There is so much negativity every day out there. But here’s something nice. And one of the reasons I love people so much.
Jake Arrieta was traded to the Cubs from Baltimore in 2013 for two guys named Scott and a bucket of mud. He was so bad the Cubs sent him to the minors twice that year.
But something happened in 2014. The coaching, the catchers, the team? Who knows but he began to transform into an amazing pitcher.
In 2015 he no-hit the Dodgers, pitched a complete game in the NL Wild Card game and easily earned the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the NL.
In 2016 he was one of the anchors for the Cubs winning the World Series. On the way there he crushed a home run in San Francisco off Madison Bumgarner. And then he won two games in the 7 game epic series against the Indians.
Early last year his contract ended and the Philadelphia Phillies offered him $75 million over three years. The Cubs chose to spend about that much on a different pitcher, one Yu Darvish.
Because life is weird, Jake never faced the Cubs last year at Wrigley Field, but tonight he did. And because National League baseball is superior, pitchers bat, like the Founders intended.
And as fate would have it, Yu is pitching against him. But before the young Japanese hurler could begin, the crowd at the Friendly Confines lived up to their name and gave their once favorite son a huge ovation. And because Darvish is a gentleman, when he heard the roar, he stepped off the mound so the crowd could embrace the man who was so vital to that all-important championship.
I am tearing up typing this because it is so beautiful. I love these fans so much and I am one of them. This is what gratefulness is. This is what sportsmanship is. This is love.