A Cubs fan no longer: Any room on White Sox bandwagon?

Cubs catcher’s sucker punch of White Sox’s A.J. Pierzynski straw that broke the camel’s back

I used to be a Cubs fan. As of Sunday, May 21, 2006, I hereby relinquish any rights and/or privileges associated with being a Cubs fan.

I can’t take it any longer. Forty years is long enough. I survived the disaster of 1969. I can recall, in nightmarish detail, the numerous close-but-no-cigar seasons over the recent decades. I’ve even managed to move on from the “Bartman” incident.

All of those things combined weren’t enough to make me want to resign my membership in the Die Hard Fan Club.

The straw that broke the camel’s back happened in the May 21 game against the White Sox. It wasn’t that the Cubs were shut out and only managed to score one run in two complete games against their cross-town rivals. That, I could get over. What has caused me to jump off the Cubs’ cliff is one of the most classless acts I’ve ever seen in a baseball game.

On a flyout to left field, the White Sox runner on third, A.J. Pierzynski, tagged up and ran for home. Cubs’ catcher Michael Barrett was blocking the plate while awaiting the throw from the outfield. Pierzynski arrived slightly ahead of the ball, and did what any self-respecting baserunner in Major League baseball would have done: he leveled Barrett.

Instead of picking himself up and dusting off the dirt, like most other catchers at every level of the game would have done, Barrett chose to lasso Pierzynski and slug him directly in the face. The incident caused a huge, bench-clearing melee.

Needless to say, as a (former) Cubs fan, I was beyond shock. At that moment, more than any other in more than 40 years, I was embarrassed to be a Cubs fan. Why would Barrett do such a despicable act? He’s been a catcher long enough to know that you’re going to get run into if you block the plate when runners are trying to score. What he did not only reflects badly on him, but it also makes Cubs Manager Dusty Baker and the rest of the team look small.

Until the Cubs organization gets rid of Barrett, I am done with them. I humbly suggest that, if you are a Cubs fan, you join me in my protest. Why should we continue to support a franchise that would have a thug like Barrett on their roster? As long as that knucklehead is part of the team, this long-time fan is on hiatus.

Now I’m left wondering, are there any more seats left on the White Sox bandwagon?

Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

From the May 24-30, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!