This past offseason, the Angels traded Conor Lillis-White for Tommy La Stella. Fans were first disappointed when he made the roster, then further disappointed when he started Opening Day over David Fletcher (make him an All-Star!), then even further disappointed when it seemed that La Stella couldn’t hit or play defense.
That tune quickly changed. Despite beginning the year in a slump, Brad Ausmus continued to pencil La Stella in the lineup, and now the second baseman has set a career high in homers, slashing on the year .303/.361/.519 with a crazy 7.8% K-rate. He now hits leadoff against righties, and Angel fans are singing a different song.
However, whenever we looked on Twitter, it seems that Cubs fans were really happy for La Stella and kept saying “if only he got consistent playing time.” La Stella was mainly a pinch-hitter for Joe Maddon. So we decided to ask Cub fans more. With help from Bleed Cubbie Blue, the Cubs SBNation affliate, we were able to conduct a little poll to see if the general read was true for all fans.
- On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like Tommy La Stella?
The responses averaged 8.21/10.
- Did you agree with the decision to trade him to the Angels?
Surprisingly, 53.8% agreed.
- Do you enjoy seeing him have success with the Angels?
Although a bit of a softball, it still is surprising to see that 100% of Cubs fans surveyed enjoy him having success with the Angels. I can’t think of an ex-Angel who would get that same love.
- Why do you feel the way you do about Tommy La Stella? Some of the responses include:
“Incredible at bats. Tough out.”
“Just a gut feeling and also when he threw a temper tantrum when he was demoted to triple A.”
“He was there to bat when needed and usually came up with a hit!!”
“He threw a temper tantrum after being demoted, went into hiding and refused to play for a while.”
“He’s a dedicated player, determined, hard working, fun - and talented.”
“World Series Champion” (okay, but everyone on the 2016 Cubs is a WS Champion...)
“He’s such a gamer and truly loved the cubs. He’s the type of guy that every team ny”
“He was underappreciated and underused.”
“Hard nosed player, loyal, grit... what else isn’t there to love. Needed traded so he could play. He deserved to play. Hated for him to go but happy for him.”
“He was a solid utility guy that wasn’t going to get an opportunity to start due to the Cubs regulars but he always did a good job when called upon.”
- Do you have any interesting stories about Tommy La Stella?
“Yes, he [introduced] himself to my 80 year-old mother and she felt like a million bucks. Tommy being Tommy.”
“I’m told from a mutual friend he’s interested in human conscious studies and mindfulness”
Here’s a prank war with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer that was mentioned multiple times by Cubs fans.
- Is there anything else you would like Halos Heaven to know about Tommy La Stella? Some of the responses include:
“He rolls out of bed at 3:00 AM ready to bat.”
“He is besties with jake arrieta. They ride the same horse together”
“he likes Frankie Valli” “Not sure what his walk up song is over there in California but when he was with the Cubs it was ‘December 1963’ which I loved”
“You should probably trade him back to the Cubs.”
“They got a wheel of a deal of a steal. Not only an awesome player but an awesome human being.”
There you have it! It seems that Cubs fans really liked La Stella! Thanks to Bleed Cubbie Blue for taking the time!