Chicago Cubs: Why Daniel Descalso over Tommy La Stella?

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 06: Tommy La Stella
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 06: Tommy La Stella /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Carryover from his 2016 actions?

Was La Stella undervalued, dismissed or eschewed internally because of his actions and words during the 2016 World Series season, where he basically held the Cubs hostage with his “retire or stay with the big league club” ultimatum?

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When La Stella was optioned to the minors in 2016, he said he would retire rather than go play for anyone other than the Northsiders, including Triple-A Iowa. Admittedly, this rubbed a lot of fans and baseball people the wrong way, with lots of angst, argument and profanity shed on the subject.

While fans may have forgotten and forgiven after a World Series championship and a great 2017 season, perhaps the front office did not and felt a leader and veteran presence from outside the organization was needed.

La Stella, while an integral part of the club during their recent run of success, was not an everyday player, nor was he the leader that an Anthony Rizzo, Jason Heyward or even David Ross have been. He wasn’t even the emotional presence that Willson Contreras or Javier Baez have personified over the last couple of years.

And, while he has been part of some amusing antics (Spring Training pranks and home run interviews) and seemed to mesh with the team and Joe Maddon, maybe he was expendable because the brass just felt they needed another voice or leader, rather than comic relief.

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As a Cubs fan, I certainly hope for a great 2019 season from our newest Cub, Daniel Descalso.  His clutch stats over the past several seasons and the leadership he could bring are reasons for hope and optimism.

However, I still can’t get over the fact that we let a really good and cheap pinch hitter and backup infielder go for another back up infielder who doesn’t seem to be as good a hitter and isn’t as young or cheap on a team we all hope is heading back to the postseason and beyond.