Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Kris Bryant, an axe, and Babe the Blue Ox

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Kris Bryant’s recent hot streak has been a welcome sight for both the fans of the Chicago Cubs and the front office. While there are many reasons for the perfect storm of hitting Bryant has been doing, some have linked it to a new axe-handled bat.

If you’re familiar with legends, fables, and tall tales, you may have heard of Paul Bunyan. He’s basically the most famous lumberjack ever, and hero to millennial beard growers everywhere. He’s also renowned for having a blue ox named Babe and doing all kinds of crazy feats stemming from his size and strength.

Why does Bunyan have anything to do with the Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant, or baseball at all, you might ask? Well, he really doesn’t, but he does carry around an axe since he’s a lumberjack- and they sort of come in handy for that occupation.

And, if you’ve been following the Cubs of late, you probably have heard that Bryant has been using a new bat lately with an axe-type handle. So, in essence, Bryant is now the Cubs’ very own MVL (Most Valuable Lumberjack), capable of superhuman feats like hitting three home runs in consecutive innings.

If you look closely and can feel each slugger’s bats, you’ll notice slight differences and nuances if you are attuned to such things. If you’ve ever used wood bats, or even something like an axe or a hammer, repetitively, you start to get used to the weight, the feel, and the balance. Such details and seemingly unimportant minutiae may appear pointless and trivial when you do a minor project, or you smack some balls around the local park.

However, when you’re using something like a hammer or an axe for a living, you are surely going to get used to your own personal equipment, and it’ll become an extension of you and your productivity. Given the right tools, most people feel like they can be more productive and sometimes even more efficient.

Well, guess what- baseball is no different.

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If you listen to baseball games regularly, you’re sure to hear stories about one of the players using another guy’s bat. Inevitably, during a bad slump or on a whim, a player will grab someone else’s bat (either with permission or sometimes without) and march on up to the plate with it.

If the at-bat produces a great result, like say, a home run, that player is going to keep on using that bat that doesn’t belong to him. If the said player stays hot for a week or two, there will, indubitably, be stories and superstitions that surround the bat and circumstances surrounding how that player started using the different bat.

One of those very stories has arisen the past few weeks with the Cubs, as Kris Bryant recently started using an axe-handled bat that feels better and produces more efficiency and control in a swing.  After breaking a bat in the series against the Dbacks, Bryant tried out the Axe Bat he had used in BP before, but never in a game. He hit a bomb with it on the first swing and hasn’t put down the axes since.

Whether it’s part bat or just Bryant starting to really feel comfortable at the plate for the first time in a while, no one can answer. What we do know is that he’s back, and, after a superhuman performance on Saturday night in our nation’s capital, he’s ready to start chopping down opposing pitchers like Bunyan felled trees.

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Regardless of bat or whether Bryant even uses these Axe bats for the rest of the year or not, it’s nice to see our former MVP looking healthy and mashing balls all over the yard. Not only does it bode well for the team, but it’s good for Bryant after a rough 2017 that included a shoulder injury to boot.

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