Did Johnny see a horsie? (Pic: Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)
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 offers up some wholehearted appreciation for San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto.
It was the bat crack heard 'round Cubs fandom... you remember it. We lived through 7 1/2 excruciating innings of the first game of the 2016 NLDS, knowing how terrible the Cubs had been against Johnny Cueto that season. He was already a World Series champion, leading the Royals to the title just the season before. Before the game, Cueto provoked the Cubs and their fans, saying, "We'll find out who's got the coconuts." It seemed like no one could do anything against either starter that game, and then it happened.
And thus began Javy's climb to legend status. But what of Cueto? The Cubs would've faced him again in Game 5 had they not made a miraculous comeback in Game 4 against a shaky Giants bullpen. Since that time, Cueto has been plagued by injuries, culminating in season-ending Tommy John surgery in 2018. A once dominant pitcher, Johnny Coconuts hasn't pitched a full season since that 2016 campaign, and is on his way to a hopeful comeback in 2020.
Still, Cueto is fun, and his Instagram is a treasure trove of various goodies. You could literally get lost on his IG page for days just watching clips of him riding his beloved horses.
I mean, how soothing is the clomping, the bouncing hair, the sight of his slip-ons absolutely not slipping off as he trots across the screen? He even, it seems, uses them as stereo equipment at times, which is frankly about as Peak Cueto as it gets.
Cueto's horse content has been lacking in recent months because of his surgery, but much like the Cubs, he's busy strapping it on trying to get back to form.
You might also see him overseeing the preparation of some delicious looking food, if that's more your thing. (Confession: it is decidedly my thing.)
Cueto's IG content slowed way down while he was injured, so I for one am very pleased that he's back at it again. Here's hoping he can be one of the bright spots for the Giants this season, and that he and Babe Kapler can make some interesting memes together. At least we know one of them will have the coconuts.