Bear-ly Literate : Hate Mail from a Cubbies fan

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It's probably inevitable given the sheer number of Cubs fans, but I never cease to be amazed by their diversity. On one end, some of the sharpest and most well-informed baseball fans I know support them. But then, there's the other end... After almost five years running this site, I'm delighted to report we finally got our first piece of hate-mail ['Hacks attacks don't count, since they were like being savaged by a dead sheep] - equally inevitably, it's from a Cubs fan. And, like many of the most venomous and unpleasant ones, he no longer lives in Chicago...

It starts off almost reasonably, but by the end... Well, let's just say, I was laughing hysterically. After the jump, you can find the mail in its entirety, and my response.

1. Borderline Sane

Let me first begin by stating I'm not a huge fan of taxing the public for sports stadiums. The Cubs may be "guilty" of trying to do this to help finance a new Spring Training facility, however, the paltry $59 million asked doesn't even scratch the surface of how much the Cubs, their fans, and people of Chicago (both current residents of Arizona AND "snowbirds") have brought to Arizona. In addition, the tax is coming from car rentals (probably rented by many people visiting from Chicago) and other Cactus League games (probably viewed by many Cubs fans or people from Chicago).

The Cubs have done business in Arizona WAY before the D-backs were a team and before you or I were even born. If you want to try and figure out how much actual revenue the Cubs have brought to AZ since inception, you would realize $59 million SEVERAL times over.

Ah, the old "you owe us!" argument. Which, of course, completely fails to address the issue of why a 12-year old stadium is now unacceptable, the reason why they can jump the queue ahead of parks in much more need of work, or why they can't seek private funding for their urgent needs - like the D-backs/Rockies. It also ignores the ticket surcharge proposed [albeit then hastily retracted] by Mesa's mayor, which would apply to all tickets in the league, Cubs games or not. How would their fans feel if the cost of Wrigley seats were jacked up, just to give the White Sox or Yankees yet another new park?

So far, nothing new or startling. But wait! There's more...

2. Slightly Strange

In addition, not only do the Cubs draw a dedicated group of fans to their facility, they draw smaller businesses to the Valley...restaurants, sports bars, etc. When I want to go get a Chicago pizza or hot dog, I am pleased to be able to find those items in Arizona. What does Arizona provide us Cubs fans or Chicago natives in return? I've never heard of a famous Phoenix hot dog, burrito, or whatever it is this town tries to convince its residents tastes good.

It's at this point that I began to feel I had slid through a wormhole, into a strange alternate reality where everything was tinged Cubbie blue. Part of me wants to put "I've never heard of a famous Phoenix hot-dog" as the site's tag-line for the year, it's just so deliciously surreal and irrelevant to...anything. Truth be told, there's no better Southwestern fare to be found anywhere - as long as you're prepared to stop stuffing your face with hot-dogs, anyway. And if Mark gets homesick, he can even go to Pizzeria Bianco, the best pizza in America. Except it's New York style pizza, not Chicago: as in hot dogs, the Big Apple kicks Windy's ass. Sorry.

In addition, the last time I checked, the only games the D-backs seem to sell out are the games when the Cubs are in town...where is OUR return on revenue? The D-backs cannot even sell out opening day anymore...pathetic.

Actually, the Cubs games here in 2009 miserably failed to sell out, by a very long way. Only one of them cracked 30,000 in attendance, and barely at that, trailing badly behind multiple games against our divisional rivals, as well as contests against the Braves, Brewers and - oh, dear! - looks like even the Astros got more people to the ballpark here. I guess local fans got bored of us kicking your ass. But it's not surprising Cubs fans still want to come to Chase Field. They know it's the only chance they'll get to see a World Series trophy.

The last time I checked, "your" D-backs have strong ties to Chicago. Wasn't your team provided to you by a Chicago businessman...does Jerry Colangelo ring a bell? The former owner not only of the D-backs, but also of the most successful sports franchise in the Valley, the Phoenix Suns. In addition, "your" town wouldn't have hockey if it weren't for this great Chicago native. In addition, the D-backs hired one of the most popular Cubs players to announce "your" team's games on TV...Mark Grace. Why do you think the D-backs selected Mark Grace out of ALL of their choices? I guarantee it has nothing to do with his "love" for the D-backs.

The Phoenix Suns are "the most successful sports franchise in the valley"? Despite never having won a title? I appreciate the concept of 'success' may be foreign to Cubs fans, as they haven't tasted it since before the Titanic was built. But they should really learn not to measure other teams by their own, low standards. Similarly, hiring Grace might have more to do with - oh, I dunno - him playing on our World Series team. That was the very first year after his (clearly wise) decision to bail out of Chicago, following 13 straight seasons there, without winning a playoff series. See also other heroes of that team now employed by the club - Luis Gonzalez, Matt Williams and, it seems likely, Randy Johnson.

3. Is that a tinfoil hat I see?

In your article, you mention how many of us Chicago Cubs fans "have abandoned the city they supposedly hold so dear"...none of us natives of Chicago have EVER abandoned the city. If this were the case, why are there over 4 million people still living in the city of Chicago and over 20 million people living in its suburbs? Why do the Chicago Cubs sell out almost every home game? In addition, WGN (Chicago Station) is one of the most watched cable networks in the country...the Cubs aren't just in Chicago, our ties are everywhere in the United States. When cities and states become over-populated, people tend to move away to all areas of their country where space is abundant: Arizona is just one of those states. You should be thankful the Cubs fans and good natives of Chicago are here.

Those are exactly the ones I was speaking about, who abandoned Chicago for a better life here in Arizona, but cling desperately to the ability to get - what was it you said? - "a Chicago pizza or hot dog" here. If Chicago is so great, feel free to go back there. Otherwise, accept you're living in Arizona now, and deal with it. I bet you also complain about the heat in summer, don't you? As for WGN, it's an appropriate station for Cubs games, since it's the home of castoffs  that no-one else would touch - such as Carlos Silva - and endless re-runs we've seen a million times before, like the Cubs failing to win a pennant. You do know they've not been to the World Series since it has been televised, or since WGN started?

When you bash the Cubs and its many million fans, you are bashing a good portion of the population of the United States...you are as un-American in my book as anyone having lived here just 10 years...what would/do you truly know about baseball? What does someone from Scotland have to offer to the great AMERICAN sport of baseball? Not much, based on your little "Snakepit" blog site, bashing one of the most popular and deep-rooted baseball teams in this nation.

Pause for a moment to consider the irony of my being lectured on 'not being American enough,' by someone whose last name is "Draganski." I'm sure that name came over with the Pilgrim Fathers. Of course, no-one but the American-born can appreciate or contribute anything to baseball. I'm sure Cubs players like Carlos Zambrano (Venezuela), Aramis Ramirez (Dominican Republic), Kosuke Fukudome (Japan) and Ryan Dempster (Canada) would love to hear Mark thinks they have nothing to offer. Maybe you know of 'The Shot Heard Round the World'? Arguably the most famous homer in baseball history? Bobby Thomson, the man who hit it, was born in Scotland.

Winning has nothing to do with fan support...you wouldn't know this being a D-backs fan. Since "your" World Series victory, "your" fan base has gone down the toilet.

Know what the average crowd at Wrigley was in 1981? 9,752. Yep, those "popular and deep-rooted" Cubs couldn't even pull ten thousand people to a game. Now, that's a fan base down the crapper. But a Cubs fan lecturing me on winning? Quite delicious.

I'm not surprised...every time I go to a D-backs game the fans are more interested in people watching and cheer the loudest when the cartoon bagel is racing the donut on the big-screen TV in center-field.

It's because, of course, you only go when we're playing the Cubs: including our playoff sweep, we're 14-5 against you at Chase since 2003. So beating the Cubs is an everyday occurrence, hardly an event worthy of the mildest excitement. You want us to get enthusiastic? Try giving us a challenge, not rolling over and playing dead.

How many "true" fans do the D-backs really have? How many of "your" fans could name 10 players on the team? They could probably name the one idiot with his own TV show, named after a dirty Peanuts' character ("Pig Pen"), and one of the highest paid D-backs players to date...nice work!

Er... I hope D-backs fans would know better than to name Eric Byrnes, since he now plays for Seattle - y'know, alongside Milton Bradley, a brilliant signing by the Cubs who will, I'm sure, speak warmly of his time in Chicago and the racist abuse he suffered there. But speaking of overpaid and underachieving outfielders, the Cubs really set the bar high, with the $136 million contract given to Alfonso Soriano - more than a hundred million dollars above what we paid Byrnes. Only five more years and you'll be out from under that millstone!

4. Bat-sheet Krazee

I normally don't read too much into pathetic little articles written by Scottish-born idiots, but the symbol you chose for this article (No Cubs) was as un-called for as placing the Swastika on a Jewish website.

Godwin's Law! I win! AnalogyMassiveFAIL. The symbol is more like placing the star of David on a Jewish website. For in case you hadn't noticed - you were perhaps lying in a puddle of Milwaukee's Best somewhere in Fountain Hills - this is a D-backs fansite, not a Cubs one. Most D-backs fans I know rank the Cubs down there with the Yankees, and the symbol is a pretty good representation of how we feel about them. It's called "sports rivalry." But I created the one atop this article, just for you. Or maybe you'd prefer this one?

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Trust me, I am happy to keep churning these out all day, inspired solely by the fact that it appears to irritate you.

There is a reason why your site is an "unofficial" Arizona Diamondbacks community and blog...maybe you should focus your un-American opinions on an official website...like how to shovel Shit the best in Scotland.

All trace of sanity has now finally been lost, in favor of frothing abuse. But it's now apparently "un-American" to dislike the Cubbies! Quite why they deserve special treatment, out of all thirty major-league clubs is never addressed. If any side can claim the label of "America's team," it's probably the Yankees. I don't think any of us want to go there, do we? Maybe the Dodgers? Certainly not the Cubs. And I guess this would also make Chicago the most un-American city in the country, since half its population - the White Sox fans - hate the Cubs with a passion that makes mine seem more like a passing fancy.

The 2 people I CC'd on this e-mail are my boss and friend, Val, who is an avid baseball fan and the person who forwarded me your article. She is not a Cubs fan nor D-backs fan, but a fan of baseball in general. The other person, Steve, is a good friend of mine who has lived here most of his life with strong ties to Chicago. He, too, is an avid baseball fan who is easily disgusted by those writers (such as yourself) who take jabs at others without the proper proof or back-up.

I'm sure your boss appreciated reading your foul-mouthed tirade. With such excellent people skills, you're bound to go far in your chosen profession.

The Cubs and its fans have brought a lot to Arizona...be thankful, not hateful each time you pay that little bit extra when you drive your rental car to the next Spring Training game.

You owe ALL of us an apology.

Oh, I am deeply sorry. In particular: I am sorry you feel entitled to have a new stadium, paid for by fans of other teams. I am sorry you think only Americans can appreciate or understand baseball. And I am particularly sorry for the smart, intelligent Cubs fans I know, who will no doubt be deeply embarrassed by your response. Still, thanks for the amusing diversion: ripping you a new one was just the thing to tide us over until pitchers and catchers report and most baseball devotees can look forward with hope to the new season. Enjoy your 103rd consecutive season of futility, Mark.

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