We all knew it was coming. The bullies in the Cubs front office had already threatened it. But some fans chose to swim upstream against the current of fact and common sense, not unlike the salmon of Capistrano.
Yes, Javier Baez was demoted from the major-league team to the minors, where he'll be forced to ply his trade in relative obscurity. Well, as obscure as it's possible to be when even die-hard White Sox fans draft you in non-keeper leagues with cries of "PHEEEEEEENOM!" Not that that happened in my fantasy baseball league or anything, but you can imagine what it'd be like if it did.
And that's because, despite leading the Cubs, and all of MLB, in Spring Training home runs, the thuggish duo of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer crushed the increasingly-fragile dreams of the "Please Win Now" segment of Cubs fandom like they were some poor nerd's brown-bagged lunch. Epstoyer Rules!
By so doing, the Cubs moved well beyond the general run-of-the-mill wedgie, beyond even the feared and loathed, and possible deadly, atomic wedgie. No, the brass bullies pulled off a feat not even the worst high-school-hallway-trolling mouth-breathers could dream up: the metaphysical wedgie.
I mean, how else can you explain the occurrence of so many pairs of twisted panties throughout the Cubs fanbase?
How could they send down the team's most exciting player? I mean...
And don't forget...
Something, something, home run. Blah, blah, bat speed. Fun, future, let the kid play. I mean, he is the Best Cub Ever, right? In all seriousness, the kid is crazy fun to watch; it's as if Paul Westhead is coaching his swing. The reckless abandon with which Baez seems to approach plate appearances electrifies viewers, regardless of team affiliation.
He's somewhere between Bryce Harper and Yasiel Puig, with an infectious strain of youthful exuberance that you can't help but love, even when it borders on hubris. And if Baez continues to swing like Puig drives, he'll be parking it in the yard for the Cubs on a regular basis.
For now, though, it's on to Iowa, where he's likely to spend little more time than what it takes to maintain an extra year of club control. And while that mean a little less fun at the old ball game for those of you attending in April and May, it's what makes the most sense in the long run for a team with the goal of being competitive for a long time to come.
If you've got some time, head over to Bleacher Nation and check out Brett Taylor's beautifully exhaustive piece: The Chicago Cubs Financial Story: the Payroll, the Debt, and the Syncing of Baseball and Business Plans. As both my description and the title indicate, this 8,800-word opus is a testament to good research and writing.
I say this not just because it reinforces my own views (which it does in spades), but because Taylor delves into both the financial and baseball reasons for why the Cubs are doing what they're doing. He'll force you take off those twisted skivvies, wash 'em, press 'em, even apply heavy starch. But who starches underwear?
And this isn't going to be the last move the Cubs make that isn't necessarily in the best interest of every single fan. With that in mind, it might just be best for everyone to go commando for the next year or so.
Follow me on Twitter: @DEvanAltman
Thanks for reading; if you enjoyed it, please share with others. And if you'd like to be updated on my future posts, and those from the rest of the Cubs Insider team, you can subscribe below.
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Filed under: Uncategorized