Forbidden Love is a Cubs DNA series where our staff waxes poetic about a player on a team other than the Cubs. Maybe even one you think they should hate. In this installment, Staci's finally free to let loose about one of her favorite starting pitchers in the league, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer!
Chris Archer and I have what you might call a complicated relationship. See, back before he was traded to Pittsburgh, I wanted nothing more than the Cubs to pony up the prospects it would take to lure Archer away from the Rays so that they could have him hanging around acting all sassy and adorable and feuding with, like, Bernie Brewer or something.
Although Bernie could NEVER be as fun as Orbit!
Just imagine these types of shenanigans happening in and around Cubs/Brewers games. Wouldn't that be more delightful than having to think about Christian Yelich or, worse, Josh Hader saying dumb things on Twitter?
When Archer was with the Rays, he was happy. Confident. Fun, even!
But then... the unthinkable happened. Not only did he NOT wind up on the Cubs, he wound up on the PIEBUTTS. Widely known as a team that can't develop their pitchers and, at the time, for having a manager who roundly encouraged his staff to get butthurt and retaliate at the slightest pimping of a HR, the Pirates ruined Archer in fairly quick order. He was acting like a Piebutt in no time.
I mean, come ON. This from a guy who was pretty widely known for celebrating strikeouts and practically dancing off the mound.
Emotion is allowed as long as you're not a Piebutt.
Honestly, it made me pretty sad to the point where I had to swear off my Archer fandom while he was on the bee team. I just... can't... root... for... Piebutts.* They also seemed to drain all the fun out of him--there were no feuds with Bernie Brewer or Clark the Cub, no silly string, no fun GIFs to be had. Ah, but now? Now Archer is back on the Rays after re-signing with them in free agency. He had an undiagnosed thoracic outlet syndrome condition finally corrected, and once again he's, uh, injured. Crap. BUT... at least I can root for him again, because he's not acting like a Piebutt anymore.
Chris, if you need a hug, I volunteer! (Post-COVID, of course!)
Thankfully, it seems that the injury is maybe just some tendonitis, and Chris will be back on the mound soon enough.
Which is great! Because now that he's no longer living in the land of the Piebutts, I can look forward to watching his starts and not feeling conflicted. Also? I can start using my favorite GIFs again. It's a win-win-win!
*Andrew McCutchen excepted.