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Maybe I can’t quit you, Cubs, but I’m going to try

Certain, it’s easy now, with snow on the ground, the ivy in hibernation and opening working day practically 6 weeks off, to forswear the Cubs.

There are no stats and standings to stay away from, no game updates to disregard on my mobile phone, no tempting ticket features from friends to decline.

The winter season of my discontent may nicely develop into the spring and summertime of my irresistible craving.

But as of these days, I’m performed. I’m renouncing my more than 30-12 months allegiance to the Cubs in the wake of Wednesday’s information stories that practically all the team’s video games will transfer in 2020 to a proprietary cable/satellite channel approximated to value subscribers an added $5 a thirty day period.

Which is only about 50 cents a game if you divide the yearly value by the variety of video games, a small indulgence as luxuries go. But the proposed Marquee Sporting activities Network will be element of Sinclair Broadcast Team, a rabidly correct-wing media enterprise, and this information arrives soon after a collection of off-area gatherings that have manufactured the franchise decidedly significantly less lovable than back when the Cubs have been our town’s “lovable losers.”

  • In 2016 the Cubs traded for relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman, who earlier that time experienced served a 30-game suspension for allegedly shoving and choking his girlfriend, then firing a gun eight times in the garage of his residence.
  • That same 12 months, the Ricketts loved ones, which owns the Cubs, contributed $1.25 million to Potential 45, a tremendous PAC aimed at electing Republican Donald Trump president.
  • Past 12 months, the Cubs traded for Daniel Murphy, who experienced angered the LGBTQ community by saying of a homosexual MLB worker, “I disagree with his way of living. I do disagree with the simple fact he is homosexual.” When reporters asked him what he would say to homosexual supporters who stated they would no lengthier back the staff, Murphy stated just, “Oh, pricey. I would hope that you would root for the Cubs.”
  • For the 2019 time, the staff has invited shortstop Addison Russell to coaching camp even even though he is even now serving a suspension primarily based on an accusation by his ex-spouse that he bodily and emotionally abused her for the duration of their two-12 months relationship.
  • On Feb. 4, the web site Splinter printed a raft of vile, racist e-mails despatched and obtained by Joe Ricketts, the major income person driving the family’s 2009 purchase of the Cubs. Whilst the 77-12 months-outdated patriarch is not involved in operating the staff and customers of administration forcefully distanced them selves from his remarks, his stench lingers.
  • Also earlier this thirty day period, the Republican National Committee declared that staff co-proprietor Todd Ricketts will lead the fundraising procedure for Trump’s re-election campaign.
  • At the moment, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts is attempting to oust incumbent veteran 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney, who has acted as a check on the team’s tries to change Wrigleyville, by funding the campaign of challenger Elizabeth Shydlowski to the tune of $10,000.

And yeah, I know. It is a business enterprise. Proprietors want to acquire and they want to make the most income doable. The approach is not constantly very.

But being a supporter is a enthusiasm. Enthusiasts want to truly feel fantastic about their decided on franchise, all matters regarded as. And it’s develop into really tough to truly feel fantastic about the Cubs.

I have presently switched my allegiance as soon as — in the mid-1980s, when I grew to become indifferent to the Detroit Tigers, the staff of my childhood, and adopted the Cubs, the staff of most of my Chicago friends and neighbors.

Can I do it once more? The White Sox are an easy excursion on the CTA from my residence on the Northwest Side. The stadium — I’m informed veteran supporters refer to “Sox Park” and not the identify of the mortgage enterprise that now owns naming rights — is very, modern and serves fantastic food items, and proprietor Jerry Reinsdorf has been comparatively bipartisan in building political donations.

Section of the cause I didn’t develop into a Sox supporter when I moved to Chicago in the early 1980s was the team’s annoying foray into SportsVision, a subscription Television provider that asked Sox supporters to pay back for what Cubs supporters have been obtaining cost-free. It was much easier and much less expensive to observe the Cubs.

Longtime local baseball supporters and new arrivals may have the same practical experience in reverse as soon as most Cubs video games are on the Marquee Sporting activities Network — a channel that cable and satellite products and services may have issues forcing into regular packages given that we Sox supporters in unique will chafe at having to pay added for it.

Many supporters of the Los Angeles Dodgers have been shut out of similarly proprietary telecasts in LA as cable and satellite companies have balked at the extra freight.

My former colleague Ed Sherman, a sportswriter who has taught business enterprise of sporting activities media at the College of Illinois, stated he does not assume that to occur here. “The following for the Cubs in Chicago is mild decades more passionate than it is for the Dodgers in Los Angeles, the place so quite a few individuals are not from Los Angeles,” he stated in an electronic mail. “There would be a substantial backlash to any distributor that isn’t going to carry the Cubs network. They would shed subscribers.”

Most Sox video games are on cable, much too, but on proven multi-sport channels.

The White Sox bandwagon is rickety and in need of mend and rebuilding, and outdated routines are tough to crack, but I’m likely to consider to soar aboard.

And if it’s even now element of the Sox fans’ ritual, I’ll sing to the Cubs, “Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, goodbye.”

ericzorn@gmail.com

Twitter @EricZorn



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