Threw you for a loop, didn't I? (Pic: Mark Brown/Getty Images)
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 talks about her love for New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom.
You know how in movies, the nerdy girl takes off her glasses, undoes her ponytail, and BOOM... instant hottie? It's a stereotype that's been used in every movie from She's All That to Miss Congeniality to The Princess Diaries... I mean, even Superman is just dull Clark Kent with those spectacles on! Thank goodness we had Etta Candy around to remind us how ridiculous that whole notion is when Steve Trevor tried that nonsense with Diana.
But hear me out for a second on Jacob deGrom, because something magical happened when he cut his hair. Remember his hair? That long, cocker spaniel hair he worked for so many years? This monstrosity?
It's OK... I'd blocked it out, too.
Then a few years ago, this video was retweeted from Jose Reyes's Instagram:
But instead of a sad, teary face, the mood around Cubs DNA HQ was more like...
It was like a reverse Samson effect--the minute deGrom cut his hair, he suddenly became invincible! In 2017, he posted a 3.53 ERA. Since then? Two Cy Young Awards, 9 and 7 fWAR seasons, and utter and complete domination of the National League.
Stop laughing! It's science or something!
The fun thing about deGrom is that he doesn't go all crazy eyes intimidation on guys when he pitches. (Although we love guys like that, too!) He just kind of goes out there and strikes guys out. Like, a lot of guys. I mean, guys have a lot of trouble hitting his pitches:
He's so dominant that he finished 2018 with a 1.70 ERA on a team that could barely be bothered to give him any run support at all, leading him to a 10-9 W-L record and solidifying the sentiment that wins are a team stat and practically worthless when evaluating a pitcher's season. His 2019 bid wasn't quite as dominant, but he actually had some offense to back him up thanks to Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil. Plus, I personally blame Victor Caratini for inflating deGrom's stats.
Love you, Vic! Do more of these in 2020!
So whether you call him deGoat or the deGrominator, just know he'll always have a place here at the DNA. Just, you know, leave the hair farming to your other worldly rotation-mate, mmmmkay, Jacob?
You know that's right, Thor.