david dejesus cubsIt feels a little odd to sit down with the intention of writing a “farewell” post to David DeJesus.

For one thing, the guy might be back after the season, and, for another, he’s still in Chicago, sitting in the other dugout. But the main reason it feels odd is that DeJesus, although a starter, was something of a role player on a couple very bad Cubs teams. He put up decent numbers, but nothing that would win him any awards. He wasn’t even here two years, and he was signed on a short-term deal to be a complementary veteran presence. This isn’t Derrek Lee or Carlos Zambrano or Ryan Dempster or Aramis Ramirez or Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Marmol departing. It isn’t even Jim Hendry.

David DeJesus has no connection with the Cubs of our recent memory, and yet I’m compelled to offer a melancholy farewell. Why is that?

Easy. In his short time with the Cubs, DeJesus quickly and completely won the affections of the fans, his teammates, the coaching staff, and the front office. Go about your business with a good attitude? Check. Work hard all year long? Check. Focus intensely during the game while still keeping your teammates up? Check. Grind at bats and put up solid, if unspectacular, numbers befitting your contract? Check. Change positions when asked without a peep? Check. Be an all-around solid player and teammate? Check.

DeJesus accomplished quite a bit in his not-quite two years with a bad Cubs team, and that’s why it doesn’t feel completely odd to write a “farewell” to David DeJesus. He isn’t Derrek Lee or Carlos Zambrano or Ryan Dempster or Aramis Ramirez or Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Marmol, and he wasn’t brought in by Jim Hendry.

Actually, he was the first guy brought in by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.

Maybe that’s part of the feeling, too.

The “reason” for a trade rarely fits inside a nicely square box. That is especially true when you’ve got a trade that, at first blush, is difficult to explain for either side, as this trade initially was. In the end, it was probably about the money. And the roster spot. And seeing more of Brian Bogusevic and Ryan Sweeney. And about the possibility of getting DeJesus back for a lesser price. And about the PTBNL or cash.

That collective “reason” produces a little cognitive dissonance when discussing a guy like DeJesus, for all the laudatory traits discussed above. We like DeJesus. We think he was a good part of the team. We enjoyed watching him play, which is, after all, what baseball is all about: enjoying the game. So, separating ourselves momentarily from the perfectly reasonable justifications for making the trade, we feel a bit bummed. That’s OK to admit, even as part of your brain starts cooly calculating what the Cubs can do with the $2.5 million they saved, who the PTBNL might be (if there’s a PTBNL at all), and how the Cubs might get DeJesus back on a much cheaper deal.

Sometimes we’re too quick – I certainly am – to intellectually turn players in assets and assets into contracts and contracts into inputs and inputs into statistics and statistics into future production. There’s nothing wrong with doing that dance – it has its time and place – but it’s also OK to step back and think about the players that make the game worth watching in the first place.

And that’s when I think about David’s wife, Kim. It’s rare that a fan base feels like it got to know a player’s significant other – outside of a sleazy slideshow, I mean – and I’m very glad that Cubs fans got to know a little bit of Kim. It wasn’t just that she was funny or beautiful. She offered a lens through which we could view David DeJesus, the man. (The very lucky man.) Kim’s active, accessible presence on social media humanized her husband in a way fans rarely get to see. He played with his son. He went shopping. He had a wife who was nervous about him getting traded. He was a real person.

That real person lived in some Cubs laundry for a while, and now he’s living in another team’s laundry. Dealing him was a rational, reasonable thing to do. Being a little bummed about it may not be rational or reasonable, but it’s a part of being a fan.

Best of luck the rest of the year to the DeJesuses. Thanks for the fun, and we’ll see you when we see you.

  • Cerambam

    “but it’s also OK to step back and think about the players that make the game worth watching in the first place….

    …..And that’s when I think about David’s wife, Kim.”

    I actually laughed out loud

  • Kevin F.

    On the face of it, it’s pretty easy to understand why the Cubs released DeJesus. But when you consider the whole idea of signing the guy and installing him as the CF and leader, I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out why sacrificing that to save what amounts to a little money (that won’t be spent on an upgrade) is a good move.

  • Danny Ballgame

    Good article Brett. Hard not to like the guy.

  • TWC

    “It’s rare that a fan base feels like it got to know a player’s significant other – outside of a sleazy slideshow, I mean – and I’m very glad that Cubs fans got to know a little bit of Kim.”

    Well, *you* might feel like you got to know Kim DeJesus a little bit, but if the comments on this site are any indication, she was little more than eye candy to most. Her social media accessibility probably added to that. There have been very few times where DeJesus’s name came up in comment here that didn’t include some variation of the following: “Trade DeJesus, keep his wife!”

    • frank

      That’s true–although I think that the social media accessibility was a bit of a double-edged sword, it did add to the humanizing aspect of things as well. I know it did for me–like most others, I thought of her pretty much as the beautiful “other half,” and I too, posted things like “if DeJesus is traded, his wife stays.” However, I found, especially near the trade deadline, that it was hard not to see her, and through that family lens, him, as human in a way that I have never seen players before.

      Btw–did you ever sign your contract? Are we going to see you in the Arizona Fall League?

  • AdamAE24

    Seems like a really nice guy…but come on. He was a Cub for a year and a half, hit in the high .250s, and hit 15 home runs in total.

    If DeJesus was the guy winning the affection of the fans, then its pretty obvious why the franchise is terrible right now.

    If DeJesus wants to come back on a $2 mil per year salary and be a fan favorite by all means do it. It will be well within his rights to resign with a new team after the Nationals pay him to go away. Next year, for $6.5 million, the Cubs were going to say thanks but no thanks, and try to find a piece thats going to help them be competitive in the future.

  • True(ly) Blue

    I liked Double D because I always thought that he focused and played at 100%. He is not the greatest player the Cubs ever had but he made the most out of his skills because he always “played hard”. That’s a trait that too many pros with great skills don’t have.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Not a flattering picture of David. He’s either impersonating a t-rex trying to bite someone or has a crick in his neck. Either way, farewell David. You play the game the right way, even if you’re not a star. Hopefully he will find further success.

    • ssckelley

      He was singing along during the 7th inning stretch.

  • Segal27

    Does anyone know find a video of the standing ovation he got?

    • steve

      its on his page on facebook David Dejesus

  • fortyonenorth

    I have two kids in the formative years of learning to play baseball. It was great to have a guy on the Cubs who I could point to and say, “Like that…”

  • Frank

    DeJesus was good a teammate, but the bottom line is to win the World Series. I’d give my left nut to see the Cubs win the World Series. As a matter of fact, I’d give both of them because I’m married, but I’d have to ask my wife to give them back to me.

  • scorecardpaul

    I usually only post when dempster or diehard piss me off, but lets face the facts, David DeJesus was not going to win anything for the Cubs. The Cubs moved on and so should we as fans. I can’t wait for the day when we actually have real players at the major league level that we can get behind. This team has a very long way to go. Lets not waste our time talking about players of this level. This post makes BN look like a bunch of 2 year olds who have never seen a good baseball player. The small piece of Chicago Cub history that is David DeJesus has been surpassed by thousands of Chicago Cub players before, and hopefully after him.

    • Funn Dave

      Why don’t you take a look at some of the Cubs’ numbers? How many of those “real players” on our roster have higher averages than DeJesus? Not many, huh? Not even the ones who are supposed to be stars. This team’s pretty damn pathetic this year, but it would be even more so without David. We’re voicing our appreciation for what he’s done for our team–for a relatively modest amount of money and with almost no renown–and if you have a problem with that, well feel free to F right off.

      • On The Farm

        “well feel free to F right off.”

        Funn Dave is not so fun when he is angry. HULK SMASH!

      • hansman1982

        YA! Hey, Tony Campana would probably put up a higher BA than most of our regulars! TRADE FOR HIM NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Mr. B. Patient

          Because Tony Campana can’t walk, and as we all know, the walk is the most important thing a hitter can do.

        • MichiganGoat

          Long live the power of batting average- the only true stat.

      • scorecardpaul

        Fun Dave,
        chill out a bit ok. You are obviously cementing my point. Don’t get so damned excited about him, he was average at best. and yes, the whole team pretty much sucks right now. That was my point
        Lets act like we are loosing something when we are actually loosing a player that matters.
        My point was simply this….. if you are 2 years old you might really miss him. If, on the other hand, you have ever seen a real baseball player that we should be getting excited about then you shouldn’t miss him at all.

        • scorecardpaul

          and fun dave, you act like a child when you say whatever that mature thing was that you said to me. Because before this hiding behind a keyboard crap, you wouldn’t say that to another man without getting your ass kicked.

          • frank

            I think though, we can look beyond the talent and the numbers and appreciate the contributions of a man who really, as you correctly say, shouldn’t be more than a complementary piece on a good team. We all look forward to having a team of talented players who actually win games, and lots of them. But in this case, people are responding to the person rather than to the player–and that’s a good thing too.

            • Jon

              Paul’s post is a bit obtuse, but I agree with the overall theme

              • Cubbie Blues

                How acute of you to notice. He was, however, told to “feel free to F right off”. I would be right angled to be upset as well.

          • Funn Dave

            You’re the one being immature here, acting as though the only players worth caring about are the superstars. That’s the ESPN mindset that we need to get past.

          • Funn Dave

            Oh, and I’d tell you to f off to your face, too. I’m bigger than you.

            • DarthHater


              • Funn Dave

                That picture is what’s badass.

        • gocatsgo2003

          We’re also not loosing anything.

  • EJF174

    Reading this made me get all nostalgia-y… Remember Eric Karros… he was great. Hard to believe he only played one year with the Cubs.

    • MichiganGoat

      Mark DeRosa

    • AB

      I read somewhere Karros lived in an apartment near Wrigley for 2003, and walked to the park to get to games, and also videotaped the experience around clubhouse, games, and outside the stadium the entire season.

      • cms0101

        He also had plenty of girlfriends to pass the time with while his wife and kids were back in Los Angeles…

  • Jon

    Would all this Dejesus fanfare exist if his wife wasn’t hot?

    • DarthHater

      Careful. TWC will call you a chauvinist. 😉

    • wvcubsfan

      Sure the scrappy contingent would still be all upset that they traded away the Only player that played the game the “right” way.

  • Gabe Athouse

    Didn’t he also do some nice charity work? If so, that too should be commended.

    • wvcubsfan

      I think most MLB players do, it just doesn’t get the press that the bad or sensational things do.

  • Coal

    Nice piece. I think one factor in DeJesus’ popularity was the [relative] lack of personality on this current team. Fans gravitated to him because he offered something in return. Ditto with Garza. Soriano, Castro, Shark, and Rizzo – the core – are relatively dull, guarded or both. It’s an overused baseball cliche “I’d take 25 David DeJesus’ on my team” – but you probably do want at least 3-4 of them on the roster going forward to keep fans and teammates engaged through thick and thin.

    • Rich

      25 David’s…awesome that would guarantee the first pick overall!

      • Jon

        I’d take 25 Kim Dejesus’, at the same time…


      • fortyonenorth

        If everyone on your roster had an OBP to match DDJ, I think you’d do better than last place. Well, then again, considering the quality of that starting rotation, maybe you’re right.

  • Jay

    Would have been a lot more unhappy had they dealt Schierholz, who’s probably the star of the team this year, along with Travis Wood. And he’s working for peanuts.

  • jkppkj

    DeJesus seems like a guy who would make a great manager down the line. I’m glad he spent some time in Cubs laundry, I spend way too much time being a baseball fan but still don’t get a good sense of who a lot of “average” players like DeJesus are unless they end up on the Cubs. Definitely an easy guy to root for, I hope he comes back next season if the Cubs manage to put together a roster that can contend, otherwise I’d like to see him in some laundry that makes it to the playoffs.

  • wpbc

    i could care less about this guy leaving. he really was a bit player for the cubs during some really bad years.

    232 games with cubs and a line of .258/.343/.403 and a 3.4 WAR in that time. that’s not worth getting sentimental over.

    move on, nothing to see here, move along…

  • James

    Good to see former Cub rebounding from his suspension of last year. 21 homeruns with 40 games left with 70 rbi and .290 avg. Marlon Byrd was certainly a good center fielder and very kind to fans especially kids. I think most thought his career was over.

  • North Side Irish

    Chicago Cubs ‏@Cubs 20m
    #Cubs lineup vs. @Nationals 8/21: Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Lake CF, Schierholtz RF, Murphy 3B, Bogusevic LF, Barney 2B, Castillo C, Arrieta P


    • On The Farm

      Wow Castro, Rizzo, Lake 1-2-3. Very interesting. Hope this offense puts something good together for Arrieta

      • Jon

        Is it really more than just throwing darts at this point?

    • Jacob

      I kind of like Rizzo hitting 2.. I’m probably in the minority though. Castro leading off is interesting..

  • Frank

    Players are hired, not adopted.

    • On The Farm

      You should never fall in “love” with players, but you should fall in like with players.

      • CubsFaninMS

        I believe you have a point but, at the same time, the front office needs to begin putting forth long-term centerpieces that mainstream fans can identify with. That is, if they expect to build a larger fan base. Most of us in here understand the business aspect of the Chicago Cubs, but a 12-year-old Little Leaguer who watches baseball does not.

        • On The Farm

          Right, those guys are obviously Rizzo and Castro. I don’t think 12 year old little leaguers really look at an old veteran like DeJesus and want to model their careers after him. I am not saying they shouldn’t David is a helluva a ball player and as far as I can tell a stand up guy. But kids these days want what’s new and hip, and tend to go for the young flashy players (none of this is breaking news and I am sure you know this). So the point I am driving home is that no one, even the young fan base, should be heart broken over losing DeJesus. He never was a long term solution, he never really did anything where every night you said to your friend, “hold on DeJesus is batting let me watch this”. He was most definitely was a player that I liked, I am sad to see him go (not just because it means his wife is gone either). Some fans are acting like either this was purely done for cost saving reasons (even if it is big whoop), or that it is throwing in the towel for 2014 since DeJesus was under control next year and if they don’t want to spend money on him, who will they want to spend it on.

          To me this was a business decision to not only cut some costs, but at the same time give other guys an extended look so you know what you have internally going forward. It is not a given that this FO is content with Sweeney and Bogie, they have time to pursue other opprotunities.

  • James

    Cubs win-loss for last 2 years and yr not completed. Losses of 172 and 115 wins. The worst consecutive 2 yrs in history of Cubs. And we get to be part of it. Something to tell our grandkids or not.

    • DarthHater

      In 1961-62, the Cubs lost 193 games over two seasons.

      • C. Steadman

        and 80 and 81 the winning percentage was only .385 compared to .401 over the past two years…but 81 was a shortened season

  • James

    Steadman. When in the hell are you going to marry Oprah?

    • C. Steadman

      i believe you have me confused with another steadman…I’m the Rocket

      • Geo

        The guy was a good teammate,good role model , but come on let’s not get carried away with the will miss you,& the omg why did we trade him . Bottom line, his production wasn’t worth 3 mil let alone over 6.

  • https://twitter.com/nottomricketts Not Tom Ricketts

    I don’t comment much outside of Twitter, but this summed it up:

    “Kim’s active, accessible presence on social media humanized her husband in a way fans rarely get to see. He played with his son. He went shopping. He had a wife who was nervous about him getting traded. He was a real person.”

    Plus, she’s a hell of a good sport.

    Still plenty of good seats to see David maybe get a plate appearance tonight, folks!

  • James

    If any of you guys attended spring training at Hohokam then you know the Cub wives accepted food donations in a small tent everyday before games. We just live down street so I donated so many cans for 5 weeks that wife had to go to Bashas every few days–I like my Kim. Yes, I am very lonely

  • Albert

    Seems like a rather lukewarm appraisal of DD’s talents. Yes, he hit .263 for the Cubbies last year, and .250 this year. But lifetime he’s at .280, with .354 OBP and .771 OPS. There are good reasons this guy’s survived over a decade playing regularly at the major league level.

    I think the real question here is why he under-produced with the Cubs versus his record elsewhere. Could it be the fewer at-bats, aging in his early 30’s, or something specific about the Cubs? If anybody knows, I’d like to hear the answer.

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