Well, yesterday was Wednesday, so that can mean only one thing: time for the Cubs to hire a new hitting coach.
We could see it coming. Anemic bats and a lackluster offense piss a fan base off to no end, so Jim Hendry did the one thing a good GM does to revive flagging run production: through a series of intelligent trades and smart free agent signings, he picked up some patient hitters with good power to...even I can't finish this sentence.
No, he did what Jim Hendry does: he changed coaches. Again. And this time, he did it in a spectaculary Hendrian way: a long term contract.
At first I was stunned that Hendry chose Hervé Villechaize for such a demanding position. I mean the man's main claim to fame is playing the lovable Tattoo from television's Fantasy Island, a show I'm pretty sure I watched as a very small child, but have no concrete memories of other than it gave Khan a chance to dress like Sonny Crockett. Of course, I mainly remember him as Nick Nack from the exquisitely awful Roger Moore Bond flick, The Man With the Golden Gun.
And while I'm aware that the entertainment industry has a long tradition of casting little people in major motion pictures (including such luminaries as Billy Bardy, Verne Troyer, Peter Dinklage, and Tom Cruise), baseball hasn't really followed suit (with the notable exceptions of Eddie Gaedel and Mike Fontenot).
I'm sure some think this signing is a tip of the cap to the late, great Bill Veeck, and a belated acknowledgement that the Cubs haven't really been a worthwhile franchise since a Veeck ran the show on the North Side. But I beg to differ.
First, the Cubs aren't so completely awful and low-attended that the fans need distractions to come to the ballpark. Yet. And Villechaize is a native Frenchman. Baseball has long had problems with Francophonic peoples, culminating in the near-30-year flirtation with Montreal baseball, an affair that ended in such an ugly manner than the team ended up moving to Washington, a city whose reputation for baseball suckitude was so widespread that even musical theatre types know it.
No. I know what this move is.
The Cubs have tried making coherent plans to win a World Series in the past. Clearly, they aren't good at that. At all.
No, they're shaking things up by challenging the notions of narrative and sense in public discourse. They're tapping into the unconscious, anti-reasoning dark side of human nature and making a comment to the sporting world that chaos and irrationality are the only solution to a rationalistic world that has led to global wars, corporate greed, and the continued existence of Aaron Miles.
And I, for one, salute this new avante-garde team. For too long have Cubs fans tried to make sense of the myriad asinine moves made by assorted front offices. Why not push it all the way, defying all sequential thought and causality? Why not sign a bitter, angry alcoholic, French midget to teach a team of multimillionaire atheletes how to hit?
Whoa. It turns out Villechaize has been dead for 16 years. GENIUS!
Oh. My mistake.
I guess that makes a lot more sense. He's had a hell of a lot more baseball experience. Assuming that the Cubs are planning on moving in the outfield walls, juicing like a Tropicana factory, and swinging for the stars, I support this move wholeheartedly.
So yeah...sorry about wasting your time. I really shouldn't have tried to do cogent analysis when I stopped following baseball in July. Next week, I'll write about Iron Maiden or post-punk or the hilarious results of teen pregnancy.
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