Back in my early years, I was as much a Cubs fan as I am today. I went to the games the same, I sat in the bleachers the same, I rooted on Sammy Sosa the same, and I was disappointed the same:
That’s really me (and real disappointment)!
I recall one game in particular, I was sitting in the bleachers when Jose Valverde and the Arizona Diamondbacks came to town. Before the game, that young Michael Cerami up there was sitting in right field, probably enjoying some nachos, watching Valverde and some other Diamondbacks warm up by tossing a ball around in the outfield. When it came time for the game to start, Valverde took a ball and ran over to the stands waving it in the air as if he were about to toss it to a lucky fan (in my memory, at this point, he looked directly at me). And then he tossed the ball, all right …
… He tossed it right out of the stadium and onto Sheffield Avenue!
It was no accident. This was on purpose. This was malicious. He was taunting us – taunting Chicago – and I don’t think I ever forgave him for it.
But if I seem particularly salty for something that happened to me over 10 years ago, it’s because I was forced to relive all of it yesterday when Joey Votto did something very similar to the fans in Philadelphia:
That smile as he walks away … Pure Evil.
Votto later confirmed that he was indeed messing with the fans in Philly and just trying to have a little bit of fun, because of how lively they typically are:
In a weird way, this has been really therapeutic for me. If Votto was really just messing around with them, because he thinks the Philadelphia fans are just a “really fun group,” then maybe Valverde was doing the same. Maybe it’s finally time to forgive him, move on with my life and tear down the Ray Finkle-esq death shrine I have of Valverde in my room …