Let's face it, Cub fans. We're starting to like seeing Jim Edmonds with the big C on his chest. It's okay. You can smile a little. We're beginning to see that he's not the worst guy in the world. But it wasn't always that way.
Cub fans despised Edmonds since 2000 when he joined the hated St. Louis Cardinals. We hated his upper cut swing that always seemed to drive in base runners or knock the ball over the fence.
We shouted profanity in his direction, whether we were a few feet away in our center field seats or 1,000 miles away watching WGN in our living rooms, whenever he would stick out his gold glove and rob our team of extra bases.
We furrowed our brows in anguish on May 15th as news spread that we signed this Cub killer. Not only a Cub killer, but a washed-up version. Jim Henry, what are you doing to us?! Are you kidding me?!
In just over a month with the San Diego Padres, Jim Edmonds was hitting .178 with one home run and six RBIs. Not only did we not like him, but he was pathetic.
It started out rough for Edmonds. Through his first eight games as a Cub, he had three hits and no RBIs.
Then something began to change. Slowly. On May 30th against the Rockies, the Cubs were hopelessly down eight runs headed into the sixth inning. It turned out to be a game the Cubs won 10-9.
One of the keys to the game: Cub killer.
Edmonds went 3-4 with a double, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Okay, so we cheered. A little.
Fast-forward a little to June 12th. It's the last game of the series against Atlanta. The Braves lead 2-1 heading into the ninth. Edmonds stepped to the plate with one out and nobody on base. He made that upper cut swing and knocked the ball over the fence. This time it was for us.
Jim Edmonds has had one more heroic game for the Cubs. Just nine days after his game-tying hit against the Braves, Edmonds hit two home runs against the White Sox—in the fourth inning. Maybe this guy isn't so bad after all.
Since arriving in Chicago, Jim Edmonds is batting .304 and slugging .621 with six home runs, 18 RBIs, and ten runs scored in 82 at-bats.
With outfielders going down with injuries, Edmonds may be called upon to play a bigger role than we anticipated. Let's hope that Jim can keep up these numbers as we head into the second half of the season.
In the season of 100 years, anyone has chance to step up and become a Cubs hero—even Jim Edmonds.