Hitting major league pitching isn't the only part of being a professional that Chicago Cubs minor leaguer Ian Stewart has struggled with. There's also filtering his own thoughts on Twitter, where Stewart appears to say whatever is on his mind, sometimes to his own detriment.
In a series of tweets responding to fans Monday night, Stewart blamed the Cubs, notably manager Dale Sveum, for his struggles at Class AAA Iowa, where he's batting .164. Stewart said the Cubs are letting him "ROTT" in the minors, that they "might as well release me" and that he "Probably never" would be promoted to the major league squad — not even if Luis Valbuena "were to get hurt."
"ROTT." The old "Round and Round," eh?
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune collated Stewart's mini-rants:
One person tweeted Stewart to say he was “worthless” and should “quit baseball.” Stewart replied: “why would I quit. I’m making 2 mill in AAA like u would give that up by quitting.”
Stewart was non-tendered last December but re-signed for $2 million. If the Cubs release him, they’re obligated to pay the entire salary.
Stewart also tweeted: “I meant they might as well release me since I have no shot at a call-up.”
And then there's this about Sveum:
@heitkamp2827 I think daleDoesn't like me andHe'sRunning the show
— BeefStew2 (@IAN_STEWART_2sc) June 11, 2013
What's not to like?! Not only has Stewart seen "Liar, Liar" too many times, he has logged a .232/.319/.417 batting line with 59 homers in 1,620 career plate appearances, mostly with the Colorado Rockies. Combine those offensive numbers with declining defense at age 28 and a recent history of injuries, well, that's why he's in minor league purgatory.
His worst comment was the painfully honest: "why would I quit. I’m making 2 mill in AAA like u would give that up by quitting.” Somewhere out there, a journalist or a fan is whining about the boring, canned responses of most players, and 'Why are we complaining about someone telling it like it is for once? At least Stewart is keeping it real.' "
Real ugly. Real cynical. Real entitled. Stewart's premise is that the Cubs don't like him personally, and that's why they're paying him $2 million to "ROTT" in the minors. The Cubs probably are paying him $2 million in spite of his mouth, because they thought he added some value to the franchise, either as a space-filler in the minors or a backup plan in the majors. But he can't even hold down third base at Triple-A.
Were it not for the bad example Stewart is setting for the other players in the organization, the Cubs might want to keep him around just to let him squirm. Stewart says he realizes how lucky he is to be playing ball, but he doesn't act like it. He's about two transactions away from a lesser independent league, or Europe.
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