Imrem: Cubs worried about 2021? Really?
The Cubs didn't play a Cactus League game Monday, thus limiting Kris Bryant to only one home run.
While pondering that, try to imagine what the Year 2021 will be like.
Donald Trump will be blustering through his second term in the White House. Spiritual transportation will spirit us all to the South of France. Bryant will set the major-leagues' single-season home run record … while playing for his hometown expansion Las Vegas Keno Kats.
That last one seems to be the biggest fear among anyone associated with the Cubs.
The increasing expectation is that for financial reasons the Cubs soon will return Bryant, their premier prospect, to the minor leagues.
If Bryant spends 12 more days in the minors now, the Cubs will control him for 12 more months later. The exchange rate is nine games this season for 162 games in the 2021 season.
Sounds like the logical, rational, prudent, monetarily responsible course to take.
Except it stinks.
My goodness, we're talking 2021? That's so far away the bleachers renovation might even be completed by then.
The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908 and now are being held hostage by a distant season when Mars might be our 51st state?
Apparently many Cubs fans agree with sending Bryant down. They must enjoy being insulted and abused.
The most common argument for those of us who want Bryant here for Opening Day is that he could help the Cubs to a couple of victories.
The Cubs' expressed goal is to win their division in 2015, right? Winning a game or two in April couldn't hurt.
But there are a couple of other considerations.
First, of those nine games that the Cubs wouldn't have Bryant to begin the season, six are at home.
Fans pay a lot of money to attend games in Wrigley Field and they deserve to have the Cubs put the best possible product on the field.
If that includes Bryant in the middle of the batting order -- all signs indicate that it would -- he should be there when the Cubs open against the Cardinals on April 5.
The Cubs have been gouging fans since baseball president Theo Epstein arrived in October of 2011.
In the name of rebuilding, the Cubs traded players that could help them win that season for players that could help them win in future seasons.
Customers paid big bucks to fund this strategy and to suffer through miserable fifth-place baseball.
Now is a good time for the Cubs to give back to fans in the form of a home run monster machine named Kris Bryant.
Think of what April generally will be like in Wrigley Field for those six games: Cold and windy and uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, the ballpark's bleachers will be an ugly sight and creature inconvenience.
Kris Bryant would at least be a pleasant distraction.
Second, why would it matter if the Cubs saved money -- even hundreds of millions -- for six years from now?
The whole purpose of rebuilding business of baseball is for the Cubs to finally be able to operate like a big-market, big-money franchise.
The videoboards, the hotel across Clark Street, the festivals outside the ballpark, the concerts, the food stands … they should generate ample revenue to pay Kris Bryant down the line.
Money should be no object, or little object, but the Cubs are making it appear to be a big one six years in advance.
Oh, what the heck, by 2021 baseball probably will be played by computer-generated robots anyway.