After highly lauded prospect Javier Baez was called up from Triple-A Iowa on Monday, Baez Mania was put into full force on the North Side of Chicago.
It was another nice reward for those who have been patient in their fandom. When Theo Epstein, current President of Baseball Operations, was introduced in October of 2011, he knew there was much work to be done. He had this to say during that press conference:
“We’re going to build the best baseball operation we can. We’re going to change the culture. Our players are going to change the culture along with us in the major league clubhouse. We’re going to make building a foundation for sustained success a priority. That will lead to playing October baseball more often than not. Once you get in in October there’s a legitimate chance to win the World Series.”
For almost three complete seasons, Epstein and the Cubs have followed their self-made plans. Get rid of the absurd contracts, obtain top prospects (whether by draft or by trade), build the minor league system to be above all in the Major Leagues, and eventually bring up those prospects to the Big Club. Many Cubs fans are aware and understanding when it comes to this process. Others, however, are unapologetically impatient. Sure, I bet it gets annoying to know that the team you have stood behind your entire life is going to be unimportant year after year. At some point, though, there has to be a reward.
Well, those rewards are coming. Piece by piece, Theo and General Manager Jed Hoyer (AKA EpHoyer/JedStein) are bringing their plans to fruition. It started with Arismendy Alcantara. Since his Major League debut on July 9th, he has twenty-five hits, including 3 home runs. Yet, Cubs fans have been left yearning for more. Next up, Mr. Baez.
Javier Baez, better known as “Javy”, is another one of the big prospects that the Cubs have been waiting on to be ready. He is, nonetheless, an interesting player. While the timing of his call-up is a little strange, taking a look at his Minor League statistics tell a story. At every level, he was a player to keep close eyes on. A player of his caliber needed to be reined in, in order to become a pro. By calling Javy up in the beginning of August, the grace period that has followed him at every level can be handled accordingly. He seems to be doing OK.
Not to mention, in his first three major league games, he’s already got his first multi-homer contest under his belt.
Look, I get it. It has sucked to be a Cubs fan for the last little stretch (and most of the time, for that matter.) I’m a White Sox fan, and I can’t wait to see guys like Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Kyle Schwarber, and the rest of the core guys be called up. At this point, whether you like it or not, being a Cubs fan is all about patience. It will all pay off. I don’t know when, and I can’t guarantee anything for certain. But, I do know this: patience, in the long run, is a virtue.