A Darwin Barney Pep Talk

Jamie Squire

Trying to encourage a man who is being beaten down.

Darwin, buddy, what's wrong? Did I put too much pressure on you with my preseason column, saying that you are quite possibly the greatest player in MLB history? Was drafting you in the 12th round of my fantasy draft too much for you to bear? Did you even read my love note to you? If not, chin up. It's still early in the season. You have time to come around to being the MVP I expect. Here are some thing that you might want to work on and some things that will turn your season around:

1. What is Rick Renteria doing by starting you one day and then not the next? How does he expect you to get your rhythm by doing that? Let me have a word with him because this needs to stop. Would the Mariners use Cano every other day at second base? Hell no! Renteria, who I suspect is not really Spanish but uses it for minority status when it comes to getting hired, does not know what he is doing by confusing this already young Cubs squad by changing the lineup every day. We will talk and he will listen.

2. Have you ever thought about standing closer to the plate and daring the pitcher to hit you? It worked for another undersized second baseman named Craig Biggio. He also somehow recorded more than 3,000 hits. Of course, HIS manager played him every day.

3. Okay, so no homers or RBI's yet as I write this (April 16, 2014). No worries. You know who else has no homeruns or RBI's yet? Your coach who keeps on benching you for lesser talent.

4. You have been walked a remarkable six times already and have collected three singles. Granted, most of the time you have been walked it has come with the pitcher on deck but whose fault is that for putting you so low in the batting order? That's right: Rick Renteria.

5. I would like to see more swagger out of you. You are the SECOND BASEMAN FOR THE CHICAGO FRIGGING CUBS! COME TO THE PLATE WITH THAT ATTITUDE! I want you to walk to the plate doing the Nae Nae (whatever the hell that is), chewing a big-ass wad of tobacco (STAY AWAY FROM TOBACCO, KIDS!) and to the greatest song ever: Hit ‘Em Up by 2Pac. The pitchers will be so overcome with fear that they will just hand you two bases.

6. Your glove remains to be the most effective sucker of balls since Truman Capote passed away. Keep that going and maybe, just maybe, appreciation for you will come.

7. You OPS is still an impressive .458. I suppose. I'm not sure how they calculate OPS. I don't think Rick Renteria knows, either.

8. Can we spend a moment talking about the facial hair you are trying to make happen? Well, that needs to stop. You are a 28-year-old married father, not a bridge-and-tunnel d-bag spending his Saturday night at a Meatpacking District club.

If all of this fails, and you DO get traded to a team and a manager that will respect your ability, I wish you the best of luck. Know that I will always be a fan, but, if we happen to meet on the street one day, I might not acknowledge your presence due to falling tears because of what might have been had you played under Ryne Sandberg instead of a man who can't see perfection even when it is thrown in his face. Good luck Darwin, and we will meet at the crossroads of Waveland and Sheffield one day.

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