In the midst of the breaking news about the trade of Tony Campana, the Chicago Cubs slipped a little bit of news into their press conference. Matt Garza, who left his first spring training outing with what was called a “minor strained lat” in his left side, is going to undergo an MRI.
Now, if I were to ask you what the bigger deal was to Cubs Nation, you would undoubtedly say the injury to Garza would be the greater cause for alarm. At least, any sane minded Cub fan would tell you what bigger story was. On one hand you have Garza, one of the best starting pitchers in the Cubs rotation being injured and potentially missing the start of the season. On the other hand, you have the trade of Campana, who could not do anything for a major league team but run, and had no place on the current 25 man roster.
Logically speaking, you would not have to think too hard about what the bigger story would be or what should be on the front page of the sports news section of any news site. Losing Garza, for even a portion of the season is the bigger and more damaging news that came out today. Garza is the ace of the Cubs pitching staff, and is one of the biggest trade chips the Cubs might have going into the season. If he is injured and misses time, any chance (no matter how small) of the Cubs contending this season go out the window. On top of all that, his missing time this season (no matter how briefly) damages his trade value tremendously. This is, of course, what is monopolizing the discussions in the world of the Cub fans right?
You would think that the Garza story would be what is generating the most news on the various Cub Facebook pages or on Twitter, but you would be wrong. In fact, your assumption of the Garza news monopolizing the discussion would be as wrong as the Dewey defeats Truman headline from many years ago.
Sadly, the majority of Cub fans are not talking about the injury of Garza, or worrying about much time he may miss. Nope, all their attention is focused squarely on the Cubs trade of Campana. A majority of Cub fans are all moaning and groaning about how the Cubs made a “boneheaded move” trading away the great Campana. They are worried this might turn into another Lou Brock trade, and are damning the Cubs front office for getting rid of the gritty fan favorite.
Forget that Campana had blazing speed for a moment. What else did he ever do that made Cub fans fall in love with him? Take a minute to think about that question. Imagine, if you can, that Campana was slow. Was there any other part of his game that made you take notice of him? Would he ever of gotten a sniff of a major league roster? I would be willing to bet that no one would have ever heard of him.
He is a great guy, and has a great story to go with everything that he is, both on and off the field of play. He overcame great odds just to be alive and to get to where he is at. Are those accomplishments worthy of a roster spot anywhere in sports? I get the fans love for his grittiness, and his try hard attitude. I do, I really understand why he is such a likeable guy. But I have no idea where some fans get the idea that he is a great player.
But the love affair Cub fans have for this guy is ridiculous. That the trade of a 25th man overshadows the injury of one of the most important pieces on a team’s roster goes beyond the usual meatball logic.