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Credit Where Credit Is Due
by Phil Bencomo
I've written some scathing things about Jacque Jones over the years, here and elsewhere, ranging from criticism of his play to the size of his contract.
I bring this up not as a prelude to further condemnation, but to my deepest congratulations.
Jacque Jones, you were drenched, day after day, for so much of your Cub career by steaming vitriol spewed forth from the mouths of harsh fans and the keyboards of harsher writers who, not content to merely curse your name, pelted you with enough statistical acronyms and figures to make even the strongest of men break under the weight of it all.
But you persevered. You focused your mind and body on the task at hand, leaving swirling trade winds and critics to simmer unnoticed.
And you've finally succeeded. I didn't think you'd do it, Jacque; I'll admit I long ago lost faith. But you have done it; your contributions over the last two months, despite the immense burdens on your back, will be recognized -- who could ignore an OPS of .944 in August? -- and so I commend you for helping the Cubs to first place with your bat and glove.
And you're even hitting lefties better (.263/.333/.368), with an OPS against them (.702) well above your career mark of .630!
But before your head gets too large, Jacque, remember: The bigger they are, the harder they fall, and those cheers will quickly become jeers with a cold week or two.