In case you haven’t heard Justin Bieber rules, Katy Perry has boobs and Josh Hamilton can hit baseballs at an above average rate.
Unless you’re able to avoid the suckfest that is ESPN announcing you probably have heard about how Josh Hamilton derailed his Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays career with drugs and alcohol. He then resurfaced as a power hittin’, slick fieldin’, Jesus preachin’, sparkling wine drinkin’ center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds. A half year of stats with the Reds was enough for the Texas Rangers to send one of their top arms for Hamilton. Now even the most pedestrian baseball fans know Josh Hamilton, the Texas-sized Ranger.
That’s the Rays, Reds and Rangers. But wait…something’s missing.
Oh, that’s right. We forgot that day he was actually a Chicago Cub. Now, the Cubs have made a lot of public blunders in their time; on the field and in the front office. Luckily for the Cubs PR department most people have no idea that Josh Hamilton could easily be crunching homers for the north siders.
It was the winter of our discontent, fellow Cubs fans. On December 7, 2006, Josh Hamilton was selected by the Chicago Cubs as the 3rd overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft. For those unfamiliar on how the Rule 5 Draft works, here’s an explanation on player eligibility:
Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft who are not on their major league organization’s 40-man roster and:
– were signed at age 19 or older and have been in the organization for four years; or
– were signed at age 18 or younger and have been in the organization for five years.
So Josh Hamilton was ours. Or should I say hours. Because as soon as he fell into the Cubs’ lap he was sent away for this: $100,000. Straight cash, homey. If you’re unaware, it COSTS $50,000 just to make a Rule 5 pick. Net profit for a Josh Hamilton: $50,000. Did the Cubs learn nothing from the whole Babe Ruth/Yankees/Red Sox/Cash for the best player ever thingy?
Here’s at least a little insight on why the Cubs might have made such a move:
If chosen in the Rule 5 draft, a player must be kept on the selecting team’s 25-man major league roster for the entire season after the draft—he may not be optioned or designated to the minors. The selecting team may, at any time, waive the Rule 5 draftee. If a Rule 5 draftee clears waivers by not signing with a new MLB team, he must be offered back to the original team, effectively canceling the Rule 5 draft choice. Once a Rule 5 draftee spends an entire season on his new team’s 25-man roster, his status reverts to normal and he may be optioned or designated for assignment.
I guess Chicago didn’t think Hamilton would be good enough to stick in the Majors for the whole of the 2007 season. In my opinion? Essentially the Cubs only took Josh Hamilton so they could sell him away to another team and run off with a little bit of extra petty cash to spend on guys like Matt Lawton and Todd Walker.
Everyone knows the rest of the story by now. But a Cubs fan can look back at the good ole days, the Golden Years, of when Josh Hamilton wore the blue pinstripes. At least for an hour or two.