Aw, yeah... that's the stuff. (Pic: Mitchell Leff/Getty)
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 shuffles on over to talk about Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto.
Did you know that Juan Soto is only 21 years old? You might've heard his age mentioned a time or two during the 2019 playoffs, although he was only 20 for most of that time and the broadcasting teams loved that narrative more than Joe Buck loved talking about Clayton Kershaw's sweet tank tops in 2016.
Kersh still has the same number of World Series rings, too.
Soto might be young, but he has the confidence of a grizzled veteran, wrapped up a hilarious package of brazen defiance and tremendous batflps.
I'd give that one a 9.5.
The "act like you've been there before" crowd probably doesn't appreciate Soto much, and that's OK because I don't think he really cares. Soto has created a little world all his own, complete with its own dance moves. Witness the Soto Shuffle:
I think I just had a joy aneurysm.
If you've never paid much attention to the Soto Shuffle before, you need to understand something--this is a dance reserved for when the pitcher throws a ball. It is Juan's way of saying, "I see you, ball-throwing man. I know what you have, and it's nothing. I spit on you and your crappy pitches." (And he clearly thought that pitch at 1:43 from Miles Mikolas was a ball and... yeah, Mikolas probably benefited from some good Neck Tat framing right there.) Sometimes he throws in a spit or head nod or a mutter or, when he's feeling fancy, a crotch grab for extra spice.
If Soto were some mediocre hitter it might be annoying, but this is a young man who had a .282/.401/.548 slash line with a 142 wRC+ and 34 home runs in his second year of MLB ball. I'd say he Shuffled all over the sophomore slump, wouldn't you? He also backed it up all the way into the postseason... a great example coming in the Wild Card game, and some of you may remember this at bat fondly, especially if you're a Hader Hater:
Ahhhh, so soothing. There was another moment of absolute hilarity where Soto's confidence was on full display, and it came back to bite Alex "Likely Cheater" Bregman square in the rump:
Hold on... laughing... wait... need... to... breathe...
OK, I'm composed now. I'm old enough to be Juan Soto's, uh, much, much older sister, but I know quality when I see it. And this, my friends? Is quality. Shuffle on, Juan. The Nats are your team now.