San Diego Padres pitcher Jake Peavy was the Brian Roberts of the 2008-09 offseason for the Chicago Cubs and their fans.
He was the carrot dangled in front of a fandom that had just seen its team bow out of the NLDS without a fight for the second straight season. Peavy was rumored to be singing "Go Cubs Go" and packing his bags for a trip to Chicago and North Side vendors were tailoring No. 44 jerseys with Cubbie blue pinstripes ... not shirts that mentioned a St. Louis lawn care expert.
And Peavy still might be headed to Chicago ... but instead he might be heading to the South Side.
Grumblings last night turned into confirmed reports that the Padres and White Sox had agreed to a deal for the 2007 NL Cy Young award winner.
If Peavy waves his no-trade clause, it will say one thing about both of Chicago's general managers.
It would bring major props to White Sox GM Kenny Williams, who was much maligned this offseason for failing to get a lead-off man, centerfielder while also failing to get rid of the team's old, slow softball sloth-like players.
As for Jim Hendry, it would confirm what I've written here many times: A major disappointment. After getting an extension this offseason, he allowed popular players that actually were part of the team's 97-win core walk. Bye-bye Henry Blanco and Kerry Wood in exchange for absolutely nothing but frustration. Hendry would go on to trade the oh-so-versatile Mark DeRosa for minor elague pitchers that were once rumored to head to San Diego for Peavy but now are toiling in the minor leagues without much fan fare.
In exchange for three of its most popular and most productive players, Hendry brought in Paul Bako, Kevin Gregg and Aaron Miles. Bako is no longer with the team, while Gregg and Miles make their case on a daily basis to join Bako in the unemployment line.
If this trade does go through, expect a good chunk of Cubs fans to leap off various tall buildings while there will be celebrations in the projects. I'll also expect a letter of resignation on the desk of Tom Ricketts, Sam Zell or whoever is running that joint.
So, Jake ... for the love of Cubdom ... Just Say No!