Wheeler and Dealing? New York Mets shopping Wheeler

The New York Mets could be moving one of their best young arms at the MLB trade deadline. With an abundance of young arms, and Matt Harvey returning next season, the Mets are strongly hinting that they will trade some of this young pitching to bring in a bat or two for a team whose lineup resembles that of a Triple A squad.

According to our sources the Mets have been in serious talks with the Chicago Cubs. It appears the Mets could be moving the highly touted Zach Wheeler to the Cubs

Wheeler to the Cubs?

Wheeler to the Cubs?

for an everyday player of two. One key position the Mets need a desperate upgrade in is shortstop. Fortunately for New York, the Cubs have an abundance of players at the shortstop position.

One player the Cubs are reportedly offering is current major league shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro, who is 24, is having a solid season hitting .280 with 11 homers and 52 RBIs. He would instantly improve the Mets woeful offense by providing a good young bat in the lineup who not only is still improving at the plate, but would give the Mets an everyday shortstop who plays very good defense.

Castro is a great option for the Mets, but could there be other players on the table? Sources say the Mets will also explore some of the Cubs top prospects instead of just one everyday player.

The Cubs are loaded with talented young prospects, especially at the shortstop position. Javier Baez, the team’s top prospect, is knocking on the door at Triple A with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs. Baez might not be a top of the order player but could be the big power bat the Mets are desperate for. Another reason the Mets could be targeting Baez is that they could possibly get another piece in the deal.

The Cubs have three very good outfield prospects that could be nice pieces in the Mets outfield. However, if New York could also get Arismendy Alcantara, another triple A player on the major league border, they could have a middle infield set for the next decade. Alcantara could be a solid second baseman who hits for a high average and steals bases. A perfect top of the order player that would be nice with either Baez or Castro in the middle of the lineup.

Bartolo Colon will probably be dealt first, but keep and eye on the Mets and Cubs. Both have prospects in key areas of need for the other team and have excess prospects that could be moved. The Mets need bats, Chicago has bats, New York has pitching, the Cubs need pitching. Sounds like a match made in heaven. Now we wait until July 31st to see if something happens.

Why me? Steve Bartman 10 years later

Steve Bartman went to support his Cubs, afterward he would feel the wrath of a city

Steve Bartman went to support his Cubs, afterward he would feel the wrath of a frustrated city.

We’ve all been there. Sitting in the crowd, hoping that a foul ball will come our way. A physical memory from our favorite pastime. However, for one fan he din’t catch a memory, he caught  hell. Being a Cubs fan is about dreaming. Dreaming that your team, a ball club that hasn’t won a championship since 1908 will win the World Series. Then you wake up. Your team is not in the playoffs, they’re still cursed by a billy-goat, and all you can think is “maybe next year”. Steve Bartman was one of those fans. A lifetime Cubs fan who thought he had bought a ticket to the long awaited exorcism of the Cubs’ curse. Finally the Cubs would go from the Lovable Losers to champions. He had a front row view, aisle 4, row 8, seat 113. Little did he know, this would be the spot where his life would change forever.

In 2003, the Cubs were on the verge of history. That year they dominated baseball with an 88-74 record and looked like they would finally overcome their franchise’s demons. After losing game 5 to the Marlins, The Cubs returned home to Wrigley Field with a 3-2 series lead. Cubs fans packed the friendly confines and the streets around the ballpark realizing that their salvation was 9 innings away. They had Mark Prior, the leading candidate for the CY Young Award on the hill, they were at home, it all appeared to be destiny. After jumping out to a 3-0, Cubs fans were still filled with an anxious excitement. They were six outs from glory, then five. Then, it happened. Luis Castillo fouled off a pitch that headed toward the left field foul line. A lazy pop up that was begging to be caught. Moises Alou drifted over, leaping into the air glove outstretched and then, confusion. The ball bouncing into the stands, Alou throwing his glove, screaming at the top of his long, and a fan slumped over. Then the air was filled with silence. No one knew what happened, it all happened so fast.

Bartman wasn't the only fan going for the ball

Bartman wasn’t the only fan going for the ball

In a sea of outstretched arms Bartman’s were  the ones that hit the baseball. At the time it didn’t seem like a big deal. Alou couldn’t make a difficult catch, it was a foul ball. But for some reason, Cubs fans thought that this was the end. Reaffirmation that they were cursed. On the field, the Cubs were coming apart. After walking Castillo, Prior induced a perfect double play ball to Alex Gonzalez, the best fielding shortstop in baseball, who closed his glove and dropped the ball right in front of him, error. Why doesn’t anyone remember this? How was Gonzalez not the scapegoat when he cost the Cubs the chance to get out of the inning with the lead? Then, the Marlins erupted. With there new life the Marlins just keep hitting and hitting and hitting. When the dust finally settled after the barrage of hits the Marlins were winning 8-3. Eight runs, one inning, game over. The attention though wasn’t focused on how one of the best teams in baseball gave up eight runs in an inning, but with the fan with the headphones. The image of the young man wearing the glasses, black sweatshirt, green turtle neck, headphones, and Cubs hat was the picture that Cubs’ fan would vent their frustration on.

In a ballpark known as “the friendly confines”, nothing was friendly about game 6. Instead of rallying behind their Cubs, the fans instead vented almost a hundred years of frustration on one of their own. They didn’t even pause for a second to think, “hey that could have been me”. Fans began to hurl obscenities, food, and beer at their fellow Cubs’ fan until he was escorted from his seat. When his identity was finally revealed Bartman received thousands of death threats and had to go into hiding. The next day was filled with Bartman death threats, and disgusting internet jokes about how fans wanted to kill him. However, there was still a game seven left to be played. Cubs fans went from being ecstatic that the team could clinch at home to there might as well not be a game 7. Despite another opportunity, the Cubs would fall the Marlins in game 7, blowing a 3-1 series lead and the opportunity to play in the World Series. With the Cubs finished fans decided that the blame rested with an innocent fan, rather than a team that choked away three opportunities to go to the World Series. Much like Bill Buckner in Boston, both of these men were given all of the blame for losses that weren’t solely their fault, or not their fault at all. Unlike Bartman, Buckner’s demons were exorcised in 2004 when the Red Sox won the World Series. As long as the World Series drought continues, fans will blame Bartman because he reminds them of the “curse” on the Cubs that has plagued the team since 1908.

It's not what Bartman did to the Cubs, it's what Chicago did to him and the people of Chicago that owe Bartman an apology

It’s not what Bartman did to the Cubs, it’s what Chicago did to him and the people of Chicago that owe Bartman an apology

10 years later the biggest question surrounding the Bartman game to me isn’t if the Cubs would have won, but what happened to Steve Bartman? In an age with technology and media where  if we sneeze people know about it, how has Steve disappeared?Like many great conspiracies there are a number of theories. Some say he moved, some say he changed his name, but none knows for sure. Despite being offered thousands of dollars to appear at shows or in commercials, Bartman has declined to show his face. Meanwhile, the man who got the “Bartman ball” sold it for 100,000 dollars. Think about that. For all of Bartman’s suffering some other Cubs fan made 100,000 dollars. One thing that is certain, the event cost Bartman the chance for a normal life. Today, he still lives in hiding because a whole fan base is against him. While ten years have passed and most have probably forgiven Bartman, he probably realizes that if he reveals himself that some nut might take a swing at him because he’s Steve Bartman. I personally feel terrible for Steve Bartman. He went to a game as a fan, he made a mistake, and asked for forgiveness. Usually, I’m the first to point out the positives that sports provides individuals in their lives, but this is not one of these cases. This is the unfortunate incident where a sporting event hurt an innocent person and their life. For all the negativity and chaos surrounding him, Steve Bartman is one of the bravest men I can think of. While most people would use this fame for material benefits or as a chance to get back at the Cubs fan base, Bartman has instead decided to move on. While we may not know where he is today, Bartman is continuing with his life as best he can despite having to live in secrecy.  It’s unfortunate but until the Cubs win a World Series, Bartman will still be the unfortunate scapegoat. This fan base has associated Bartman with the team’s World Series drought, which until it’s over means that the Cubs fans will never fully forgive Steve. However, they should be the ones apologizing. I  hope that somewhere out there that Steve Bartman is living a happy life, because if anyone deserves it, it is him. Maybe Steve Bartman might even read this article one day and I hope he does. He is one of us, a legion of loyal sports fans who could have been in that seat. 10 years later, Steve Bartman has become the most famous fan in sports history. Hopefully, this will never happen to another fan again.