Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Will Jimenez join ranks of ballplayers who bite Chicago Cubs’ fans on their behinds for seasons to come?

Eloy Jimenez is the star ballplayer from the Dominican Republic who is expected to be a significant part of the rebuilt Chicago White Sox ballclubs that will play in future years. 
Coulda been a Cubs star, but w/ Sox instead

And his quality of play will most definitely be studied these next two days. Every little move he makes will be watched for evidence that he’s making his former employer “suck it” big time.

FOR JIMENEZ IS the big White Sox star whom the Sout’ Siders acquired in a trade a few years ago with the Chicago Cubs. Jimenez was the guy whom the Cubbies knew had potential to be a big star – but they let him go in a trade to acquire a more-experienced pitcher.

Yes, Jose Quintana has been a solid pitcher for the Cubs – giving the ball club what they expected when they acquired him. Yet I can’t think of a single White Sox fan who’d rather have Quintana back.

Jimenez has finally made it to the major leagues this year, has had some big ballgames (particularly against the New York Yankees) and could very well join all those Cubano ballplayers the White Sox have acquired to create a talented (and potentially championship) ball club.

And now, due to the concept of inter-league play, the White Sox will be playing the Cubs. The White Sox will be the visiting ball club – traveling to the North Side for a two-game series.
Wound up winning Sox champ instead
YOU JUST KNOW that White Sox fandom will be rooting for Jimenez to be the big bat who beats the baby blue Cubbie bears over their batting helmet-clad heads. While I don’t doubt Cub-dom will hope that Jimenez turns out to be insignificant – or perhaps makes an error or strikes out at a key point in the game.

All so they can spew some trash talk that this Jimenez kid (he’s only 22 now) is a bust who won’t ever amount to anything special!
A Hall of Famer … for dreaded Cardinals

Of course, there have been several dozen ballplayers who managed to do time with both the White Sox and Cubs. There also are those players whom the Cubs have managed to let go – only to have them turn into stars somewhere else.

Take the case of Jon Garland, who back in 1997 was a first-round draft pick of the Cubs. Only to be traded to the White Sox a year later for more-experienced pitcher Matt Karchner.
White Sox would gladly have returned him

GARLAND EVENTUALLY DEVELOPED into a solid starting pitcher for the White Sox, and was a significant part of their pitching rotation in 2005 – the year they brought Chicago its first World Series victory in 88 years (and first of the 21st Century).

Before anyone starts thinking the key to the White Sox acquiring major league talent is to make a trade with the Cubs, I’m sure many Sox fans will recall the 1974 trade that saw Cubs legend Ron Santo have an absolutely awful (a .221 batting average, 5 home runs and 41 runs batted in) stint with the Sox.

That, even more than his overbearing, Cubbie-loving personality, is why his persona will always be detested on the South Side.

But it hasn’t always been good times for the Cubs and their fans, who had to endure decades of grief over the 1964 trade that saw then acquire pitcher Ernie Broglio in exchange for outfielder Lou Brock – who went on to become a St. Louis Cardinals star, a great base stealer, and a Hall of Famer.

THAT IS ONE trade that Cubs fans wish could be erased from baseball history. Or at least the chapters related to Wrigley Field.
Sox would have refused his return

I remember back when Cubs fans tried downplaying that deal by insisting that an even bigger embarrassment was the 1992 deal where the White Sox eagerly acquired slugging outfielder Jorge Bell for a skinny Dominican kid outfielder Sammy Sosa.

The same Sammy who bulked up and went on to hit all those home runs (600-plus), only to get tagged with tales that he used steroids and that his whole experience was a fraud. All the more reason why White Sox fans never felt any sense of loss at the trade while many Cubs fans now try to pretend that Sosa never really happened!

Although one wonders if Jimenez has the chance to become an even bigger embarrassment to the Cubs than any of these deals – if he continues to show his stardom in Chicago!


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