Well, you knew Dexter Fowler was gonna go somewhere, and of all places he ends up with the Cardinals.
It's always shocking - remember seeing Mark DeRosa in red?
(Well, there was Ryan Theriot too, but whatever.)
But with Fowler, I have nothing but warm feelings for the guy even though he went to the dark side.
Last season could not have worked out better, and the Cubs wouldn't have won the World Series without him.
So lets start out with that illustration, when at the very last minute he rejected the Oriole's offer and showed up at the Cubs' camp, and we were all overjoyed.
Here's one from end of July last year. Remember how he sustained some pretty great numbers in the 2nd half of 2015.
My first illustration of Fowler was when he was on the Rockies in '13, and had a rough day vs Jeff Samardzija.
This is from his really hot start to last year: (April 17th) 36 at bats, 15 hits, 6 of 'em for extra bases, and 9 RBIs from the lead-off spot. Among the starters, Fowler's 1.275 OPS leads the team by a mile.
And as last year went along, Fowler's value to the team just really stood out.
But this last illustration is the one.
When Joe Maddon has a saying for you, you know you've made the big time.
"You go we go" is what Joe said to Fowler, and damned if it wasn't true.
So, for sure gonna miss him not just for his performance, but also... what a great guy.
That's so easy to write right now.
Just wait til the bottom of the first on April 3rd, in St. Louis, when he comes up to bat as a Cardinal.
But now, look at the Cubs.
Rizzo, Baez, Bryant, Russell, Schwarber, Contreras, Almora... we'll have at least a couple more years of what may turn out to be the greatest core of Cubs ever.
And there are more incredible kids on the way.
The experience is so... the opposite of a lifetime of being a Cub Fan.
Because surely, more greatness awaits.