Living in Chicago, I know Cubs and White Sox fans pretty well. Sox fans are always depressed and hate their team even when they’re good. Cubs fans are the opposite, they’re always happy (or drunk, depends on your outlook) and love their team, even in the days when they were a dumpster fire. And they also have a weird infatuation with average players.
I thought it would’ve ended when they started seeing players like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant hit massive dingers. Or started seeing Jon Lester throw seven innings of one-run ball every game without having the ability to keep baserunners honest. But nope, here comes David Ross. To be fair, Ross has been underappreciated most of his career because mainstream baseball fans are just now starting to understand a catcher’s relationship with his pitchers. They’re grasping the idea that framing pitches is an art and one that needs to be cultivated and maintained throughout the entire game. But he’s still an average baseball player.
Mark DeRosa, Kerry Wood, Ryan Dempster, Matt Clement, Ryan Theriot…names you’ll remember hearing and saying “holy shit he’s still playing?” These were heroes to Cubs fans. I still see Ryan Theriot jerseys, seven years after he was playing at a replacement level for Chicago. Do you realize how committed you have to be to wear a damn Ryan Theriot jersey?
I realize David Ross is different. He was the old guy, seen as the dad to a bunch of young pups who didn’t know they weren’t supposed to be this good this quickly. But enough already. He’s probably making more money now doing Dancing with the Stars and all the other off-the-field crap than he was when he was playing. How long until he licenses his name to a bar in Wrigleyville? On a team full of potential Hall of Famers the most popular character is a guy who didn’t even play half a season and batted .229. It’s just weird.