The Chicago Cubs, Aroldis Chapman, and How It’s No Fun to Win at All Costs
I’ve been a Chicago Cubs fan for 32 years, and as they’ve risen to prominence over the last two seasons I’ve often found myself giddy over how how likable this current team is, and how easy they are to root for. THEY’RE SO FUN TO WATCH!
Yesterday my warm fuzzies got whizzed on when the Cubs traded for star reliever Aroldis Chapman.
But yesterday my warm fuzzies got whizzed on when the Cubs traded for star reliever Aroldis Chapman. Baseball-wise, Chapman’s exactly what the team needs to help them win their first World Series since 1908. But I’m really struggling with this, because Chapman was suspended 30 games for violating the league’s domestic violence policy.
In October of last year, Chapman’s girlfriend, and the mother of his child, was hiding in the bushes when she called 911 to tell the police the pitcher had choked her, and had fired eight gunshots into their garage wall. Later, the story changed, but whatever went down was enough for Major League Baseball to levy a 30-game ban against Chapman to start this season.
Worse, in May Chapman told the New York Times, “I didn’t do anything. People are thinking that it’s something serious; I have not put my hands on anyone, didn’t put anyone in danger. It was just an argument with your partner that everyone has.’’
Hiding in the bushes after a disagreement isn’t standard issue.
Agree to disagree, Aroldis. Hiding in the bushes after a disagreement isn’t standard issue. I wish he could just say: I fucked up, I went too far, I’m embarrassed and disappointed in himself (and mean it). But no dice. Instead, he’s fine, all’s well, carry on.
This situation leaves me both disheartened and surprisingly heartened. Disheartened because 1. my lovable team just made me feel conflicted about winning; and 2. it shows I’m a naïve dipstick who wants goodness to win out over evil. Heartened because 1. other Cubs fans are not loving this move, either — meaning the era of “oh, whatever, he’s an athlete, not a saint!” is very possibly coming to an end. Take that misogyny! and 2. they haven’t signed Chapman to an extension — meaning the Cubs may only have him for three month — and if he fits, if he’s remorseful and rehabilitated, then I’ll revisit my current feelings.
Winning is everything, right? Meh. This sure feels like a loss.
I guess I’m just not a win-at-all-costs guy. Which I’ve known for awhile. I love winning within the rules and feel crummy, otherwise (I hate blown calls, even if they benefit my team). Not everyone’s like that, though. Winning is everything, right? Meh. This sure feels like a loss, because my glowing, sweetheart Cubs who were a reprieve from this mad world now feel like they’re just another part of it.