Admit it, you’ve been dying for another installment of my “Cubs Players as…” series. Or perhaps a more accurate way to put it in this case is that you’ve been undying for it. Thus far, I’ve tied the boys in blue to beers, incorrect song lyrics, and the Wu-Tang Clan. But with Season 5’s finale still fresh in my mind, I thought it apt to bring in the folks from TWD.
Given the recent throwing feats of Javier Baez, I could say something about The Walking Dead Red. or, based upon the exploits of Baez and the whole Cubs team team at the plate, it might be even more fitting to title them The Striking Out Dead. Actually, I do think I’ll set those potential headers aside for future use.
For now, though, let’s get on with the show (warning: minor TWD spoilers ahead)…
Anthony Rizzo – Rick
A bit of a reluctant leader at first, it took Rizzo a while to adjust to the brave new world of a team that had little talent and even less hope. He soon become more comfortable with his role though and is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure his team is successful, even if that means taking out an unsavory member of his newfound community.
Okay, Rizzo hasn’t actually executed anyone yet, though he certainly appeared ready to do so in Cincinnati when Mat Latos ran his mouth. And like Pete, I’m not sure too many folks would have felt really bad about Latos’ fate. The only thing missing from the Cubs first baseman now is a 5 o’clock shadow and skein of gore.
Joe Maddon – Carol
Sweet, meek Carol, a woman once trapped in an abusive relationship and who comes across as everyone’s mother, is actually a very capable survivor who doesn’t mind cracking some skulls. Maddon seems like kind of a laid-back, happy-go-lucky dude, but under that facade is a calculating baseball mind.
In the season finale, Carol basically put Rick in his place and told him how it needed to be; likewise, Maddon put Rick out of his place when the Cubs saw how it needed to be.
Jon Lester – Daryl
The picture of stoic bad-assery, Daryl Dixon is a Southern boy who loves to hunt and doesn’t bother mincing words, choosing instead to just go out and do his job. The Cubs’ new ace is similar, willing to fight ahead and allow others to do the talking while he goes about his dirty work.
I’m guessing Lester knows his way around a crossbow too.
Jake Arrieta – Glenn
When we first met Glenn, he didn’t really come across as a guy who’d be much good. At worst, he’d be an achor that dragged the group down and at best he’d be an expendable character who could serve as walker bait should things get really sideways. But Glenn’s really come into his own and has proven his worth time and again, even surviving the flu and a bullet to the shoulder.
A product of a deadline flip for Scott Feldman, Arrieta has elevated his game with the Cubs. After some shoulder issues of his own, the former Oriole has become an anchor for the Cubs rotation, but in a good way.
Javier Baez – Eugene
After all the talk of being a genius with knowledge of, and potential access to, a cure for the zombie apocalypse, Eugene turned out to be little more than a man in a mullet with a big vocabulary and a unique cadence. Baez could never sport a mullet due to the fact that it would cover up the MLB tat on his neck, but he’s scuffling along like his TWD counterpart right now.
The good news here is that Eugene has still maintained fan-favorite status, even if that’s driven partially by the fact people feel sorry for him after he caught a whoopin’ from Abraham and his ridiculous flattop. But after looking somewhat worthless at the start, Eugene eventually redeemed himself. So keep swinging, Javy, you’ll get there.
Jorge Soler – Michonne
One uses a katana, the other a bat. Both are lithe and powerful and driven by what appears to be a calculated rage simmering just below the surface. There was a sense early on that both might be lost causes, but that has turned and now both are viewed as integral parts of their respective groups’ success.
Starlin Castro – Carl
Just when you think he’s maturing into a solid contributor, he makes a decision that elicits a yell of “Carl!” Or maybe it’s “Starl!” Does it really matter? No matter how much good either does, it’s the boneheaded moves that get the most play and incite viewers to cry heartily for a change.
I’ve not yet heard any Cubs fans request that Castro be fed to the walkers, but discussing the possibility of trading him to the Mets is pretty much the same thing.
Kris Bryant – Morgan
We haven’t gotten to see much of him because his exploits over the past couple seasons have gone on largely out of view of the cameras. However, what little we have witnessed recently has been amazing. He’s tuned up all opposition with a quiet confidence that has everyone excited for the time when he’ll eventually join the group.
Both Morgan and Bryant swing a mean stick and both could be the key to survival for their teams.
Edwin Jackson – Gabriel
Every has that guy who just keeps sticking around, despite the fact that no one seems to want him there. He may even be doing things to actively prompt his expulsion from the group. Like the Sinister Minister, Edwin Jackson has been led astray and has failed to pull his own weight.
But then they’ll go and do something to make you think that maybe, just maybe, they could still end up being productive.
There are many more characters and many more rostered players to run through, but I fear that by going through them I’ll simply devolve even further into the realm of pointless absurdity. Too late, you say? Yeah, you’re probably right.