So one day in spring training, a couple other sportswriters and I are watching Cubbie savior-to-be Starlin Castro take batting practice. Bang! Single. Snap! Double into the gap. Bang! Single. Snap! Double into the gap. It was impressive.
I couldn't see who was pitching, only that it was a lefty, and I asked one of my fellow scribes which minor leaguer was on the mound serving up meatballs to the savior-to-be.
"That's no minor leaguer," one said. "That's John Grabow."
The guy the Cubs just threw $7 million at to be their primary left-handed setup man.
Fast forward to Wednesday night, when Grabow threw a pitch so fat and tasty that Chipper Jones had no choice but to hit it into the bleachers for the homer that won the game and spoiled Ryan Dempster's sterling start. This after most of the rest of the relief corps looked pathetic in the opening loss in Atlanta.
You know, Dusty Baker said lots of things during his time in Cubbieland, many wacky but some quite wise. This notable Dustyism fits into the latter category - and appears to cover the current edition of his former club quite nicely:
"If you ain't got a bullpen, you ain't got nuthin'."