A shorter brunch today as I still try to contemplate the silliness from last night’s Blackhawks game…
The big news this week appears to be that Javier Baez got an invite to big boy camp at Spring Training this year. He’ll even get to stay up late and watch TV. This isn’t really big news. John Arguello rationally explains the move here. John has a tendency to be thoughtful and perspective about things. Why we love him. Others however, went nuts. There were some raising the possibility of a September call up. and with the Cubs inclusion on John Sickels’ top ten minor league system, there was an overall feeling that Baez will continue the parade of young talented potential all stars that has included Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. ( No need to point out that this list ONLY includes Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo… but hey.)
And I’m just a tad worried about the Cubbie hype machine grabbing this kid a little too early.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s TONS to love about this kid. The phrase “Gary Sheffield-like speed through the strike zone” is not thrown around much, if at all. And that kind of compact swing sets the mind a wandering of grand things. And I remember how his mammoth home runs as a Peoria Chief in Kane County totally overshadowed what the major league club was doing. ( Again, no need pointing out that the Cubs were getting torqued by the Reds at the time…but hey.)
But Javier Baez finished his year in Daytona. That’s A-ball. And he spent most of the time there struggling. He started to get it but it wouldn’t be the worst thing if he started in Daytona again. And Cubs brass, especially Jason Mcleod, seem to air on the conservative side of things when it comes to prospects.
But that doesn’t stop the hype. Cub fans love to latch on to whatever’s “good”. And I love that about Cub fans. It’s what separates us from the baboons and the Yankee fans. But with that comes the overhype of turning “good” into “great”, and with that comes the backlash from Cubbie haters who think we’re turning everything into “savior” status. The term Reed Mantle was never uttered once by a Cub fan. But because Cub fans cheered for Reed and liked him the Anti-Cub brigade, found mostly on WSCR670, ratcheted up the common line ‘there goes Cub fans again” machine. Next thing you know, Reed Johnson is a hot topic simply because he ran into a wall.
Javier Baez still has miles to go before he can sleep in his Chicago Cub uniform. And if the hype is starting up now I can only imagine what it’s like when he’s killing it for the Smokies or rocking the corn in Iowa. Epstoyer has always been good at managing the message and giving the proper perspective on players. Here’s hoping the comment early and strongly on Mr. Baez after he has his first 3-for-4 at Big Boy camp this spring.
TO THE VARIETY PACK
Oh right, there’s a football game today.
The other news is that Pearl jam is coming to Wrigley Field. Which gives me the opportunity to feel both incredibly old and incredibly cool when I say I saw them up the street from Wrigley at Metro on the Ten tour.
By the way, Theo Epstein’s top 25 Pearl jam songs is fascinating to me.
There are those that won’t go because they don’t like concerts at Wrigley. I ask this, what big concert alternative would you like? Soldier Field a pain in the ass. Whatever they’re calling the World Amphitheater these days might be the worst sounding venue in history. The UC? In summer no less? Wrigley seems fine. My bet is I go.
Back to the Super Bowl, I usually make a win bet and the stupidest prop bet I can find. Coin toss, first team to punt, What color the Gatorade they dump will be. ( By the way, 13/2 for Red Gatorade seems like an awfully big overlay to me. I know it’s never been dumped. But it’s by far the most popular choice of Gatorade. Might have to make an additional play.) So here are my two plays.
The Niners -3.5
Alicia keys forgetting a word in the national Anthem- +150
Still think the Cubs have a Michael Bourn rumor in them before Spring training.
By the way, one of my favorite non-Cubs Den Cubs blog wrote an interesting piece on if the Cubs should sign the Boras free agent.
Also on the Cubs blog front, I feel the need to report that Al Yellon reached out to tell me that i was never actually banned from Bleed Cubbie Blue . So I guess I have goals this year. I keeed. I keeed.I didn’t get to comment on the Hendry article, and a lot of ground has been covered on it. But allow me this point. When Hendry took over for Ed lynch, Cubs fans were at their Sing with harry, Cub fan-Bud man, Wrigley Field is just a tanning salon/beer garden peak. Actual baseball was second, if not third, if not tenth on the priority list. When Hendry was fired Cub fans were more critical of off-season moves and actual baseball play than they ever were. Cub fans give a damn more about the actual baseball than they ever did. Don’t think Hendry didn’t have a hand in that. He did. A big one.Okay, who thinks John Arguello sleeps at night with a Tangotiger stuffed animal? I, for one, am raising my hand…..( Probably won’t make it through the year taking a swipe at my boss every brunch. But hey...).