I don’t know Kaycee Sogard, the wife of Chicago Cubs infielder Eric Sogard. What little I do know about her, I garnered her epic, self-imposed Twitter meltdown last night, which happened, conveniently, just as the Cubs were losing to the Pirates 6-3.
It began, as far as I can tell, with people noticing that Sogard had “liked” this tweet, on the same day that America watched the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis, witnessed the fear and horror of Army Officer Caron Nazario in Virginia, and mourned the loss of yet another unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright, in Brooklyn Center.
Sogard has since unliked the tweet, but not until after accusing Chicago fans, who descended on her like a bomb, of confusing her Twitter account with that of a racist person.
Oh Kaycee, you haven’t lived in this area long enough to realize that Chicagoans recognize every mention of Chicago by the right-wing media as the thinly veiled racist dog whistle it is. What bringing up gun violence in Chicago every time police violence makes the news is actually saying is, “Black people get killed every day in Chicago, so why should we care if the police kill another one?” It also disregards that Chicagoans, and especially the Black and Latino residents who live in the communities most marginalized and marred by gun violence, care very much whenever someone in their community is shot. And all it takes a cursory glance at the local news to see the daily marches, the vigils, the fundraisers, and the rallies to try to find a solution to the violence that plagues their communities.
And those neighborhoods are not punchlines to be used in service of a shitty, nonsensical point on social media. Since you’ve moved to Chicago, Kaycee, what have you done to help raise up marginalized communities that suffer from gun violence?
That’s what I thought.
It’s no secret that MLB in general, and the Chicago Cubs, in particular, have an overabundance of white, conservative men who probably listen to Joe Rogan because “he really makes you think.” White, conservative men who want everyone to follow the “unwritten rules,” not just of baseball, but of life. And while fans in deeply blue cities might not like rooting for guys who hold political views that lionize the 1950s, John Wayne, and the Cleavers, conservative players in deep blue cities, like Chicago, have generally managed to stick to the tried and true Crash Davis interview advice. “We’ve got to play them one day at a time.” And the old standby, “I’m just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ball club.”
This evinces a tacit agreement between fans and players not to fight over politics (for the most part) within the confines of the season. Unless a player does something really dumb, like taunting celebrities who said they’d leave the country if Trump became President, we generally agree not to discuss each other’s political differences until such time as the baseball is over or they join another team.
Players’ wives, on the other hand, are not part of any such deal. I’ve never really understood the desire to follow someone on social media just because of who that person is married to, but I have a lot of friends who love seeing pics of players’ kids, homes, and dogs, so whatever. Unfortunately, if you follow Kaycee Sogard, all of that comes with a heavy dose of anti-vaxxer nonsense. Here are a bunch of tweets Sogard has liked and hasn’t seen fit to scrub from her Twitter account:
You get the picture. This level of galaxy-brained, Facebook-blog ignorance would be laughable if the Cubs weren’t doing so poorly in terms of vaccinating their players. While nearly 90 percent of the Chicago White Sox received vaccines last week:
Meanwhile, the Cubs are having difficulty getting to the 85-percent vaccination threshold, a milestone that would allow them to relax COVID protocols. And their manager, David Ross, is saying “gotta hear both sides” garbage like this about it:
Meanwhile, two Cubs staff members have tested positive for COVID, while three players have gone on the COVID-related injury list. And with something like 40 percent of the country hesitant to get vaccinated in the first place, this whole thing is a bad look for the Cubs, and especially for the Sogards.
In a year where there isn’t a lot to root for on the North Side, Kaycee Sogard is just one more feel-bad story. And one that already has the fanbase clamoring for the release of her husband who, to be fair, is only hitting .133 so far this season:
It’s been a tough year in Chicagoland. The city itself has seen a brutal police crackdown on Black Lives Matter protests. A 13-year old Latino boy was recently shot and killed by Chicago Police in the Little Village neighborhood. Cook County alone has seen over 10,000 COVID-related deaths. The vaccine rollout has been haphazard and unequitable. After a contentious debate about opening up bars and restaurants, not to mention public schools, both Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are seeing yet another spike in cases. All of this goes along with general ennui, depression, and loneliness that comes with spending over a year of our lives stuck inside our homes.
The last thing anyone has the patience for at this point is a player’s wife to come to town and start admonishing Chicago about her perception of how things are and how they should be from behind whatever ivory tower she lives in.
As the baseball philosopher Annie Savoy would say, “The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.”