Because of the June 4 rainout in Atlanta that was made up on June 22, today is the Cubs' first off-day since June 15, twenty-five days ago. I'm sure they appreciate it, and so do I -- it's been pretty busy around here. Not just with a game a day, but also with various big-news items such as Ryan Dempster's toe-jam jump and Tom Ricketts finishing the deal to buy the team -- sort of.
So today, I present to you a collection of miscellaneous random links from around the Cubs and baseball. Discuss away.First, from Carrie Muskat's blog, this astonishingly detailed description from new hitting coach Von Joshua as to why some of the Cubs aren't hitting. Specifically, Milton Bradley:
Joshua thought Bradley had made progress during the Cubs' series in Detroit, especially from the left side. But he sees the switch-hitter reverting back to bad habits. What Bradley is doing is starting off open with the lower half of his body, but he's closed with his upper half. That doesn't work.
"What happens is he dives with his foot toward the plate, and his upper body continues to turn even more," Joshua said. "You can read his whole name on his back before he starts his rotation. You can't hit like that."
And yes, Joshua and others have pointed it out to Bradley and he is aware of it.
"What I'm trying to do is get him to either match his upper half to his lower half, or match his lower half to his upper half and have everything work as one unit," Joshua said. "What's happening now, is when he dives with his lower half and closes with his upper half, he can't see the pitch."
Switch-hitters can't match their left side swing with their right. They're two different swings, Joshua said.
"If you notice, he's a lot slower and doesn't jump at the ball as much from his right side," Joshua said. "He thinks he's going to be late maybe [from the left side] but, in essence, that slows you up even more. That's what he's fighting right now."
Geez. If Bradley's trying to process all that, no wonder he's not hitting.Now, to a few more fun and enjoyable things than ripping apart Milton Bradley's swing:
- Reed Johnson blogs about his rehab assignment.
- Upcoming pitching rotation: Rich Harden tomorrow, Ted Lilly Saturday, Randy Wells and Carlos Zambrano (still TBD who starts which game) Sunday. Then it will go Harden and Lilly the first two games in Washington after the break... and then it's anyone's guess.
- Chicago Tribune photographer Phil Velasquez posted photos today of the rare North Side-South Side baseball doubleheader in Chicago yesterday.
- Hardball Cooperative has new lists of top baseball novels and top baseball non-fiction. They also mention what they don't like. Find out why they don't like "Moneyball".
- Gordon Edes at Yahoo explains why Roy Halladay probably will not be traded. (I agree with his analysis.)
- And finally, here's a very tough baseball rules quiz. (I only got three out of ten.)
That ought to keep you busy on this off-day. Enjoy. (And go Brewers again tonight. Ugh. I feel dirty saying that.)