Wow! If I just started reading Cubs blogs, I would swear Bobby Scales is the second coming of Christ.
Last night Crash (why won't this nickname catch on?) hit his first ML homer to help distance the Cubs from the Fathers. If everyone wasn't on board before, they are now. TMS is calling Scales the "black Matt Murton" (wait till Wittenmyer reads your blog, you racists). Bullpen Brian has his tee-shirt already ordered (why not a jersey?). And Bleacher Nation is already calling for the Rookie of Year Award (might want to keep that away seeing as how well the current ROY is doing).
These are just a few who are praising Scales. And why not? With tons of injuries, slow starts by our star players, a horrible bullpen, and currently being 4th place in the division behind (gasp!) even the Dusty's, so far it's the best story of the year for the Cubs. The guy has been in baseball since Gary Gaetti was the starting 3B for the Cubs. 11 years later he is finally called up to the bigs, and since then has been hitting the be-Jesus out of the ball, with a .429/.786/1.214 line, which started out with his first hit off the reigning Cy Young and includes a triple and a dinger in only 14 plate appearance.
Through pure determination and love of the game, Crash has persevered and is finally making his probably one shot at the majors count. At 31 he's old for a baseball player (even older than 2/3 of the Idiots). He doesn't appear to have reached this stage with the use of PED's. He hustles and does what Lou will ask, even going beyond the skipper's expectations. In the offseason he is a substitute teacher at the high school he attended as a kid. Plus, he's a fellow blogger!
But is this really good enough for the Cubs? Last year I wrote about another phenom who got his fist call to the bigs, tore shit up, and then "like that mysterious growth on my
crotch big toe" was gone. That guy hit .421 in just 11 games before being sent down to bring up Kevin Hart. Still wondering who that guy was and where he is now? That guy is Micah Hoffpauir and if you read the same blogs that praise Scales that guy should be the starting 1B for the Cubs, if not at least platooning the position.
But the same problem that Hoff-POWER faced last year will plague Scales when Rami is finally able to return to the team, namely he will be a player without a position. Last year the Cubs didn't need another 1B, right now the Cubs don't another
relief pitcher backup infielder.
When Rami went down earlier in the year, the Cubs were scrambling to find someone to replace him. Despite most still thinking Rami should still be nicknamed E-Ram for his defense at third, he's actually pretty good now, and a hell of a lot better than the immediate solution, namely Little Babe Ruth. As another blogger pointed out (sorry, can't find the reference) all teams would have to do is learn how to hit line drives higher than 6 feet with our midget infield to beat us. Plus having FonteYES at third means having Miles at 2nd. FUCK!
But the Cubs now have 4 solutions for a backup at 3B with the call-up of Scales, the addition Farney last week, and the willingness of Lou to play Koyie in the position as well.
Which brings me to my long winded point. Scales has proven (at least so far) he has what it takes to play in the bigs. He is a switch hitter and can play all infield positions. He hustles like players should, as he showed off by sprinting around the bases last night after his homer. His stock is up. And what do when the stock is up? You sell.
Last night also featured another player of Cubs fame, although not yet a Cub. Despite starting out with less than impressive numbers, the Cubs could still use a guy by the name of Jake Peavy (or McDreamy #2 as cubbiejulie puts it). The addition of Peavy would free up Lefty (Marshall) to move to the pen as our only left handed relief pitcher (Cotts who?). He's probably moving there anyway. Or why not just go out and get another lefty from another team.
By the beginning of July we will have too many infield bench players, Scales will most likely be sent down, keeping Farney, Miles and Hoffpauir on the bench. I'm sure another team would gladly like a guy like Scales on their bench.
Of course, you always have the counter-argument that you need players on the team that are having career years to win a championship, and so far that is exactly what Scales is doing. Lou is a "what have you done for me lately" type of guy, and Bobby fits right into that. But you also need to not have to worry that your 2 run lead is in jeopardy every time you bring in a pitcher in the 5th-7th innings. We NEED another reliable guy in the pen.
Yes, I love Crash's story just as much as the next guy. But right now, he's more valuable as part of a trade than he is as a feel good story. Remember, this team hasn't seen a ring in over 100 years, we have plenty of those. That's all I'm saying.
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Posted by Ginger Russ Wednesday at Wednesday, May 13, 2009