Harden and ... ugh ... Heilman Staying. Hooray?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Harden and ... ugh ... Heilman Staying. Hooray?

. Monday, August 31, 2009

I haven't seen such an ugly use of stirrups since I stumbled into that gynecologist's office in Kentucky

Despite some last minute harrumphing, Super Awesome When Healthy Rich Harden and run-machine fatty Aaron Heilman are staying put at 1060 W Addison for the remainder of the season. For me, it's the very definition of "mixed reaction."

We'll start with the bad - keeping that useless sack of shit Aaron Heilman. I didn't like the move when we made it. It reminded me too much of the early '90s Cubs front office ethos: Find a once-promising player that has repeatedly and demonstrably failed, sign the guy, and tout it as an important player move. Garret Olson, the prospect we gave up for him, hasn't amounted to anything in Seattle. But I'd still say that we came out on the short end of things because we've had to watch this guy pitch for the entire 2009 season. And that's just painful. I feel like Jim Hendry took Will Ohman, fed him a bunch of chili dogs, put the glove on the other hand, and put him out on the mound hoping we wouldn't notice. I really, really wanted to pen one of WAIW's traditional "So Long, Suckass" columns to the man. But no, he's still at the Friendly Confines, farting around in the bullpen. Oh well.

Not bad for a Canadian

Whereas most up-and-down Cubs piss me off to no end (MARMOLLLLLL!), I really like Rich Harden. I attended his first game as a Cub last year at Wrigley on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. From my customary vantage point up at the top of the 500 section, I watched him absolutely crap-hammer the San Francisco Giants for 5 1/3 innings. If you check out the box score, it doesn't look like much of a noteworthy performance. Yet having been there, I can tell you that it's one of the most dominant performances I've seen in my many games at Wrigley. He struck out 10 that day, and cut through the Giants lineup so quickly that I was actually pretty surprised when he left the game. It didn't feel like he'd thrown 96 pitches. Then Marmol came in with a 7-2 lead and tossed off an inning that I always cite when defending a fan's right to boo. Then Reed Johnson won it in the 11th, because that is exactly what 2008-era Reed Johnson did. The emotional rollercoaster was akin to a menopausal lady watching a Lifetime Original Movie.

Plays America's game well,yet enjoys mayo on his fries. He's an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a cotton/poly blend

I know that given time, Harden's tenure with the Cubs will be no more than a minor note in his career. I know that he's had some truly fucked-up starts (I was at Wrigley on July 4th). I know that keeping him healthy takes as much witchdoctery as science. But damned if I don't enjoy seeing him in a Cubs uniform every time - something I'll be doing tonight for very probably the last time.