An Open Letter to Chicago Cubs Fans

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Dear Chicago Cubs fans,

Congratulations for your long overdue World Series Championship! You may be a little bit surprised in my genuine happiness for the Cubs winning it all. Being a lifelong Milwaukee Brewers fan, I have felt that we have been kindred spirits in sharing the Lake Michigan shore and overall disdain of the St. Louis Cardinals. I have some personal interest in the Cubs winning it all. My 92 year old grandfather grew up in Racine, Wisconsin before the Braves moved to Milwaukee in 1953. He had a choice between the closest MLB teams, and decided to go with the northsiders. The last time the Cubs were in the World Series in 1945 he was deployed in the military overseas. He truly did wait a lifetime. I called the next day to congratulate the man who had a big influence on me becoming a baseball fan. Hopefully I don’t have to wait until I am 92 to see the Brewers become World Champs.

I will admit I have said some less than flattering things about Cubs fans in the past. It’s to be expected being geographical rivals in the same division, we are destined to clash. I thought it would be a painful seeing our rival win, but it was tough to dislike your team. Usually there is a Carlos Zambrano or a ‘roided up Mark Prior that just rubs opposing fans the wrong way. Theo did a great job of combining homegrown talent with a few big free agent signings. I think even he would tell you that he was surprised it came together so fast. The Cubs are built for the long haul, and have the money many teams don’t have to keep a majority of its players. The NL Central is in for a long decade or so.

I couldn’t end this letter without a few words of advice as Cubs fans revel in their championship. Consider this a friendly heads up:

1. DO NOT take advice or act like Red Sox fans after they finally ended their drought. Nothing is more annoying than a 30 year old New Englander claiming to have “waited a lifetime” for a Sox championship. They barely lived through the Roger Clemens and Mo Vaughn years. If you are a Red Sox fan currently over the age of 60, then you did wait a lifetime. Otherwise join the fans of the Brewers, Astros, Indians, and more that haven’t been alive to see one either.

2. You should be bowing down to Theo Epstein, GM miracle worker! Theo is the entire reason why the Cubs won it all. He had a vision and process that required patience, and it ultimately paid off in the long run. Would it work in markets other than Chicago and Boston without having a big payroll? Maybe that’s his next challenge….

3. Joe Maddon is not a genius, in fact he almost Grady Littled your way out of the World Series with his questionable pitching decisions. Maddon gets a rep as being a “mad scientist” of sorts, when in fact he gets too fancy for his own good. He did some nice things in Tampa, but anyone should have had this team’s roster in the Series. He did his best to try and blow it for you.

4. You are not a homegrown team. Don’t take this as an insult, but some of the narrative is that Theo built it all from prospect and homegrown talent. Without spending hundreds of millions of free agent dollars on Jon Lester, Ben Zobrist, John Lackey, and Jason Heyward ($189 million? Ouch), the Cubs would not have won it all this year.

I look forward to battles in the NL Central between our teams for years to come. Hopefully, the Brewers can bounce back to be a threat to the division again. I think I can speak for fans of other teams when I say we are jealous and want to experience that utopia that you felt winning a World Series. Soak it in, but remember your lovable loser roots. That is part of the charm which made the Cubs special and different from their Red Bird rivals. No matter what our differences are, we can always agree that the Cardinals absolutely suck.

Best of luck in 2017,
Tom Mathwich

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