If anyone still had any doubt whether or not to trade Matt Garza, or sign him to a long term deal, look no further than the first inning last night.
The two homers he gave up sucked, sure. But it was the thick-headed taffypull he had with that Francisco guy that should seal the deal for you. I mean, I have heard Garza referred to as "Zambrano Lite", and to be fair, he hasn't openly physically attacked anyone, or thrown a tantrum in the field, or belittled umpires or even chewed out teammates after bad plays. He isn't, in other words, a sociopath. He's just stupid.
What would Greg Maddux do with Juan Francisco? Would he waste 16 pitches in the first inning on one hitter? Would he EVER waste 16 pitches on a hitter, unless the game was on the line and he absolutely needed an out? No, numbskull! If a guy is just toying with you, especially in the first inning, walk his silly ass and work on the next guy. Not Garza, who has absolutely ZERO mental makeup in his game. He'd rather fight him in spite of himself.
Then, the next time up, Juan Francisco fouled off another 12 pitches! The big billy goat gruff keeps pumping up pitches. Next thing you know, Garza has thrown 90 pitches, through FOUR innings, and back into the bullpen we go to mop up another ugly loss. Does Garza ever learn? Can Garza ever learn? Maybe you're the kind of guy (or gal) who won't quit on anything; stubbornly picking at that scab until it finally bleeds? You know, that to me is a huge red flag of stupid...especially if you're a major league pitcher whose worth is somewhat in question. Do you really deserve 15 million dollars a year for five or six years?
Guess what? Even in the silly world of big league baseball, a ninety million dollar expenditure cannot be described as a "human being". An expense of that size can only be described in terms of "capital" and "strategic investment". If you, Mr. Baseball Player, expect to be compensated as a business investment, you need to approach your craft strategically. You need to know when to go all out, and when to dial back. You must know which situations are more important. You must think situationally.
Matt Garza has had enough time in his career to learn to think about his craft. The fact that he chooses not to signals to me that he 1) does not deserve to be paid like a Major League Ace, and 2) most likely is not the kind of man that is finally going to push this franchise over the top of the 104-years-and-counting karmic mountain it has constructed for itself.
And finally, here's the problem: if I can devote 5 hours a week to the game of baseball and see Matt Garza for what he really is, don't you figure the General Managers of Detroit, Atlanta, the Yankees and the Dodgers can see it when they spend 10 to 15 times MORE effort looking at the game? The longer we wait to trade him, the more chance he has to demonstrate just how big of a donkey he really is, and his trade value just plummets!
In 2012, it is nice to win games, to sweep other bad teams like the AssTrolls. But in the long run, the last week's worth of wins won't mean much. What means the most to the Cubs in 2012 is getting maximum value for trade chips like Garza, Dempster, LaHair, Soto, Soriano, basically everyone that someone else wants. I don't pick up the newspaper anymore to read the box scores. I pick it up to read the agate - under "TRANSACTIONS".
That's the W-L record I'm concerned about in 2012.
BTW: Castro could use some time off. Can we find someone that can play short once in a while?