But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East and Javier is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious meatball, who is already sick and pale with grief, that Theo's plan art far more fair than his.
Or something like that. Whether you reference Shakespeare or Sesame Street when trying to explain the unfettered joy of this day, the result is the same: Javier Baez is up with the Cubs. Yesterday, after taking some time to let the whole promotion sink in, I attempted to explain to my 7-year-old daughter the magnitude of the situation.
I found myself diving into a breakdown of baseball's minor league system and purpose of having players move through the levels as we made the commute to my softball game. I started waxing existential in laying out how this was about more than just a player , but rather, the entire future of the Cubs franchise.
Not that Baez is some sort of savior, mind you, but that his promotion clearly signals a new phase in the rebuild. The foundation has been established and now it's time to truly begin framing the house. And so I told my daughter that she could stay up the following night in order to watch some of the game.
"Well, I don't really have a strong desire to watch the game," she replied. "But I do want to stay up later, so that's fine"
"What do you mean you don't have a strong desire to watch the game? I though you liked watching the Cubs."
"I mean, I've grown up watching the Cubs and sports, so I've come to accept it."
And in case you're questioning it, that is really how she talks. But talking with my daughter and then taking part in various conversations with other, more interested, parties, I felt compelled go all Erma Bombeck in order to put together a handy-dandy little guide to help you enjoy this glorious day.
Do understand that this is what you've been waiting for, whether to exalt or gloat
Make no mistake, this is about more than just one player making his debut. As I posited earlier, this is a pretty clear indication that the front office is ready to see what the kids can do. So whether you've been waiting to see this plan come together or fall apart, now's your chance to really have proof.
Don't apologize in advance for his inevitable slump
Tempering expectations for a players who's been known to slump at each new stop is one thing, but don't go selling the kid short. After all, who are you trying to convince: yourself or everyone else?
Do prepare for the fallout of Javy's debut, one way or the other
Tonight's game won't tell us what Javier Baez is going to do long-term, but that's not going to stop the hyperbolic reactions from both sides. Every strikeout will be another death knell to dreams and each hit will be thunder; the violent swing will contain both holes and "holy shits!"
Just know going into this thing that the collective Cubs consciousness is going to magnify each little thing into something even bigger than it is, like those slideshows that have you guess what regular household item you're seeing in a snapshot from an electron microscope.
Don't compare to Baez to Lake
I know it's tempting, given the fact that both began their Cubs careers in Colorado, but please avoid any comparisons to Junior Lake, or any past Cubs prospects for that matter. It's ignorant and irresponsible, not to mention lazy. That said, Lake did have quite a nice debut.
I was there in Denver for that game and the crowd, nearly half Cubs, was abuzz to see the new guy. I can only imagine what it'll be like tonight in the Mile High City. And, as luck would have it, I'll be in Wrigley for Baez's home debut Friday, where the only questions about Lake will be whether Javy can put a ball into Michigan.
Do imagine riding a unicorn through a rainbow
That's what you have to do to truly understand Javier Baez, a phenomenal talent and a mythical creature beyond compare. The Cubs will eventually add even more Sparkle Power to the mix and we'll all be able to bathe in the afterglow of the baseball rainbows Baez and Co. will launch with extreme prejudice into bleachers across the nation.
Once a fairy tale as mythical and far-fetched as Rumpelstiltskin or Bitcoin, the Cubs' future is starting to look less grim. Now we get to see whether this kid really can spin straw into gold.
Don't use too much hyperbole when describing Baez or his potential
Don't be on Twitter after Javy hits his first homer
Admittedly, this might not happen on Day 1. But regardless of when the first #JavyBomb drops, its aftermath will yield an absolute monsoon of superlatives, exclamation points, and "ermergerds," the likes of which we've not seen since the Patriots signed Tim Tebow.
Do use protection
Much like one should not stare directly an an occultation of the sun, it's unwise to look upon the majesty of Javy's swing without proper protection. You would do well to prepare yourself for the speed and violence of his ash arc, the potential concussive force of which has no regard for human life.
Then again, it's the danger that makes it fun. Just know that you've been warned.
Do enjoy it
As Cubs fans, we've not a whole lot to be truly happy about lately. Forced to find joy in little things, we stay up late to watch our team win an otherwise-meaningless 16-inning marathon against the Tulowitzki-less Rockies. But this...this is something that provides a really source of, dare I say, fun.
I think the enigmatic Desipio put it perfectly in his recent blog post:
It’s just the beginning and even if this works it’s going to take a while, but it should be fun, and that’s supposed to be the point. At least that’s what we’ve been told by fans of other teams who occasionally win things.
I can't say it better than that, so I'll leave off here. But while you're enjoying Javy's debut, you can also take comfort in the knowledge that there are more like it to come. That might not be the best news for the meatballs out there, but it's pretty sweet for the rest of us.
Feliz Javydad, everyone!
Author's note: those who have put up with my frequent grammar rants on Twitter know that I'm vehemently opposed to the use of an apostrophe to indicate plurality, so it was with some trepidation that I included one in said case right in my headline. I do advocate the punctuation's usage in those instances in which a word or number must be separated from an "s," lest it be fundamentally altered (90's, AB's, HR's, etc). But, just to be sure, I consulted the fine folks at Macmillan to put myself at ease.
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