Future perennial All-Star Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is having a banner year in the minors. By all accounts, he would be called up to the Big League club at or near the mid-summer trade deadline. But there’s only one problem: Current first baseman Bryan LaHair keeps hitting and is leading the team in home runs and RBIs.
“As long as he keeps hitting, my major league clock can’t start,” said a frustrated, yet supportive Rizzo. “It’s nothing more that clock-blocking.”
Yes. “Clock-blocking.” The new term coined by Cubs management and players used to describe the desire to not start the years of service on a major league contract—thus guaranteeing team control over a player for just a bit longer.
When asked if it was the team’s policy to allow presumably inferior athletes to come between a superior man and his dream date with the majors, team GM Jed Hoyer confirmed.
“Yes,” said Hoyer. “It’s true that we don’t want to start Anthony’s major league service clock just yet. I don’t know how to articulate it. It’s kind of like we’re all at a bar with Anthony. We know he can be at the bar because he’s old enough, he can afford the drinks, and the chicks dig him. We know there’s this one girl he’s set his eye on—let’s say her name is ‘The Bigs’. But LaHair keeps getting key hits at the right time. So, he get’s clock-blocked.”
Hoyer went on.
“Every time he gets a hit, it’s like Bryan stops by when Anthony’s talking to that same girl, and Bryan says, ‘Hey, your mom really ironed your shirt awesome today, bro’. Then Anthony has to go back to the minors … alone … left to apply pine tar to his bats by himself. He’s been ‘clock-blocked.’”