Time to Settle Accounts
March 28, 2011: A dormant Cubs fan’s last request.
Carrie and I were on an Addison bus headed to an afternoon Yoga class when we passed Wrigley Field. The club was preparing for Opening Week, a new season under new management with a new manager and new 1st baseman, and crew members were hoisting large Chicago Cubs player posters onto the side of the stadium.
“I guess they’re playing baseball again,” I said.
“What else would they do?” Carrie said.
“I just think the whole franchise needs a year off. Like how sometimes a player just needs a day to rest. We could all use it. Fans need it too, especially these fans.”
“What – like forfeit a season?”
“Not forfeit. The records wouldn’t show that ‘The Chicago Cubs Finished Last in 2011’ or something. They just wouldn’t play. Players get suspended, and college programs get achievements retroactively vacated for rule violations.”
“What do you care? You’re already off baseball.”
“It’s not for me. It’s just good practice. Like, you don’t eat fast food. You exercise three times a week. You’re pretty damn healthy, and yet now you’re doing a cleanse. You’re healthy, and getting healthier. I’m healthier without the Cubs in my life, but I could still use a Cubs cleanse, so that I don’t even have to hear about them for a whole year. Imagine enjoying a Chicago summer without hearing Cubs fans suffer over the inevitable.
“The whole franchise needs to just sit one out. Just say, ‘We’re gonna regroup. We’ll be back in 2012.’ They say that’s what the offseason is for, that you get October to March to ‘regroup,’ but when you’ve gone 102 years without a championship, you need more regrouping time than, say, Philly or Boston or the Yankees. You need 18 months, not six.
“Of course, that doesn’t work for the players, since they’d be losing a year of their playing careers. But maybe they can be temporarily parceled out to other clubs. Ricketts could loan them out, or there could be an expansion draft. And even if no one wants to pay Soriano or Kosuke or Aramis at their price, so what? The Cubs eat the money and the players eat the years.
“Just one year off. Let Wrigley rest. The park could host Little League games, and players could take up soccer, and fans could watch the White Sox. Just one year of rest. We could all use it. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
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