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All Hail Cleanliver Goodbody!
by Derek Smart
Yet another slow day here at Cub Town HQ, so why not take this opportunity to inspire a little panic in my faithful readers? The subject? Some quotes from his Dustiness in today's Daily Southtown (with a hat tip to BTF). Here's the one that should make the skin of all Cub fans crawl, regarding Marquis Grissom:
"To me, he's like an Eric Karros type of guy. He'll help everybody."
Yes, Karros was a great help to Hee Seop Choi, as I recall.
To be fair, some quotes later on mitigate my twitchiness:
"Marquis already said he will do anything he can to help this team," Baker said. "He can pinch run and pinch hit. Spot play. If there is a tough lefty for Jacque (Jones), he could be a late-inning replacement or double-switch. The guy's been deadly against lefties his whole career."
Now that reads like a reasonable application of Grissom should he make the team (although, qualifying his statement about lefties and Jones with an 'if' just makes me shake my head), and while I'll admit that when it comes to Murton and Cedeno I'm only willing to believe they're full-time starters when I've seen their names in the lineup for months at a time, I think over-interpreting the Karros quote is typical of the hairtrigger, tragedy seeking mindset Cub fans (myself included) have adopted of late.
Of course, the reason we have that type of mindset is because it's been bludgeoned into us over time, and the last few seasons in particular. Why do we lend more credence to what we read into seeming off-hand comments like the Karros quote than we do to more detailed descriptions of a player's possible duties? Because our experience has taught us that the detail is a smokescreen, whether intentional or not, and that the workings of Baker's subconscious are more likely to make themselves visible in those off the cuff moments. It's not that way all the time, but more often than not, those little items are where the meat of the matter lies.
But finally, as is typical with any good Dusty session, not only do you have the quote that strikes fear followed by the one that seems reasoned, we also have the one that you know no one else in the game would utter in public, and I leave you folks with that.
"He's a clean liver, he works hard and he's a good-body guy," Baker added. "Those good-body guys don't get as old as quick as others."
You're a good man, Cleanliver Goodbody, and forever in peace may you wave.