We all knew this would happen. After seeing this happen time and time again, this was inevitable. Any time the Chicago Cubs let go of a player, they always come back to bite the hand that once fed them. This very situation happened for what seems like the millionth time in the history of this franchise, happened yet again today.
Allow me to set the scene for you. In today’s Spring Training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the bases were loaded, and their manager Kirk Gibson made the move he had to make, he brought in his secret weapon off the bench to pinch hit. That’s right, Gibson brought in the great Tony Campana. With the bases loaded, and the Diamondbacks already leading the Cubs 4-2, the game was still in the balance, and whatever Campana did could ultimately decide the outcome of this game. The manager of the Cubs, Dale Sveum, knew he had to counter this masterful move from his rival across the field, and motioned to his bullpen. He brought in Blake Parker to replace the struggling Rafeal Dolis. You could cut the tension with a knife.
The home crowd erupted when Campana stepped into the batter’s box, whether out of love for the recently departed Cub, or the fact that they forgot he had been traded, they cheered. Parker knew he could not let Campana beat him, or his already slim chances of making the big league club out of camp would take a fatal blow. That is when the inevitable happened. That is when the impossible took place. Campana, the man who could never get the ball out of the infield, hit a two run double to increase the Diamonbacks lead over the Cubs to 6-2, and the crowd went wild once again.
The Campana offensive explosion did not stop there either. In his very next at bat, he hit a triple of off Casey Coleman. He is doing what everyone knew he would do if only he was given the chance to do so. He is making the Cubs look completely foolish for trading him away at the ripe old age of 27. They should have known better, and made him the leadoff hitter and starting center fielder instead of signing Scott Hairston or Nate Schierholtz. I tell ya, I have no idea what the Cubs were thinking when they gave up on that stud.
Of course, you knew this would happen, the Cubs made a massive mistake in getting rid of the next Lou Brock for two 17 year old Dominican pitchers. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer should be fired, and the Cubs banned from ever making another trade again, because this always happens. This happens every damn time they make a trade.
Forget that this is still Spring Training, and he is hitting against pitchers that likely will not sniff the majors this year unless there are a string of injuries. Do not pay attention to the fact that the air in Arizona carries the ball better than anywhere else (almost as much as in Colorado). Also, forget that even the pitchers who know they will not make the club out of training camp are working on pitches and do not care much about the result. The simple sight of Campana hitting the ball in meaningless games against pitchers who do not belong on a major league roster proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt that he will be the greatest outfielder in the history of the game.
Yes, Campana had a great meaningless game and yes, he did so against the Cubs. But, this one game where he actually looks like a major league hitter is completely meaningless. Wait until he does something worthwhile against a real major league proven pitcher when they are not just trying to get stretched out, or working on various pitches. Wait until April 1 when the season starts, if he even is able to break camp with the big league club. Until then, all his so called accomplishments mean nothing, and do not show that the Cubs made a mistake on giving up on him. He is not a major league hitter, at the end of the day, despite his ejaculation of offensive contributions in one spring training game, all he will ever be is a 25th man. His greatest contribution to every team he plays for in his career, will come as a pinch runner off the bench.