It's a special occasion, like a birthday. Or Christmas. Or the Easter Bunny day. Or a toof-fell-out day. (Does not apply below Interstate 80, or in other areas where Mountain Dew is sold. Or Cheerwine. That stuff is simply dental suicide).
Lou Gehrig Anthony Rizzo, the Future of the Chicago Cubs, is here at long last. The good people over at baseball-reference.com have taken the precaution of allowing a whole bunch of space for all the "gray ink" and "black ink" on Rizzo's page. When all is said and done in his long, illustrious career, we aren't going to quibble about whether or not he's a 'first ballot' HOF guy or not. No, by God, the quibble will be whether the Hall should raise admission prices to see his many priceless artifacts, and whether the increased revenue should be applied to the new wing of the building they will need for him. He is the Chosen, the talisman-esque teddy bear Jed Hoyer has dragged along with him from Bahstan to San Diego to Chicago.
I am so gatdammed excited I can't even STAND here without jigging like a damn homeschooled tebow, until I can go home, endure the damn top half of the first inning, so I can seeeee him finally dig in the batters box for us. If you're like me, you'll be screeeeming like a British bobbysoxer in 1964 when Paul McCartney stopped on the sidewalk in front of her house to tie his boot. SO BIG! So Strong! SOOO Handsome! O AN HE SEXAY!
So, for real? I'm just mad they cut a young guy to get him on the roster.
The Epstein Plan To Rehabilitate the Cubs is confusing me more every day. I may be making too much of every infitesimal detail. Maybe. The few times someone in the media has been able to catch up to him, he has been so kind as to lay out a basic checklist, as follows:
Do Not Sign any Expensive Free Agents in 2011. Check. Write The Cub Way Pamphlet. Check. Get Rid of Zambrano. Check. Get Jorge Soler. Check. Draft an Impact Hitter and a Bunch of Pitchers With Upside. Check. Keep Rizzo on the Farm Until His Additional Year of Free Agency is Secure. Check. These are (what I thought was) highlights, the macro part of the plan, though. Sure, do these things, but certainly that's not all? There's got to be MORE to it than that, right? I mean, shit, I could have come up with all these things myself, sitting in my basement, with one hand on a Sam Adams and the other down the front of my underpants? You don't need to double the office staff and triple the scouting staff and a secret bleeding-edge computer system if THAT's all the plan consists of? I am sure there are thousands more moving parts to this plan, but when I sit here day after day and watch Geo Soto strike out and Jeff Baker ground out? That's progress?
And, who else noticed Joe Mather's tribute to
Sammy Sosa Roberto Clemente last night? I actually don't mind if he gives up the #16. Actually thought it was a bit soon to give it to someone else. I am fully on board with ARam taking the money to play with the Brewers. That's a fine place for him. But he was the best third baseman of the last 100 we've had since Santo and Bill Madlock. So he gave up the 16, because he wanted to pay tribute to a player he "really admired". A man who played the game the right way. I agree, Joe. Clemente was the goods. He died in a plane crash 10 years before you were born. I'm not sure why you picked Clemente. Maybe he was your Dad's favorite player. You gotta realize something, though, Joe?
First of all, you aren't the first Cub outfielder to wear #21 as a tribute to Clemente. And, you know, one of the guys before you? He was pretty much the single most polarizing figure in Cubs history. When you wear #21 on the Cubs, comparisons will happen.
You might have considered that a tad before you put it on. Because, Joe, even though you hit a nice homer into the teeth of a wind last night, by and large, you are NO Roberto Clemente. Or Sammy Sosa. Or, shit, even Milton Bradley. In fact, Joe, on a team that desperately needs to rebuild with young talent? You ain't young talent. I really don't see how you, or Baker, or Soto, or even LaHair have any role on this team? I am sick and tired of watching us piss away runners in scoring position. RISP average is a key component of player quality. If you never made it happen in the past, if you can't make it happen now, chances are, it ain't never happening. None of you will be around next year, let alone when this team actually becomes good again. Which is why I am so confused about the Epstein Plan. The only thing we are accomplishing by wasting all these at-bats and innings on these bums is losing the most games and ensuring next year's top draft pick. I suppose it would be too brazen for Theo to have announced that part of the plan is to lose the most games in 2012. That's even too cynical for me. But unless that's one of the major unwritten checkmarks...I don't see why all these "old" guys are still here.
I just can't let all this go. As much as I want to enjoy our most current and bestest Cubbie Holiday, Rizzo Day, I can't enjoy the one good new guy. It's the rest of the bad old guys I keep seeing. The Theo Honeymoon is fizzling away fast. It isn't the losing. It's who's doing the losing. The "increments" need to be a bit less, um, incremental.