|This is my shocked face, not my bittersweet face.|
I haven't had reliable internet at my house for almost two weeks. Hence the missing posts the last few days. Apparently, I forgot to hit publish again. But those are pushed back another day now because when I managed to log on for a few minutes yesterday, the first thing that popped up was the notice that Tony Campana had been traded to the Diamondbacks for two 17-year-old pitching prospects.
As the title says, this is definitely bittersweet. I hate to see him go but would much rather see him get the opportunity to play elsewhere. Campana is known for his speed and hustle but the biggest criticism against him is that you can't steal first base. This probably says more about the state of the Cubs last year than Campana's worth, but the only two players with more plate appearances that had a higher batting average were Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo.
Yes, you do want a leadoff hitter with a better on base percentage. But how can he improve when he's only given the opportunity to start in 38 of your 89 games? The rest of the time he's used as a late inning pinch runner or part of a double switch.
I undertsand the want for 5-tool players. But once you get past your starters, there are needs for specialty players too. How many pitchers come in to face one guy and leave? Or pinch hitters that just face against lefties? You can't tell me that as bad as the Cubs were last year, they don't have a need for someone who can bunt runners over and also have a better than good chance to beat out the throw. Infielders have to be flustered when they know it is Campana streaking down to the line. Pitchers and catchers are definitely more distracted when he takes a lead.
What's that Yogi-ism? Half of the game is 90% mental? I think that fits here perfectly.
I know we're in the beginning of a long, slow rebuilding process, but Tony Campana made the games more fun to watch despite last year's debacle of a season. It'll be tougher to watch close games this year knowing this weapon is out of the Cubs arsenal.
He plays the game the way it should be played and for that I'll always be a fan. Whether he's in the blue pinstripes or purple (or whatever it is they wear out there in AZ these days).
Maybe this means I can add some game-used Cubs stuff to the collection for a much better deal now...
Treat him well, D-Backs fans!