Hi folks. Took the weekend off. Nice weekend to take off right? Anyway, see the place is a mess. Last time I leave Mooney in charge. I see the Cubs are trying the slow, clockwise, downward spiral after the big trade. I'll have wraps of this swell doubleheader in the morning. Until then, here's an article I wrote for the Ivy Drip- my brother's publication on the Northside 9. It's a plaything, but I kinda like what I wrote so I'm letting my 6 or 7 fans read it for free. Anyway, if you like it, check out Sam's work at thecommittedindian.com, it's a fun weekly update on the Cubs done in sam's style which is as unique as it gets…. Anyway, here's is the 957th opinion that you didn't ask for on the Jeff Samardzija trade.
So the Cubs epicenter wen Ka-bloeey this weekend. It was supposed to go Ka-blooey a little later. Had the chance to go Ka-blooey over the winter. But going Ka-Blooey now is certainly fine and it’s better to go Ka-Blooey all at once then doing it in stages, which certainly looked, liked an option.
In case you were under a rock or got knocked out by a runaway fire rocket this weekend, then you probably saw that the Cubs traded both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland A’s for prospect Wunderkind Addison Russell and 2012 1st round prospect Billy McKinley, and P Dan Straily, who actually was a pretty good pitcher last year, before losing his fastball, and his location and becoming bad. Straily was 10-8 last year so to think of him in a straight up trade for Jason Hammel isn’t really all that far fetched. Which leaves Jeff Samardzija being traded for the 5th best prospect in baseball and a second prospect right around the top 100. For a pitcher who was ready to bolt before you’re scheduled to be good. It was a no brainer, and it should leave Cub fans over the moon. I can’t tell you how much I love this trade.
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.
But that hasn’t meant being stopped by several types of Cub fans who don’t share my views:
1) THE EDUCATOR- this person might actually agree with you but it’s important for THEM to know that YOU understand how YOU think the rebuild is going and why the trade had to be made. There’s a bigger picture going on and it’s important for you to know that people like THEM are the ones that recognize it and it’s only when THEY give their nod of approval can you go ahead and feel good about the trade.
2) THE LOYALIST- they simply like the player. They’ve watched him since he was a rookie, (or more likely in this case, saw him play WR at Notre Dame,) saw him work his ass off to go from bullpen arm to Top-of-the-Rotation pitcher and you would have liked to seen him say a Cub. This was has a little merit. Although sentimentality is a dying breed and the truth is the deal was just too good to trump whatever sentimentality there is. But at least I can understand someone whose likes a player who’s been as loyal to the team as the fan has been.
3) THE DOUBTER- hates everything. Every time you mention a prospect, they throw Felix Pie at you. Every time you mention a Cubs trade, they mention Lou Brock. Every cub move is wrong and they should have just kept everyone and maybe…just maybe…they might be .500 right now.
4) THE MASOCHIST- Everything sucks. You wonder why they’re even Cub fans. Did you know a Wrigleyville Bar changed its awning to “It’s never going to happen.” After the Samardzija trade. Really!???!!??! Reallly!???!!? Were you that jacked about the Cubs chances when Shark was taking the bump? Or are you one of these outdated dudes who still think it’s cool to yell “we suck”
All things being equal, I wish this type of person didn’t exist. Sadly, there are more of them than anyone would care to admit.
Anyway, they were all out in full force. Or at least to provide enough force so that the Chicago press, in their effort to churn out the same tireless narrative- is Theo simply pushing back the timeline because Ricketts doesn’t have the money to get things done.
Luckily, we live in a Social Media world with blogs and Zines, and Twitter and you can real opinion when and where you want it. And most of the stupid has died away. Most of the people are analyzing the trade for what it is- A team going for it mortgaging the future trading prospects to a team that has the future on it’s mind and was willing to overpay. Did I mention that I love this trade
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.
I love this trade for so many reasons. Let’s see if I can count them.
1) Who it was with. Trading prospects with Billy Beane might be a kin to fret boarding with Eddie Van Halen. But the truth is our guy is no slouch. And this wasn’t prospect for prospect; Beane had a certain need, whereas Epstoyer could be open minded as to what they wanted. And Beane needs a ring to validate everything he thinks he is. Which kind of puts Beane in a desperation mode, and Epstein pounced.
2) ) The versatility of it. As an over eager Cub fan, I’ve been driving myself crazy as to who is going to pitch for these Crazy Cubs once all these mashers are hitting .350 in Iowa with multi HR games a week…you know, Kris Bryant numbers. But with every trade, starting pitching prospects become more and more scarce. When Samardzija was first put out there. Names like Archie Bradley and Jameson Tallion were being thrown around. Last week, Toronto was saying how they weren’t going to include either Marcus Strohman or Aaron Sanchez. So instead of simply taking a 6.5-7 talent because that was the highest talented P available, Epstoyer got the 9.5 talented Russell.
3) It’s Addison Russell. I file this under “ I might not know much about hip hop, but I know how good Outkast is. I have a pocket of people whose opinion I respect and believe when it comes to prospects. When I see they’re all drooling in a cup and slapping themselves with glee at adding the 4th best prospect in Baseball to what is already an amazing farm system…well I’m happy.
4) The next domino. John Harper has already suggested throwing Zack Wheeler and other prospects for Starlin Castro. I don’t know if I’d do it. I might. But I’d have to think about it. But that’s the kind of move that’s next. All these players can’t play the infield. And while it might be Castro, It might be Baez, the next trade is going to be just as large as this one and it’s probably going to be for a pitcher for the Cubs.
5) The finances. Say everything goes Milhouse and it’s Rizzo-Baez-Russell- Castro across the infield with Bryant Soler and Almora in the OF. What is that? 35 Mil, you can buy 3 SP to go with Arrieta or hopefully Hendricks.
6) The Samardzija conundrum. I love Shark. And I’m going to miss using all those “Deep Blue sea” and “Jaws” quotes for my wraps. But defending signing him was beginning to be a drag. And since he’s going to be a free agent in a year and a half. Whatever. He did nothing but pitch his ass off for the Cubs, and helped set the Cubs up with one of the best prospects in baseball. He’s more than done his part. I know how I’m rooting for come playoff time.
The Cubs have celebrated the big trade just like they did the last two years- by losing. I doubt that continues. I think Hendricks might be a real pitcher. And I the bullpen am still a weapon. And maybe the world going Ka-Blooey earlier than usual means an earlier return to normal. But I’m glad it happened. And I can’t wait for the Cubs world to Ka-Blooey again.