“You guys are acting like you just won Game 7 of the World Series.”
“At least we’re above .500.”
“Lol, hope your two fans enjoyed it.”
I think that sums up the response to Eloy Jiménez’s two-run, go-ahead blast (and White Sox win) at Wrigley Field last night, right?
Normally, those retorts might elicit some type of response, but last night, I just couldn’t muster up the ability to care. The crown jewel of this long, laborious rebuild arrived in a shove-it-down-your-throat fashion, unlike any prospect in recent memory; and you know what? Anyone who was taken by surprise can’t say that I (we) didn’t warn you.
If I were to write out how I wanted last night’s game to go, I still don’t think it would’ve been as goosebump-enducing as what actually happened. Traded from the Cubs to the White Sox (along with hopeful ace Dylan Cease, plus Matt Rose and Bryant Flete) in exchange for the rock-solid Jose Quintana, Jiménez became a White Sox with little fanfare outside of Palhose’ fans and other national pundits.
Understandably so, news centered around the playoff-bound Cubs’ acquisition of a potential top-of-the-rotation piece that could push their playoff hunt a bit further. While it hasn’t been all roses thus far, it’s hard to say that Quintana has been a complete disappointment in producing for the North Siders.
All the while, like a nice football Sunday stew, Jiménez has been simmering in the minors. Simmering might not be the word — scorching? To the point where he was the second-most-talked-about minor leaguer to Vlad Guerrero Jr. I tried to explain to the more casual baseball fans (a lot of Cubs fans) that I came across, I really did. Conversations usually went something like this:
Person: “How are the White Sox doing?”
Me: “Not great — but we’ve got a GUY coming. His name is Eloy Jiménez and he’s tearing up minor league baseball. Dude literally took out a light in a home run derb..”
Person: *walks away*
We only had to wait two years, but now I think everyone is realizing it wasn’t just the usual “oh, we should be good soon” type of stuff.
Well, we’re here.
I know everybody saw it, but if you didn’t take a close enough look, you need to find the TV footage of Eloy as he crosses home plate following his broken-bat blast. The smile on his face, the clapping of his hands — it all couldn’t be more genuine. You think that WE wanted that as fans? Eloy, in front of his former team’s fanbase, well, he wanted it more.
So, world, get ready to know Eloy Jiménez really, really well. He smiles a lot, he says hi to his Mom and lord, does he crush baseballs.