Junior Lake. NBA Summer League. TRADES.

23 year-old Cubs IF/OF was called up in time for the start of the team’s current road series against the Colorado Rockies. I admit, I was excited about the news. The Cubs have the opportunity to showcase young talent, in a lost season. Why not take advantage of that as soon as possible? So, when I heard that not only would Lakwme be promoted to the big leagues, but play center field as well…yeah. Yeah, yeah, Lake has only played 2 games so far, so there’s no need to cite any superficial numbers. And while Lake wasn’t by far among the more celebrated prospects during his time on the farm, he was still on the radar; a top-20 guy, easily. Despite the on-field calamities, it’s great that Cubs fans can at least get a glimpse of the future in some form.

I think I love you, NBA Summer League…

I am in love with baseball, but sometimes I mess around with basketball. There is an artistry to the game at times that is better than anything in any other sport. Perhaps it has to do with the overall rhythm of the sport, or that if you had to play basketball on wax, it would probably sound like jazz, but it’s hard to deny just how smooth basketball can be.

And then there’s the NBA Summer League, a tournament-style league for NBA rookies, hopefuls and some vets who still aren’t basketball players yet. It is sloppy, ugly, herky-jerk, selfish, clogged, bogged down, dumbed down and for every Gary Neal, there are dozens of 20-somethings from the league who won’t spend their June playing in the NBA Finals. They’ll be back home, working a “gig” until it’s time for basketball again.

Yet, as awful as the NBA Summer League is most of the time, I now have found that it is not “wack.” It’s simply different. These are different players, different refs, different coaches (mostly) and different circumstances, almost entirely. So what if 90% won’t do much in the following calendar year, 1st-round picks included? The playground-style is appealing, which is often the case because players are trying to make a statement. Fans get behind no-name guys after a mini-hot streak. EVERY PLAYER WEARS DIFFERENT SNEAKERS. The regular season may be jazz, but it’s summer is definitely gangster rap.

Do something, Theoyer!

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer know more about the Cubs and baseball than I do, generally speaking. I am man enough to admit this. They shouldn’t feel pressured to do anything by someone such as myself, regardless of what Jim Hendry or Steve Stone told them. So if Matt Garza is still a Cub because they weren’t happy with the medicals of the Rangers’ prospects, I don’t understand any perceived fault in that. If they didn’t like the return, so be it.

Admittedly, I’m anxious to see how they handle this Matt Garza mess. I’m sure there will be more difficult hurdles to overcome down the line, but this whole “Garza Trade Watch” crap is annoyingly exciting. Trade him, keep him and re-sign him, keep him and let him go in the winter for a compensatory pick; any choice and the front office will take shit for it. This is why I love baseball. This is why I love Cubs fans.


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