Javier Baez made his moment memorable

  • Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez looks skyward as he crosses home plate after his solo home run in the 12th inning Tuesday night.

    Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez looks skyward as he crosses home plate after his solo home run in the 12th inning Tuesday night. Associated Press

Updated 8/6/2014 7:08 AM

OK, let's get some of the historical stuff out of the way right off the top.

Javy Baez capped his major-league debut in Coors Field with a home run that gave the Cubs a 6-5 victory in 12 innings.


Not bad for starters, was it?

Even more noteworthy is that the game-winner came more than four hours after Baez began his big-league career by striking out.

In between, Baez struck out flailing two more times and made two more outs on hard-hit balls.

So there you have it, just your routine first outing: Five outs, including 3 strikeouts, and a smash over the right-center-field fence to win the game.

Welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Baez.

This was Javy Baez's moment, and he made it memorable, though it took nearly until midnight Chicago time.

If this is how Baez's career is going to go, strap yourself in and enjoy the thrilling ride.

Remember, this is a player expected to not only have a great career but one that's spectacular over a long period of time.

Whether Cubs fans are really all that hopeful is a good question. After all, they have seen reputed phenoms come and go, and not to Cooperstown.

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Maybe the most encouraging aspect of Baez's debut is that he didn't suffer a Cubbie occurrence like, say, a concussion swinging at a pitch.

Until Baez commits a gaffe of Cubs proportions, he won't be certified as a real member of this franchise. If he never does, maybe this game really was the beginning of something big.

Despite all the hype swirling around him, it's a good idea to not expect too much too soon.

That also goes for the Cubs' ongoing rebuilding project that at some point will feature the likes of Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Addison Russell joining Baez.

With all due respect to Arismendy Alcantara and a couple of relatively anonymous pitchers already on the club, Baez represents the first of what is anticipated to be the latest big wave of highly rated prospects to make it to the Cubs.

So Baez's first game became must-see TV, and Chicago's other active sports teams cooperated.

The Bears announced the fine and suspension of tight end Martellus Bennett early in the day, and the White Sox provided the Rangers with a 7-0 lead by the second inning of a 16-0 loss.


So the night belonged to Javy Baez, and the only surprise was that Las Vegas didn't alter the odds on the Cubs winning the 2014 World Series to even money.

So much fanfare accompanied Baez's arrival that it seemed he was destined to start the Cubs on a 52-game winning streak that would run through the end of the regular season.

Oh, wait, that's right, almost forgot … nobody is supposed to expect too much too soon.

As the game in Colorado droned on into extra innings, Baez kept doing what he does. He swung hard and harder.

Prominently displayed was Baez's customary waggle -- plus a shake here, rattle there and roll everywhere -- that generates remarkable power when he makes contact.

With all that movement, however, it's a wonder that Baez's bat ever gets to the ball. It did quite often in the minors and now he must prove it regularly will in the majors.

Now, after two more games at Denver, the Cubs return to Wrigley Field for Javy Baez's home debut. They haven't raised prices to record levels for that event yet, but cynical speculation likely is that they will or at least that they would if they could.

It's a small price to pay to see one of the most anticipated Chicago baseball games in a good while.

History, good and bad, usually is worth a look.


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