And yes, that happens a lot. But I have a story to tell.
In 2016, in case you’ve forgotten, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series (people forget that). I moved to Chicago in August of 1998, and while it didn’t happen right away, the Cubs became my NL team. I already had an AL team, the Detroit Tigers, but they weren’t very good, I wasn’t interested in going to the South Side to watch baseball, and so, I followed the Cubs more than I followed the Tigers.
I got a t-shirt. I got a hat. I went to games, but I usually sat in the bleachers and got drunk with friends instead of really paying attention. But I also got a paper delivered every day, so I learned a lot about the team. I listened on the radio, I grew to love Ron Santo almost as much as I love Jim Price. Ron was the homer radio guy. He was to Pat Hughes what Jim is to Dan Dickerson. Sheer magic, friends. You should listen, but if you’re a Cubs fan, you might consider skipping the Coomer innings.
I cheered for them, and I loved watching them get good again, even if it meant I didn’t go to games as much because tickets got really expensive. It was okay, I was going to the South Side to watch the Tigers every time they came to town and sometimes even when it was some other team. Baseball was becoming part of my life again, and it almost seemed to be my whole life.
On July 25, 2016, the Cubs traded for Aroldis Chapman so that he could be their closer and carry them to the World Series (they won, btw, in case you’ve forgotten). If you don’t know his history of DV (domestic violence) accusations, I’ll let you google it yourself – it’s not something I want to revisit. But my heart was broken, and I was done with the Cubs. No explanation was good enough for me. I was DONE.
And then a campaign started on twitter to #pitchin4DV – to donate to a DV charity every time Chapman recorded a save. I vowed to do so and ended up donating $10 per save during the regular season and auctioned off my t-shirt and other Cubs gear to local DV charities.
I was vocal about it, and I still stand by it.
But now the team I’ve loved since I was a wee elmtree, the team I’ve followed to 19 parks, the team I am ride or die for has done the unimaginable. They’ve signed a player who was suspended for 30 days for DV to the minors with an invite to Spring Training. Unless something changes, he’ll probably be our backup catcher.
GODDAMMIT TIGERS WYD.
Yes, I hear you asking where was my outrage when Miguel Cabrera and his wife got into it and why wasn’t I this mad then. I hear you asking why I wasn’t pissed about the Tigers signing Alfredo Simon. I hear you asking why I wasn’t pissed when the Tigers signed Francisco Rodriguez.
I don’t owe you an explanation, but . . .
I wasn’t following baseball that closely when the thing with Miguel happened, and I’m not giving him a pass. I only vaguely knew about the Simon thing, but I mentioned it and wasn’t happy. I volunteered at a couple of DV shelters and donated money when they signed Rodriguez. Do not judge my fandom by your standards. Do not tell me how to be a fan. If we’re judging fandom by those standards, I have some questions for you. I apologize if I’ve made you uncomfortable asking you those same questions. I’ll try to not do it again.
I gave up on the Cubs in 2016, and I’m trying to figure out a way to not give up on the Tigers now because I think it would actually break my baseball heart to give up on them. I’ve been a fan since I was a little girl. It’s been over 35 years. My first in person MLB game was on my 8th birthday. I was supposed to marry Chet Lemon. I followed them, however vaguely, through the early 00’s. I’ve watched the last two years religously with hope in my heart. I’ve cried tears over this team. I’ve laughed, and I’ve fallen in love with baseball again. BECAUSE OF THIS TEAM.
NO, I am not apologizing for what Norris may or may not have done (for those of you who are freaking out, no it’s not Daniel, the pitcher). And YES, I am pissed as fuck that Avila thinks it’s okay to explain it away like Norris was a kid and this shouldn’t be addressed. I am NOT apologizing for this team, but I am trying to find a way to still love them. To love them again because right now? My heart is broken, and I hope it’s not forever.
I know what I will do involves monetary donations, so if you have a recommendation for a DV shelter in the city of Detroit, I’d appreciate it. I’d like to raise/spend $500 because he was signed. And more than that if he makes the team. I haven’t set a goal, but $500 is my minimum by the time ST starts. If he makes the team, I’m thinking a pledge for every game he plays in, but I haven’t decided on that (mainly because I haven’t checked my budget for 2018).
I’m not going to start a gofundme or anything, so I’m counting on you. Help me get to this $500 goal. Donate to a DV shelter, in your own town or in Detroit. Email me a copy of your receipt, and I’ll add it to the total. I’ll donate whatever remains of the $500, or $100 of my own money if we go over $500, by the time Spring Training games start.
This doesn’t stop me from being angry. It doesn’t stop me from having reservations about cheering for this team. But it helps me retain my love of baseball and hope that someday there will be a real change.
We can #Pitchin4DV