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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Going to bat for Blake

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Of all the teams in all the world, he had to be traded to the Cubs.

On Sunday, Sikeston's own Blake DeWitt suited up for the Chicago Cubs for the first time and many around town cringed as he walked out onto the field wearing the Cub blue. For some, rooting for the Cubs might be too much to ask regardless of who their second baseman is.

I for one had no problem with DeWitt playing on the Dodgers. I even went out and bought a Dodger cap which I have nearly worn out. I followed Dodger games on the radio, Internet and watched them whenever they were on television. Next to the Cardinals, the Dodgers became my team and to be honest, I could tell you as much about the Dodgers as the Cardinals. I'm just thankful they didn't play more often or my loyalties would have really been tested.

I have a feeling that I'm not alone. I see DeWitt's Dodger jerseys all around Sikeston and I can't leave the house without seeing somebody in a Dodger hat. In Sikeston, Dodger blue is nearly as common as Cardinal red.

But the Cardinals and Dodgers only play seven times a year. Most of the time, the Dodgers are on the West Coast which almost seems like the Dodgers are in an entirely different league. That makes it much easier to root for the Dodgers.

However the Cubs are a different story. Rooting for the dreaded Cubs would be like a Hatfield rooting for a McCoy, a cat cheering on a dog or a PC fan saying something nice about a Mac. There are just some things you can't do.

If a Cardinal fan were to put on a Cub hat, I am pretty sure their head would explode. If I'm not mistaken, it is a scientific fact that if a Cub jersey touches the skin of any fan, they are guaranteed 100 years of losing. I'm pretty sure that was one of the first things I was taught in Being a Cardinals Fan 101.

All of a sudden rooting for a Sikestonian and his team isn't so easy anymore. For me, rooting for DeWitt won't be an issue. I will root for him no matter what team he is on. When he steps to the plate, no matter what team it is against, I'm hoping for a hit. When the ball is hit to him, no matter what team he is playing, I am rooting for a cleanly fielded ball.

As for the rest of his team, I'm not so sure. As a Cardinal fan, I obviously have no allegiance to the Cubs, though I don't have the hate for them like some of my friends. Those friends tend to take the rivalry to extremes and one even refuses to admit they are even a major league team. If a Cardinal playoff birth came down to a Cub win, I think I have a few friends who still wouldn't root for them.

With the Cubs playing a lot of day games and being on WGN, following DeWitt just became a lot easier for me. Not to mention Chicago plays in the Midwest, meaning most of their games will be over about the time the Dodgers usually started playing. This, along with the 15 times a year the Cubs and Cardinals meet, makes catching a DeWitt game much easier.

While I will watch every game I can, I now have to see if I can bring myself to root for the dreaded Cubs. Obviously that will never happen when they play the Cardinals, but will I find myself secretly cheering for the Cubs when they are playing the Brewers? Will I switch to a Cub game when the Cardinals are on a different channel? These are all tough questions that are going to have to be answered.

Of course, I won't be seen in any Cub gear. If a Cub hat were to touch my head, besides it exploding, I would be disowned by over half of my friends. Putting on a Cub jersey would feel just as dirty as Montague wearing a "Go Capulets" shirt.

Maybe the solution is Cubs underwear. Then I could secretly cheer on the evil boys in blue without losing any friends and keeping my allegiance to the Cardinals. I would just have to make sure to not wear a Cardinal jersey at the same time because that might be too much for the forces of nature to take. I'm sure that would include earthquakes, floods, typhoons capped off by the entire midwest being sucked into a black hole.

Of all the teams in all the world, why did he have to be traded to the Cubs? Oh well, Go Cu...... Nope, still too soon.

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David Jenkins
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