We, as Cubs fans, have not had an immense number of things to break the pom-poms out over thus far this season. Of all the scanty bright spots there have been, however, none (in my opinion) have been so shining as the one at second base. Two months ago I would not have imagined Darwin Barney as a staple at the top of the lineup. I would not have envisioned him batting a cool .325 with 14 runs batted in and 20 scored. I will take, though, and I will take it with delight.
Darwin Barney’s successes this season, while more than welcome, have presented a few problems. Two considerable ones, that I know of. These are what I intend to address in this post.
Issue One: Quite frankly, I do not know what to do with this man’s name. I don’t care for always referring to players by their last names, unless I am to attach a respectful “Mr.” (but that is too formal for players on my own Cubbie bears.) “Barney” is thus ruled out. “Darwin”, on the other hand, while his first name, sounds like a last name. So what it comes down to is that I am not satisfied calling Darwin Barney by either his first or last name. Maybe I am crazy and all alone in this, I don’t know. Even if this weren’t the case, though, I still think that this guy would deserve an awesome nickname. Don’t you? I think that he is just begging for one. A nickname, therefore, is what I am proposing. And not just a nickname, but a really good nickname. I will stick needles in my eyes before I assent to call him “D-Barn.”
For the time being, I have been going with “Darney,” a name used accidentally by Pat Hughes a few weeks ago. This is just a short term solution, however. It should be known that I am fully behind the Darwin-inspired catchphrase “Bubblegum Power: Activate” that has sprung up on Twitter. Back to my main point, though, I most definitely feel that as we look to the future, Darwin is going to need a good old-fashioned nickname. So, dear readers, I hope that you will put your thinking caps on and ponder this and spread the word… and if you come up with anything clever or brilliant, please alert me! (Just note that I, personally, will almost certainly reject anything that has to do with either Charles Darwin or a certain purple dinosaur.)
Issue Two: The other thing that must be addressed is Darwin Barney’s ridiculous exclusion from the MLB All-Star ballot. I mean, really… how silly is this? I am sure that even Blake DeWitt would acknowledge that his being there instead of Darney is absurd. I was curious as to some of the actual numbers, and investigated. Today included, the Cubs have had 36 games. Darwin Barney has been the starting second baseman in 29 of them. And he was the opening day starter there, too, mind you. Coming in a distant second is not Blake DeWitt, but Jeff Baker, with six. Blakey Bear, according to the box scores I dug through on Baseball Reference, has just one start at second for the Cubs this season (I could have sworn it was two… but that is of little matter.) Given these numbers, I can’t be the only one wondering what the person (whoever it is) that decides the All Star candidates was smoking when they put Blake on the ballot.
Now, I am not necessarily saying that Darwin Barney deserves to be on the NL All-Star team this year. It’s far too early to judge efficiently on that point, in my opinion. But there is no question, no question, that his name ought to be on the ballot. Since it is not, I propose the only logical and feasible action I know of; we the fans must, first, vote in droves and, second, put Darwin Barney’s name in the write-in box. We must also strenuously encourage every other living human to do the same, in the name of justice and decency. I hope that everyone will see fit to join this campaign. Our second baseman deserves it, don’t you think? And who really wants to vote for Brandon Phillips, anyway?