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I Fear For You Felix

Felix Pie carries himself well. He has a self confident swagger that transcends his occupation. If you saw Felix ordering a French Cruller and coffee at the local Dunkin Donuts your first thought would be “whatever that man does for a living I’m certain he does it damn well!”

Felix ordering a quick breakfast at DD-

• Felix wouldn’t fumble for change when the cashier rings up his order, Felix would have crisp bills ready for the offering before its totaled

• Felix would pronounce Cappuccino properly

• Felix knows what he wants to order as soon as he enters the store, but he waits for the cashier to ask because he’s urgent but not rushed

• Felix’s coffee never spills, however, if you happened to be standing next to Felix and you spilled some on yourself, Felix would instantaneously whisk his hands across the stain, absorbing the liquid with his fingertips, cleansing the fabric with his palms then flicking his hands with such meteoric speed that the coffee absorbed in his fingertips vaporizes into a fragrant brown mist and floats away. Usually before you even notice that the level of coffee in your cup has dropped. The man is quick……., and courteous.

It’s fair to say that I am pretty excited about the Felix Pie era.
He plays center field like a bird of prey; he doesn’t catch those shots to the gap so much as swoop in and attack them. You can literally feel his energy in center as he waits for that looping liner to short right that has web gem written all over it.

His base running is hypnotic. He as has efficient swiftness about him where his legs just glide in perfect knee pumping symmetry with his arms in rhythm while his torso stays still. He doesn’t just run fast, he runs cool!

He throws the ball like nobody I’ve ever seen. He’s got a little bit of Andre Dawson in his throws; the way the ball pays no attention to gravity and travels in a flawless Euclidean line to its intended target. But Dawson’s throws always had a shotgun ‘pop’ to them, he’d rear back, there’d be a pause,‘click,’ then the ball would explode out of his arm. Felix’s ball moves more as a magnetic pulse, there’s no click and bang, his throws don’t even make a sound, they circumvent the air molecules by spontaneous vacuum and reach their destination with UFO like speed and ease. His throws aren’t just the stuff of Cooperstown they’re the basis for Nobel prizes.

His hitting…… (No grandiose praise, not yet)

I can’t remember a Cub's player I was this excited about since Mark Prior….

(No Cubs fan can read that last sentence without a pang of regret, the hurt of expectations that seemed really, really reasonable at the time.)

It wasn’t so long ago that Mark Prior drew a similar brand of evocative adoration. The ease and precision with which he went about dispatching sluggers. The command, the confidence, the magnificent future we projected onto him.

It’s all gone now. The Prior dream wasn’t extinguished quickly, it was a long drawn out affair that slowly eroded any comeback optimism that might have lurked in a quiet corner of your blue blooded heart. The news this spring that he was staying in Arizona for the start of the season raised few eye brows. It was the same old story. The news that he was slated for season ending shoulder surgery without making pitch number 1 for the 2007 cubs only hurt because it came on the heels of a 5-11 home stand and reinforces a very common strain of persecution complex amongst cubs fans across the globe.

Are all of our franchise saviors destined for tragedy? I.e. Is Felix doomed?

Is he going be a bust like the much hyped Gary Scott?

Is he going to spark our imaginations for a year and then flame out beyond recognition like Jerome Walton?

Will he make a multi season ascent to every day player and then show a half season of all-star potential like Corey Patterson only to injure his knee and return the next season to swing at every high fastball and become such a petulant head case that even mentioning his name to any Cubs fan brings about a cursing rage that lasts into at least 3 innings.

Does it have to be this way?

The thing you have to understand, no, the thing you have to believe, is that it isn’t this way. Everybody brings up the Jerome Walton’s and the Corey Patterson’s when they talk about rookie call ups with oodles potential. Nobody ever brings up Mark Grace, Greg Maddux, or Carlos Zambrano.

It’s easier to remember the failures because pain and failure has a sticking quality that steady success doesn’t seem to have. But don’t put your baggage on Felix! There is no curse, no hex, and no tendon snapping paint in the Cubs clubhouse. Felix’s baseball career with the Cubs will rise and fall based on actions and skills totally (mostly) unrelated to the futile history of the Cubs.

But I’m human, and I can’t help but to fear for you Felix


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 9, 2007 12:33 AM.

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