Ever since the moment Todd Walker signed his deal, he has always maintained that he is here to help the team any way he can. He is not here to cause a controversy at second base. As I watched Instant Replay last night on WGN, Hendry reaffirmed that was how Walker felt. He apparently told Hendry that he had enough money and that he was here to win a World Series. This whole situation sparks a number of questions in my mind.
First, why can’t more players now a day have attitudes like Walker this year and Karros last year? These are guys that could and should start at their respective positions on a lot of teams yet they willingly accept a back up role for the greater good of the team. Athletes in general these days have the ME first, TEAM second attitude. I understand that everyone needs to get paid, but at some point you would have to get to the point that a bigger paycheck won’t do any more than put a little more in your savings. I think a lot of players miss out on the actual priviledge they have to be able to make a huge amount of money to play a game. Todd gets it. Karros got it. Pudge, A-Rod, etc are clueless. If this is a team game, everyone on the team must play team first, player second for the team to be effective. I applaud Walker and hope that his sacrifice for the good of the team will wear off on not only our team, but sports in general.
The second question that keeps running through my head is: Why isn’t Walker starting for us? At the beginning of the offseason, one of the major wholes people listed for the Cubs was SS. We are stuck with Gonzalez who fields like he has a glove this size of Texas, but couldn’t hit his weight. It’s not like last year was a bad year either. He is a career .243 hitter. It used to be that all your SS was there for was to field. These days, SS’s need to be good hitters. Gonzo is anything but. The main reason Walker is not starting is because our second baseman last year hit .314 last year and played a great 2b. That’s fine, I am cool with not replacing Grudzielanek. What is making me angry is that we have a guy who hit .283 on the bench. Why not shift Grudzielanek to SS to replace Gonzo and let Walker play 2b? Grudzielanek was a SS in Montreal so he wouldn’t be learning a new position. Gonzo could ride the bench and be the back up until we release him next year. I hope that this is what Dusty has in mind. What do you all think?
Finally, Mark Prior got hurt today. This is not even worth talking about because he just needs a few days rest. He is in great shape and will be fine.