Your Turn: Cubs fans say hi, bye to — and compare — Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta

SHARE Your Turn: Cubs fans say hi, bye to — and compare — Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta
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Some Cubs fans felt the need to kick Jake Arrieta on his way out the door. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 676240003

Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta: Names that forever will be linked in Cubs lore. One enormously talented pitcher came into the fold this week, all but ensuring that the other — whom I called “the player who had more to do with the best three-year period in Cubs history than anyone” in a column that drew all of the reaction below — is moving along.

Commenters lined up to say thanks and goodbye to Arrieta … or to kick him on his way out the door.

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“Jake gave the Cubs the swagger (real, not ‘Cubbie’) that they had never had in my lifetime,” tweeted @SteveWTP22. “Plus, he was a postseason beast, another thing they hadn’t had. I’ll miss ‘the Snake.’ ”

“Good riddance,” wrote @BillMcFrill. “Instead of being grateful for the Cubs rescuing him from the Orioles before he got DFAed, he let his agent make him think he was the second coming of Bob Gibson. His stats have gotten worse. I hope he tanks wherever he goes.”

It wouldn’t be fair to expect Arrieta to win a Cy Young, throw multiple no-hitters and crush it in the playoffs for his next team, too, but there’s a lot of room between doing what he did with the Cubs and — sheesh — tanking.

Perhaps a more interesting way to look at it: Who will be better from here forward, Arrieta, who turns 32 next month, or Darvish, who turns 32 this summer? Commenters weighed in early and often on that front, too.

A couple for one:

“Jake’s declining velocity and across-the-body throwing motion makes Darvish a good bet to age better than Jake. Also: Scott Boras,” wrote @FakeArrieta, adding a dig at the aforementioned agent.

“Nobody should ever diminish Jake’s years here, but I think Jake’s time was up,” wrote @timmah58. “Yu will have at least a few good years here.”

And a couple for the other:

“The difference Cubs fans will see is Arrieta has the heart of a lion and Darvish has the heart of a lamb,” wrote @DfeatUsc. “Darvish has marvelous stuff but tends to outthink himself. Arrieta attacked the strike zone and hitters. Yu likes to finesse the strike zone.”

“The Cubs should’ve given him proper appreciation and re-signed him instead of dumping this $$$ into Darvish,” wrote @coopg34. “They’re going to live to regret it.”

Who’s right? They all are. Just ask ’em.

POLL POSITIONS

No offense to Zach LaVine, whose first month on the court with the Bulls included consecutive games of 23, 21, 27 and 35 points, but the high-flying guard will have to settle for — at best — third-banana status if and when the team’s rebuild comes to fruition.

You said so yourselves. Nearly half of voters in this week’s “Your Turn” poll named rookie forward Lauri Markkanen as the player who’s the biggest key to the rebuild. That far outdistances LaVine, who even trails the unknown — whichever player the Bulls select with their top pick in June’s draft.

Is there something about LaVine — who was a sixth man in his only season at UCLA — that makes him easy to overlook? There are those who still view last June’s blockbuster trade with the Timberwolves as a matter of Jimmy Butler’s stardom vs. Markkanen’s potential, as if forgetting that LaVine (not to mention Kris Dunn, a distant fourth in the poll) also was moved.

LaVine averaged 18.9 points in Minnesota before last season’s ACL injury, is a two-time NBA slam-dunk champion and — sneaky-young alert — is only 22. Just saying: Even if voters aren’t bananas for the guy, he’s pretty good.

IN OTHER NEWS …

A few more of your questions and observations:

You might want to check how the Cubs did in 1906, 1907 and 1908 before you say something as ludicrous as 2015-17 was the best three-year period in Cubs history. —@lostlunchcard

Indeed, the Cubs played in three straight World Series, winning two of them, back then. But here’s what they didn’t do: end a 108-year championship drought. That’s what makes this three-year run so meaningful. And just so everyone knows, I’m willing to meet anyone who lived through those earlier titles in a dark alley and settle this once and for all.

Is Illinois’ Trent Frazier the best left-handed guard in college basketball? —@Wiesnoski

Not even close — to Villanova junior point guard Jalen Brunson, that is. The former Stevenson star is the top player on one of the favorites to win the national title. The Illini wouldn’t be in last place in the Big Ten if they had Brunson, let’s put it that way.

But let’s give Frazier his due. He is Illinois’ best freshman in a long time and could be considered one of the school’s greats by the time he’s done.

Three Stanley Cups in the last eight years. The level of hockey we have gotten used to watching is not there anymore, but we’ve been lucky enough to cheer for a team that dominated hockey. Boo if you must, but I’m still so thankful for all the Blackhawks have given us. Nothing lasts forever. —@bryz_blue

Look, I’d deny it if I could, but what you say is just plain true. It’s also true of this column.

Follow me on Twitter @slgreenberg.

Email: sgreenberg@suntimes.com

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