So, you say you're a Cubs fan... you say you like Jim Edmonds batting fifth, because he supplies the lefty power Piniella has pined for...you say, "Who cares that he used to be a Cardinal, he's a Cub now!!"
Or, you say you're a die-hard, bleeding blue, Billy Goat-hating Cubs fan, who HAS hated Jim Edmonds for years, but you feel he made himself a true Cub this weekend, by hitting two opposite field home runs for the Cubs.
Perhaps you're the skeptical type, holding out for the next Cubs-Cardinals matchup, to see if Edmonds is secretly a redbird spy, sent by the lowly Padres to infiltrate our club, and give the Cards the advantage they need against us.
Baseball is a game of passion, where tempers run hot, blood boils, fights break out, and purpose pitches play chin music all summer long. A game of great history, many fans think back about the all time great players, the men who played entire careers with one team, maybe two.
Ty Cobb never won a World Series, playing all but two years with the Detroit Tigers. Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio won many, all with the New York Yankees. Bob Gibson was a Cardinal, Sandy Koufax was a Dodger, and Willie Mays was a Giant.
Players have come to be seen not as individuals, but rather parts of the whole team. This causes many fans to dislike players who behave like individuals, demanding higher contracts, extensions, or trades.
Many players understand the team concept. In 2006, in the middle of an abysmal season for the Chicago Cubs, a sure-fire Hall of Famer, Greg Maddux went to his long-term friend, Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry, and informed him he would accept a trade. Forgetting his own personal reasons, he offered himself for the team's sake.
Today, many fans favor hating opponents over cheering on their own players, sometimes simply because the opponents last longer than their own team's players.
So next time you hear a fellow Cubs fan say they will always hate Edmonds, or they're learning to let him in, just know that many afternoons and evenings were ruined by the collective efforts of the St. Louis Cardinals, a team Edmonds formerly represented. Baseball memories die hard...these things take time!
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