The offseason can be a cold and dark place sometimes. The Cubs aren’t likely to bid for any FA’s of note anymore as we enter year 2 of the grand rebuilding project that TheoCo has imagined for a franchise in desperate need of it. We are also, in all likelihood looking at another year of 90+ losses. Let’s not worry about that for now. Join me as I take a step back from the hot stove and suggest animal spirit guides for the Cubs starting 9.
Once, quite some time ago, I dated a girl who was very much in touch with nature and into her spiritualism. She had a set of animal totems that guided her through different stages of her life. I’ve largely blocked this relationship from my mind for a lot of reasons (yes, her druid-like nature is one of them), but I do still recall some of the totems and their meanings.
What follows is a lighthearted guide for the Cubs. I will be recommending spirit guides, but it’s all for the giggles.
TheoCo. – Animal Spirit Guide: The Ant
There are a few options for the patient builder or the leader in the animal spirit world. There are certain aspects that the collective known as TheoCo (A term coined by my friend Tony Leva to combine Theo, Jed, and McLeod) that can be described as the wolf, who is a patient teacher and a pathfinder. Perhaps Theo on his own is the Wolf, but the Cubs front office is indeed a collective, and what describes a group working for one goal more than the Ant?
It is the best builder in the animal kingdom. Several moving parts come together and form a single consciousness as they all work towards a common goal. The Ant is content in knowing and practicing patience in the build. The Ant will get what it wants, it will get what it works for.
David DeJesus – Animal Spirit Guide: The Bear
David DeJesus is a patient ballplayer, he draws walks at a decent clip and he has some surprising pop. For David the Bear is the proper animal to guide him through the 2013 season. The Bear is a leader, and that will be a role David will have to play with this team. The Bear knows patience, leadership, and fearlessness in defending itself. David is also a good defender, David is the Bear.
Nate Schierholtz – Animal Spirit Guide: The Caribou
Nate has a great arm and he is a very good defensive right fielder. He is also apparently jacked underneath the uniform. The Caribou was my original choice because it stands for physical fitness. The Caribou also symbolizes navigating difficult waters through transition, staying afloat, and discovering that which is hidden. For Nate that is the perfect spirit guide for 2013 as he will try to discover usefulness that has been lost to him over these recent years. Nate symbolizes the Cubs desire to stay afloat through difficult times as well as they will try to maximize his run prevention skills to help the pitching staff.
Anthony Rizzo – Animal Spirit Guide: The Ram
For me there was no more obvious choice on this list. The Ram symbolizes inner strength and breaking through barriers. Anthony has experienced much difficulty in his personal life and he has also broken through professional barriers. Other characteristics of the Ram: Power, Force, Drive, Energy, Virility, Protection, Fearlessness.
Alfonso Soriano – Animal Spirit Guide: The Beetle
Alfonso is a tough guy to peg. He has gone through a few career make overs. He was a butcher at second for the Yankees, was traded to the Rangers and was a defensive butcher at second there too. He was moved to Washington, transitioned to the outfield, lost his wheels and 30/30 skills, became an Andre Dawson type hitter and has settled into an interesting position of being oddly productive and visually maddening.
The Beetle is about regeneration and resurrection. The Beetle is a transitioning spirit guide, it symbolizes metamorphosis and change. Alfonso has changed constantly in his career. He was just taught how to properly play OF defense last year and it’s done wonders. Alfonso’s last transition should be to the DH position, so the Beetle is perfect for a soul in flux.
Starlin Castro – Animal Spirit Guide: The Starfish
There are a few other spirit guides that would be appropriate for Starlin. The Parrot symbolizes developing skill. The Grasshopper symbolizes a leap forward. There is one spirit guide that is developing that makes sense and embodies all of Starlin. The Starfish symbolizes hope, inspiration, and using crisis as a platform for growth. Other Starfish qualites: a capacity for immense regeneration, resenting being categorised or incorrectly pigeonholed, the will to survive. This spirit guide should get Starlin through the difficult 2013 season as he works to establish his own star at the MLB level.
Ian Stewart – Animal Spirit Guide: The Pelican
This is the one assigned guide that is the most about wishful thinking. The Rockies already won the Colvin trade, so the Cubs are merely trying to retain any baseball value Ian has left. The Pelican is about rising to the top no matter what gets thrown their way. The Pelican finds usefulness in hidden veins, it overcomes obstacles. The Pelican will hopefully guide Ian to whatever success he can realistically have during this season and beyond.
Welington Castillo – Animal Spirit Guide: The Rhino
The Rhino is often misunderstood. It is a physically large creature, but it is a docile animal. The Rhino compels us to appreciate all that is around us. Wellington’s playing time is a gift in that it means Dioneer and Steve are not playing. That fact alone is worth giving thanks for all around us.
Darwin Barney – Animal Spirit Guide: The Red Kangaroo
Darwin is a superior defender. Darwin is quick and sure handed. Darwin has above average range, advanced fielding instincts, and a natural feel for secondbase. For Darwin the Kangaroo is an ideal spirit guide. The Kangaroo is a warrior, she is responsible, she is protective, she is instinctive, and she is quick. She avoids excess and she can assess obstacles quickly. Darwin and the Red Kangaroo are clearly one.
Matt Garza – Animal Spirit Guide: The Woodchuck
Matt symbolizes a difficult decision. Should the Cubs keep Matt, should they trade him? What offer should the seek out, what offer should they accept? What is the wise thing to do with Matt? What is the proper package to receive for Matt? So why is the Woodchuck the perfect guide for Matt? The Woodchuck teaches how to use one’s resources wisely (which would also hopefully make Matt a more efficient pitcher). The Woodchuck/Groundhog knows when to stay above ground or when to go under. The Woodchuck is a guide for what to do in the face of difficult decisions.
Matt needs the Woodchuck.