Saturday, December 12, 2015

The great unmentionable

No, no, no. No. A thousand times no.

You can tie me to a chair and make me listen to Harry Caray butcher Rafael Palmeiro's name ("Rafael Paler-mo") a million times. I won't do it.

You can tie me to the outfield wall and let the ivy smother me. I refuse.

You can ply me with Old Style, set Clark the Bear on me, lock me up in the Billy Goat next to, well, the billy goat, and also the ghost of Mike Royko.

I am not going to say That Thing.

I am not going to declare that the Chicago Cubs are now the you-know-whos to do you-know-what, just because they won the offseason. Yes, they have an exciting young team that won 97 games last season with a pitching staff anchored by Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta. Yes, they have the NL Manager of the Year in Joe Maddon. Yes, they've just gotten yea better by doing some frighteningly competent stuff in free agency, like pry the Cardinals' best playoff pitcher away from thenm, and pry their best young everyday player away from them, and sign an infielder who helped the Kansas City Royals win the World Series, and whom everyone wanted.

That would be Ben Zobrist, and the Cubs got him. Got John Lackey, too. And, yesterday, they landed the young Cardinals' slugger, Jason Heyward, who's only 26 and coming into his prime and who, in his first five seasons, hit 97 home runs and drove in 352.

So, to review: Not only did the Cubs whip their hated rivals in the playoffs, they whipped 'em in free agency, too. Scary.

It's so scary, in fact, that lots of people will be tempted to say That Thing.

Not me. I will not. I will not speak the words. The world can erupt in a series of cataclysmic events unseen for a certain number of years beyond 100, but you'll never hear me speak that certain number or give the game away by capitalizing those certain two words you just read in this sentence.

And don't tell me you don't know what two words. I'm not falling for that.

Even if you stake me out behind Leon Durham and fire a succession of baseballs between his famously spread wickets. Uh-uh.

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