On the surface, Kevin Millar's release from the Cubs yesterday might be read as the Cubs arguing against the theory that a good-vibe clubhouse guy can change everything for the team. However, Millar's recent career stats and current age, plus Chad Tracy's relative youth, power potential, natural third base abilities and left-handed bat are difficult to ignore.
Tracy is the obvious choice, and though most of us (Millar included) were surprised when the Cubs chose Tracy over Millar yesterday, in retrospect Millar would have had to hit .350 (he hit .242), pound a few homers and make a couple eye-catching defensive plays at third this spring just to even the battle. That's how big and bright Millar's reputation and personality are--he made us overlook the obvious for a while, and it was kinda fun.
Of course, organizationally-speaking, it would have been easy to give Millar a brief shot at the beginning of the season to see if he had some curse-busting magic left. The Cubs could have simply sent Tracy down for a bit, ready to call up at the first sign of Millar not cutting it or the inevitable Aramis Ramirez injury. Let's hope the rest of the Cubs can manufacture their own good vibes this year, unlike 2009.