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June 24, 2012

BP Unfiltered

A More Honest Response to Trade Rumors

by Colin Wyers

Sabermetric analysis of the Cubs at this point of the season seems mostly pointless; there is exactly one formula you need to analyze the 2012 squad:

loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding × guilt × shame × failure × judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side

The Cubs: It’s a way of Anti-Life.

So it was with great amusement that I read Darwin Barney spout the typical clichés when a player on a hopeless team is part of trade rumors:

‘‘It’s almost funny to read some of the stuff because it’s so frequent,’’ Barney said of trade rumors that have circled the Cubs like vultures since May. ‘‘But it’s just part of the game, and it’s part of being on a team that’s not necessarily in contention at this time of the year.’’

‘‘If anything, it just creates an unknown,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not necessarily an anxiety, but it’s just a feeling of what-if. But that goes away really fast because you go to the cage, start working, getting ready for your day, and it just feels like it couldn’t happen. Until it does.’’

He laughs a little at that.

‘‘You just never know,’’ he said. ‘‘You have a job to do, and that’s what’s first and foremost, and that’s what we all focus on.’’

I like the bit about “not necessarily in contention” – that goes out of its way to be polite to Cubs fans. The rest, though, pretty much comes from the Crash Davis School of Media Relations. Just once I would like to see a baseball player say something actually interesting in response to such a question, something like this:

What do I think about the possibility of being traded to some other team? I think that’s amazing. That’s the happiest thing that’s likely to happen to me today, you asking me that very question.

I’ve got a friend whose house just burned to the ground. While he was standing outside, watching every possession he had in the world burn, his wife told him she was having an affair, and she got picked up by her lover and they sped away into the night. As he watched her leave, his work called him to say they’d declared bankruptcy and that he wouldn’t be needed anymore. So I called him to see how he was doing, see if there was anything I could do to help. He paused for a second, and then said “You play for the Cubs, right? Don’t worry about me, you’ve got enough problems of your own.”

I went to church recently for the first time in years. While we were all bowing our heads in prayer, the only thing I said to the Lord was, “Oh please, God, let me be traded to another team. Any other team. Just not this one.”

What do I think about being traded to another team? I think I’m not ☠☠☠☠ing lucky enough for that to happen, and I just keep hoping that I’m wrong.

Just, y’know, once.

Colin Wyers is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Colin's other articles. You can contact Colin by clicking here

Related Content:  Chicago Cubs,  Cubs,  Trade Rumors,  Darwin Barney

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