Tag Archives: poll

Poll: Cardinals Or Packers More Hated?

Cubs fans hate the Cardinals. They are the division rival, the more successful older sibling that we so badly want to humble when we grow up.

But are the Cards the most hated rival in Chicago? I’m not so sure. The damn cheesehead Packers would surely give them a run for their money.

Both the Cardinals and the Pack need to be taken down a notch. The Cubs looked poised to do their part. And we’ll see soon enough if the Bears are for real.

So who is the most hated rival? You decide:

Who do you hate more Chicago: the St. Louis Cardinals or the Green Bay Packers?

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You can reach us at Cubs Fan Therapy.

How Do I Make Sure My Son Is Cubs Fan?

My 4-year-old son has a very team friendly contract. Although the rules aren’t completely clear, I’m pretty sure that I can keep him under my team control for at least two more years. Although he’d love to have it, we do not have a collective bargaining agreement in our house.

That means he’s a Cubs fan. For now.

I know parents around the world deal with this issue as sure as they change diapers and reluctantly give up the keys to the car. How do you ensure that your child will root for your team?* There’s some guy in England right now freaking out after a few pints imagining that his 2-year-old son will somehow grow up to root for Manchester City instead of his beloved Manchester United.

In Chicago, that translates to some mom in Evanston feeling a pang in her gut when she realizes that her adorable infant in that Cubs onesie could come home as a teenager in a White Sox cap.

This idea really popped into my head when I took Jack to see the Cubs play the Mets at Citi Field and he decided it ditch his Cubs hat for a few innings in favor of the Mets giveaway cap. Ugh.

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You see our situation is a bit complicated because we live in Connecticut. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and don’t even remember how or why I became a Cubs fan. I just was. My grandfather, aunts and uncles, friends, they all rooted for the Cubs. Cubs shirts and hats showed up at our house as if delivered in the night by little blue elves (wait, would that be smurfs?). Anyway, that’s a lot of positive reinforcement, and it was all fairly passive. Nobody had to force me to wear a Cubs cap, but I don’t remember much exposure to other options.

In Connecticut, the only thing we have is options. My son is only 4, but he already hangs out with little Yankees and Red Sox fans. So far, he wants to do what dad does, and that means we put on our Cubs caps and watch the Cubbies. But in this melting pot of allegiance, how long before my influence wanes and he wants to follow the team of his best friend? I give it two years, but that might be optimistic.

So I need some help. During this window in which I have the greatest influence over my little man’s rooting choices, I need the Cubs to win. Not just a little. The whole enchilada. I figure that is my best chance to create an indelible memory, to make a permanent emotional connection, in short, to brand his soul with a capital C.

I think that might have happened with the Blackhawks, but I guess we’ll find out.

I also need the Cubs to win because parents always want their children to have a better life than they did. I have no scientific evidence, but I’m pretty sure that I would have become President of the United States if the Cubs would have won a World Series in my formative years. From lovable losers to world champions? The boost to my self-esteem would have been astronomical. All right, maybe I wouldn’t have been leader of the free world, but I bet you I could have been president of the Ryne Sandberg fan club. I bet ya.

We can talk about character building, but does any Cubs fan who has not been twisted into an emotionally bitter pretzel by the losing really want his or her children to grow up with the disappointment that we did? Of course not. I bet there’s even a contingent of Cubs fans who don’t want their kids to follow in their very heavy, dragging, so-tired, why us footsteps. But not most of us. We want to continue the next generation of Cubs fans — only better!

So c’mon Cubbies. There’s not much riding on a championship in the next few years: just the emotional bond between fathers and sons in families like mine and the future greatness of our offspring. No pressure. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll be fine watching the Cubs alone, in the cold basement, while my adult son heads off to a friend’s house to watch the Yankees after he gets off work as a widget stacker.

* Note — I don’t include my 3-year-old daughter in this conversation because at this point the Cubs would have to wear ball gowns and sing “Let It Go” while dancing around the infield to maintain her interest in baseball. I didn’t make her that way, I swear. She just likes what she likes, and that’s awesome. She wears her Cubs hat proudly while she paints beautiful watercolor rainbows. But if my son defects, I’m putting on the full-court press with her … or the baby. One of them will stay with me, right?

Share the story of your kids becoming Cubs fans — or not — in the comments or send it to me at Cubs Fan Therapy. Would love to hear it.

How important is it that your child be a Cubs fan?

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Who has more influence over a kid's fan choice?

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Poll: Who Will Be Best Cub In Two Years?

There are a number of possible scenarios for the Cubs in the next few years.

They could continue to stink like a hockey locker room (Have you smelled a hockey locker room? Imagine a hot, super humid day and you’re breathing through a used jock strap. Yeah, it’s bad). Anyway, the Cubs always find some way to mess things up, right? Prospects shmospects. They’ll all make Corey Patterson look like Lou Gehrig. The grand rebuilding won’t result in a dynasty but in a cautionary tale of putting too many eggs in unproven baskets.

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That’s some good Cubs pessimism, and I’ve expressed my share of bitter frustration over the years. Watching the Milton Bradley era will make you yell “Cubs suck” at the TV on occasion — or every two innings.

But I don’t agree with that scenario. I have fully supported Theo Epstein’s total rebuild. I had seen the Cubs spend good money after bad on retread free agents too many times. I looked at teams like the Yankees and realized that they had a homegrown core that fueled success. So I’m bought in on the Cubs developing those stars.

Theo is not just banking on a few guys either. The sheer volume of high-quality position prospects in the system right now ensures that at least a few turn out to be good or even very good. Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Addison Russell, Albert Almora, Kyle Schwarber and call-ups Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara are just the big names.

The team has also shown a talent for using secondary pitching metrics to find diamonds in the rough. Jake Arrieta is the poster boy for this approach. Could Jacob Turner be the same?

Then there’s the fact that Epstein has said that the Cubs will pony up some dough for missing pieces when there are only a few holes to fill. Jon Lester anyone?

It all leads me to truly believe — said like Frank Caliendo doing Ron Jaworski — that the stench around Wrigley is going to fade. The most plausible scenario I see in the next few years is that the Cubs climb to respectability next season. That means a .500 record or better and chasing a wild-card spot. In 2016, I believe the Cubs will compete for the pennant. There I said it.

Of course, that scenario means that some of these young players — and that includes All-Stars Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro — are legit. I think many of them will be.

Let the dream take hold. It’s July 2016, the Cubs have won eight of 10 games to open a big lead in the NL Central over the Cardinals. The Cubs are starting to flex their muscles, beginning to show the rest of the league that they are a team to be reckoned with. In the dream, who is the Cubs star? Vote and leave a Comment below explaining why:

Who will be the best Cubs player in two years?

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You can reach us at Cubs Fan Therapy.

Poll Results: 1. Sex, 2. Kidneys, 3. Cubs Title

Cubs fans like their sex and prefer to keep their internal organs internal. Those are just a couple of conclusions that can be drawn from Wednesday’s poll results*.

Asked if they would live a life of chastity for five years if it meant the Cubs would win the World Series, 83 percent said no dice.

I’m not surprised. When it’s the seventh inning and your team is getting crushed for the umpteenth time that season — as they do almost every season — I’m certain couples across Chicagoland have been giving each other the come-hither stare, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more. Why not? Gotta have some fun in life.

And that’s going to be a tough habit to break. Or maybe people are just realistic. Don’t want to promise God you’ll abstain for five years and then six months in you’ve fallen off the wagon when the girl from 4E miraculously pops into your living room while your paying your car insurance bill. Things happen. Chicagoans are a pragmatic bunch. So I can see why that got voted down.

Pragmatism likely also explains why 77 percent of respondents said they would not give up a kidney to ensure the Cubs win the World Series. As one friend said, “You only have two.” But I say that’s two more than the number of frickin’ championships the Cubs have won in over 100 years. You can still process a bottle of champagne with one kidney. C’mon people. I’d give my left … hmmmm, maybe that should have been the question.

To be fair, when you’ve become accustomed to drowning your sorrows — and Cubs fans know sorrow — the kidneys do come in handy.

What will Cubs fans sacrifice for a championship? A promotion, for one, though only 54 percent said yes to that. It was a close votem but it almost makes me think Cubs fans have their priorities straight. They value putting food on their families’ tables over baseball. What’s wrong with this country?

Asked if they can handle no other Chicago team winning a title in their lifetime to secure one Cubs title, 64 percent could live with that. I can dig it. We’ve already got six titles from the Bulls, two from the Blackhawks and one from the Bears. Oh yeah, and then there’s that team on the South Side. Didn’t they win one? I don’t remember.

Would you accept your offspring and their offspring becoming White Sox fans for one Cubs title? That one was split down the middle, and for good reason. You could argue that a Cubs title is greatly diminished if you can’t share it with the ones you love. My son is 4 years old and I have taken great pride in inflicting the Cubs curse on him. Then the Cubs win it all, but we’re not on the same team? That would hurt. Half the fun of the Blackhawks titles these past few years has been high-fiveing with my little guy.

In conclusion, the most surprising revelation to me in these results is that these Cubs fans anyway are pretty level headed. You would think that given the pain of a lifetime of Cubs disappointment kidneys would be flying out of people at alarming rates. I guess being passionate about your team and being a reasoning adult aren’t mutually exclusive. Good to know.

Who would have thought I’d learn this lesson from a bunch of sex-crazed maniacs?

* — Granted, this is a ridiculously small sample size. You may ask how I can use this info but say that we shouldn’t judge Javier Baez on just a few games. Good question. So good maybe I’ll build a poll around it.

Send an email to Cubs Fan Therapy.

Poll: What Would You Give Up For Cubs Title?

God is willing to deal. Finally. The lesson may be over.

You see, about 80 years ago, some 10-year-old kid on the North Side prayed to God asking him to help the Cubs win the World Series. It had just been chance, bad luck really — and the Yankees — that saw the Cubbies title drought surpass 25 years.

But when God heard that kid praying he got mad.

“You don’t think I got better things to do?” God thought and put the prayer in the dustbin.

But the kid prayed the next day and the day after that and every day. The kid talked to his friends and they started praying. Whole neighborhoods implored God to see it in his heart to let the Cubs win.

“There are maniac rulers in Europe unleashing the fires of hell on Earth,” God thought. “There is drought and famine in the good ol’ U.S. Of A. And these baseball fans in Chicago are praying about the Cubs? Talk about misplaced priorities. I’ll show them.”

And he did. The big guy in the sky turned a deaf ear.

Not only that, if the Cubs appeared to be on the verge of something big despite God’s indifference he intervened in the form of a goat, a black cat, that devil Steve Garvey or, some would say, Bartman — though God will giggle and tell you that Bartman was just a happy accident. God didn’t let Alex Gonzalez get his glove down and paralyzed Dusty Baker’s lower half so he couldn’t go settle down Mark Prior.

And so Cubs fans have suffered for another 80 years after that kid on the North Side started his prayer campaign. Truth be told it’s not real suffering. Cubs fans for the most part are eating. There appears to be no shortage of beer at Wrigley Field. Things could be a hell of a lot worse.

That’s the conclusion that many Cubs fans have drawn over the years. We’ve become a group practiced in the art of perspective. And God has noticed and is thinking that maybe, just maybe, we’ve learned our lesson.

There are indications he’s softening his stance. Letting Theo Epstein come to Chicago was one. Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and more are other examples of God giving Cubs fans hope.

Then there’s this. A parchment — yes parchment — dating to 45 B.S. (That’s Before Sandberg) has been found in the secret excavation to build new clubhouses at Wrigley (You don’t think they were actually waiting for the city or Rooftop Big Business to approve, do you?), and the document says:

“In the Year of our Lord (that’s me) 2014 I will give ye the opportunity to make a sacrifice that will allow thy beloved Cubs to win the championship. I’m not telling ye (oh, forget the ye and thou stuff. I don’t even remember how to use them) which deal I will make, so answer these questions truthfully, and I will then decide which sacrifice is acceptable to me. (Voting and tallying could take a while so I can’t give you an exact year that I might let the Cubs win, but let’s just say it could take a while. Yes, I crested the world in seven days, but we’re talking about the Cubs winning it all here. This might take me a year or so. Three tops.)”

The note also included the above explanation of why the Cubs were smote with an unprecedented drought.

So there you have it. No pressure or anything. Like the big man said, just answer truthfully. Here are the questions:

Would you give up a promotion for the Cubs to win it all?

  • Yes (57%, 8 Votes)
  • No (43%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 14

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Would you give up a kidney for the Cubs to win it all?

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Would you live with no other Chicago team winning another title in your lifetime for one Cubs title?

  • Yes (67%, 10 Votes)
  • No (33%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Would you take a Cubs title if all of your offspring and their offspring had to become White Sox fans?

  • No (53%, 8 Votes)
  • Yes (47%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Would you take a vow of chastity for a period of five years for a Cubs title?

  • No (85%, 11 Votes)
  • Yes (15%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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You can reach us at Cubs Fan Therapy.

Voters Say Call Up Baez … And It Happens

Fans have spoken, and the Cubs have listened?

I put a poll yesterday asking whether Javier Baez should be called up and 78 percent of fans said yes.

There’s a 99.9999 percent chance the Cubs did not see the poll, but still, the timing of the vote couldn’t have been better. The poll went up and then a couple of balls off Baez’s bat went out for Iowa. He ended last night 2-for-3 with two home runs, three runs and two walks. No wonder everyone wants him raking at Wrigley. And that includes the Cubs, according to reports.

Man, I knew Cubs fans were special, but I didn’t think they were this smart. Sweet.

Besides conserving service time there wasn’t really much reason to keep Baez down. That wasn’t the case earlier this season.

He hit .172 in April with 22 strikeouts and only four walks in 58 at-bats against Triple-A pitching. His average then rose every month and his strikeouts went down, not dramatically, but down. His walks went up, again not like crazy, but he showed more plate discipline. It paid off with a .300/.344/.655 line with 10 homers in July.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer had been with a tough decision. If they kept Baez at Iowa through the end of the year and into April next year, they would have picked up a year of control. They have consistently said, however, that if a prospect dominates a level he will move up. That has meant promotions for a host of the Cubs’ top talent. It was hard to argue that Baez didn’t dominate Triple A.

Many think, myself included, that the Cubs could surprise some people next year. Anthony Rizzo is turning into the star Theo and Co. thought he could be when they drafted him in Boston and traded for him in Chicago. Starlin Castro is putting a slump behind him and hitting again.

Jorge Soler was promoted to Triple A this year and since service time is not an issue due to the contract he signed out of Cuba, there’s a good chance he will see some time in the Cubs outfield in September, or sooner. He looks like he could mash the ball at Wrigley.

Kris Bryant? It’s a no-brainer to keep him down on the farm. He’s rocketing through the Cubs system since being drafted in 2013, but that’s not that long ago, so it’s a simple decision to wait on his call-up until the end of April. But when he arrives the Cubs’ lineup could be special.

Some young pitchers are getting auditions now and could find spots in the rotation. Theo has said he will spend to augment the core, and that could mean chasing a free-agent pitcher like Jon Lester in the offseason.

Baez has been thought of as a big part of the middle of the Cubs lineup of the future. It looks like that future is now. And why not? He is exactly the type of player who would traditionally get a taste of the bigs at the end of the year as a reward, as a means to acclimate him and as a way for the major league team to see what they have.

The voters said that’s what should happen now, and I agreed. Looks like Theo and Co. did too.

You can reach us at Cubs Fan Therapy.