Saturday, August 05, 2017

August Happiness Challenge: Day 5

 Rizz is happy about his teammate
On Day Five, John Lackey made me happy. I worry about John Lackey. At 38, he's one of the (if not the) oldest Cubs on the roster. Last year he was key to our magic 2016 run to the World Championship. This year, he's struggling.

There have been whispers that he's passed it. He's old. He can't go deep anymore. He should be sent to the bullpen or DFA (designated for assignment).

There's an unseemly glee to all the buzz. Yes, Lackey is prickly. He snarls at umpires, at batters, his teammates and even birds if they get in his way when he's pitching. Other players seem to accept this as "John being John." But fans and reporters haven't embraced him.

GRRRR ....
Oh yeah, and on a team with four or five matinee idols, Lackey stands out as being scary looking. No car dealers or local restaurant chains have snapped Lackey up as their spokesman. I've never seen a kid wearing a Lackey jersey to the park. He's too intense and intimidating. I get that.

But all this makes me care about him more. If his manager and teammates stand by him, so do I. And today, he beat one of the best teams in the league, The Washington Nationals. It was his fourth straight win. OK, so he only went five innings. Whatever. He faced 22 batters and only gave up two earned runs and got a W next to his name.

I don't expect John Lackey to be a Cub in 2018. But as long as he's wearing Cubbie blue, he's one of my guys. And it made me happy to see the Cubs -- led by Lackey -- win today.

If you want to play along, just come back here (meaning to this blog, not this individual post) each day in August, looking for the Happy Cub. Every day I will try to have a post with the headline: August Happiness Challenge: Day [X]. Leave a comment and then post your own daily happiness, with August Happiness Challenge in the title to make it easy to find.

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