How about some feel-good stuff? Checking in on three former Cubs with nice stories …
- Bryan LaHair (“The Hair”, “LaDiculous”) is coming back to the States! A year and a half after the Cubs arranged for LaHair to score a payday in Japan when it looked like his time in the big leagues had come to a close, the big first baseman is coming back to MLB on a minor league deal with the Indians. LaHair was an All-Star for the Cubs in 2012 after putting up stupid early-season numbers, but, as is often the case with older guys who’ve not broken through in the bigs by the time they’re 28/29, the production didn’t last. His numbers in Japan were OK, but not great, so back he comes. However things wound up, I really enjoyed following LaHair’s story, and it was something nice to remember about that otherwise dismal 2012 season.
- Koyie Hill is getting yet another chance! The on-again-off-again Cubs backup catcher has signed a minor league deal and is getting an invite to Nationals’ Spring Training. We joke about Hill quite a bit, but he must be doing something right to keep getting chances. He is living proof that “replacement level” is erroneously determined or that there’s just something special about him: Hill’s WAR for each year he’s been in the big leagues is 0.0, -0.1, -0.1, -0.5, -0.4, 0.7(!), -0.5, -0.5, -0.1, -0.5. Also, whatever you think of him on the baseball field, he’s something of a badass off of it.
- Adam Greenberg has officially retired, after his latest comeback attempt, and after getting his OneAtBat. You will probably always remember Greenberg as the young man who was hit in the head in the first big league pitch he saw, but his whole story was pretty impressive (if a little sad). I suppose the retirement is, itself, not a “nice story,” but he did get his second chance. Hopefully he moves on to the next stage of his life – whether it involves baseball in some way or not – and has great success.