As you may have heard, a fringy Cubs prospect is being called up today. We don’t like to be reactionary and post when every miniscule move happens, but we do feel a need to give our opinions here. [Shrug. Whatever.]
So here’s our guess on what might happen on Kris Bryant’s first day with the Cubs later today.
Bryant steps onto the field and the fans go crazy. Cheers are so loud that windows break in Palatine. He doffs his hat to the crowd, and the cerulean blue of his eyes matches the sky so perfectly that 15,937 fans along the third-base line faint. Cubs president, business operations Crane Kenney promptly markets “Kris Bryant Smelling Salts” and earns enough money to cover the costs of signing David Price next year.
Between second and third innings:
The PA system plays “Stairway to Heaven” between innings, but the stereo inexplicably goes out. Bryant pulls out a guitar and completely nails the solo, then hands the guitar to an orphan who puts it on eBay and uses the money to finally quit his job in the coalmine. Jimmy Page sees the video on YouTube and immediately retires, saying, “There’s nowhere else to go.”
Bottom of the third:
Bryant hits a homer that travels into Boystown on the fly. At the corner of Grace and Halsted, a mugger is holding up a woman—the ball knocks the gun out of his hand and she escapes. The would-be burglar sees this as a sign, gives up his life of crime, goes back to school, and eventually cures cystic fibrosis.
Top of the fifth:
Rain clouds appear and drops start to fall. Bryant peeks out of the dugout, looks up at the sky, and gravely shakes his head. The rain stops and sunshine fills the air, as do doves, rainbows, and unicorns. Bryant whispers, “tone it down a little, big fella,” and the sky returns to a gorgeous, cloudless day.
Middle of the Fifth:
The Cubs are losing, 7-5. The fans are excited but hungry—the concession stands have, again, run out of hot dog buns. Bryant gives a knowing nod to the head of sales, and suddenly, hot dog buns burst forth from the baskets. All is well.
Bottom of the Sixth:
The Cubs are still losing, and Bryant is 1-3 with a five-run homer. He steps to the plate with a runner on second, two outs, 2-2 count. A slider off the outside corner. “Steeeerike!” Joe West says, envisioning his night behind the mic for his Marshall Tucker cover band. Bryant looks at him, serene yet saddened. “I’m sorry,” West says. “I… I didn’t know. I thought it painted the corner.” Bryant wordlessly nods his head, and West feels somehow anointed.
Bottom of the Eighth:
The Cubs and Padres are tied, 8-8. Leading off, Bryant hits a foul ball that lands in Lake Michigan with such force that it pulls all the oxygen from the water, killing all the Asian carp and saving the Great Lakes ecosystem. On the next pitch, he hits a homer that lands in Evanston. As he crosses home plate, Bryant looks into the crowd and makes eye contact with a young boy who feels so emboldened that he takes his dad’s iPhone, buys the rights to “Annie,” mounts a one-man Broadway production of the show, and wins the heralded EGOT awards.
Top of the Twelfth:
The game is still tied at eight and with two outs, a routine grounder comes to Bryant at third base. A simple toss to first and it’s over. He throws it wide, a runner scores, and the Cubs go on to lose 9-8.
As the game ends, Bryant steps out of the dugout and looks into the tear-stained eyes of several young lads. “Don’t worry, kids—wait until October,” he says with a wink. Immediately, they know what he means. They wink back.
And so it begins.