and taken my shower.

An hour later or so later, after they secured home plate back into the ground, and everything seemed to be back to normal on the field, I would emerge from the club house carrying a sledge hammer. I would have then wailed away at the roof of the Cubs dug out until it was knocked completely free. Then I would have proceeded to smash it into tiny pieces on the first base line. I would go back into the club house, only to reappear a few moments later with a a can of gasoline and my Cubs Zippo. I would set the entire pile on fire with a blaze so fierce that Miss O'Leary's cow would instantly be forgotten in Chicago's historic lore. I would then no doubtedly be tazered by Chicago police, kicked and beaten, and carried out of U.S. Cellular Field, locked up, never to be seen or heard from again.

As I said, sometimes it takes a managerial meltdown to get a struggling team fired up and put back into their winning ways. My meltdown would be of epic proportions, and while I wouldn't be able to see it I would take extreme gratitude in knowing that while in my padded cell the Chicago Cubs were finally playing up to their potential and competing for the top spot in the National League Central.

I don't know what I hate worse... The White Sox, or myself for being a Cubs fan.


Len Cleavelin said...

A very good post. But I'm happy that as a Cardinals fan I'm spared that degree of self-loathing.



Anonymous said...

Heh, I love the fake lunge.