Chicago Cubs outfielder Nick Castellanos sits in front of his locker, slowly wrapping tape around his bats, while his mind is rapidly spinning.
He still can’t get over those horrendous uniforms during Players Weekend.
He hates the new wave of analytics, as if it were designed to keep salaries down, suppress the free agent market, which could lead to a potential strike during the 2021 season.
He insists Major League Baseball would be in a better place if every team actually wanted to win, instead of teams believing that tanking is the best formula for future success.
Castellanos can’t singlehandedly change the economic system of baseball, lead a work stoppage, or force owners to pay him what he’s worth as a 27-year-old free agent slugger this winter, but he’s a renaissance man who wants to make a difference in today’s game.
“I have a lot of opinions, I’m not saying I’m right or wrong,’’ says Castellanos, “but that’s how I feel.’’
Go ahead, you want to know what he really thought of those all-black and all-white uniforms the players wore last week during Players’ Weekend.
“This Players Weekend is promoting our individuality,’’ Castellanos tells USA TODAY Sports, “and what a worse way to give us a platform to promote ourselves by making our jerseys the exact same colors so people in the stands can’t see it. I was standing in right field and I couldn’t even see the number or names on the back.
“I think Major League Baseball made them the same color in case we tried to put something on the back of our jersey they wouldn’t like, so it wouldn’t show up. That’s the only thing I can think of. Just terrible marketing.’’
Please, don’t get him started on analytics, which caused teams to whiff on him at the trade deadline, leaving the Cubs to pull off the biggest heist of the summer by acquiring him from the Detroit Tigers.