Chicago Cubs: Ian Happ makes an appearance with Talkin’ Baseball

Ian Happ / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Ian Happ / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs utilityman Ian Happ recently made an appearance on the popular baseball podcast Talkin’ Baseball.

While the Chicago Cubs and the rest of baseball are still waiting for a deal to happen to resume play (which is becoming more and more unlikely at this point), Ian Happ has made the most of his time in quarantine. Whether it be competing against fellow big leaguers in an MLB the Show tournament or starting a podcast with some teammates in their compound, Happ has found productive uses for his time that have popularized him in the MLB community.

Given his recent prevalence, Happ was invited on for an episode of Talkin’ Baseball: a podcast hosted by Jimmy “Jomboy” O’Brien, his friend Jake, and former big leaguer Trevor Plouffe. Jomboy and his podcast gained massive attention after he created a breakdown video highlighting the evidence for the Astros’ cheating scandal in the now infamous Danny Farquhar game.

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The interview began with a bit of discussion of Happ’s college baseball career and history in Cincinnati before jumping into the happenings at the compound and his baseball career. One thing they discussed was how Happ got into switch-hitting and the mindset behind being a switch hitter.

Happ picked up the ability to switch hit at a young age and continued to hone his ability throughout high school. While he admitted that it was a lot more work than merely batting left or right-handed, he prefers the luxury of switching it up for a nasty pitcher.

Happ also highlighted his and his Chicago Cubs teammates’ mindset behind starting their podcast, The Compound. When asked about how it all began, he had this to say:

"It’s been awesome. I had been wanting to get into podcasting, I thought it would be a cool way to connect with fans, and I had these guys in the house and I was like ‘hey we’re gonna start a podcast.’ And, you know, like nobody’s gonna listen to this, this is gonna be stupid and I was like ‘no seriously let’s just see how it goes…’"

Plouffe then took the interview to a more serious note by asking about Happ’s 2019 stint in the minors to start the year. He admitted that he was frustrated at first, but his focus shifted to improving himself and getting back to Chicago, the place he calls home. He also acknowledged that it happens to a lot of big-league players and that he just had to get back to his 2017 self.

"It’s just an adjustment. And everybody goes through some sort of a version of that I think throughout their career, you know, even the guys on our team who are super established. Rizz got sent back, Javy got sent back, Schwarb got sent back, uhh KB’s a legend, but, like everyone goes through some sort of that process and unfortunately for me, it was a longer period of time and it’ll affect the way I get paid for the rest of my career. But, like, it’s just what happens. That’s how it goes."

Jomboy also brought up Happ’s utility, which Happ admitted was less a choice and more a product of being under manager Joe Maddon. For help, Happ turned to the quintessential utilityman Ben Zobrist who gave him the simple advice of “playing as vanilla as possible” at each position. Still, Happ admits he would never play catcher, believing it to be a daunting and terrifying position.

Finally, Happ was asked about the Cubs’ DH situation, something he saw as a complicated situation. While Kyle Schwarber was his obvious first choice, he also saw the introduction of the DH as an excellent opportunity to get both Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini in the lineup, offering them Contreras’s All-Star caliber play and Caratini’s switch-hitting prowess.

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The full episode, as well as the entirety of Talkin’ Baseball, is up on YouTube, Spotify, and various other streaming platforms where you’ll be able to hear Happ talk more about the pitchers he likes and hates to face most and his experiences in the MLB. You can also check out Happ’s podcast with his teammates on Spotify.