As is often the case when the Cubs have a day off and then a game later in the evening on the following day, things can get a little slow around here.
With that in mind, here's a selection of baseball headlines -- not all having to do with the Cubs -- for you to chew on until early this evening. Tonight's game preview post will be up at 6 pm CDT for the 8:10 pm CDT start.
- Rick Morrissey channels our own BLou in his whiny, sky-is-falling column about Kevin Gregg. Hey, Rick: many pitchers have a "dead arm" phase at this time of the season. Gregg will be just fine.
- Phil Rogers says the Cubs will "pull away" and win the NL Central. Uh-oh. Meanwhile, Lou Piniella says the Cardinals are the "team to beat".
- John Smoltz could have retired at the end of last year and gone into the Hall of Fame with Greg Maddux (and now, Tom Glavine, since he hasn't pitched this year). Instead, he now has a 8.32 ERA and a Willie Mays-like end to his career. Sad.
- David Ortiz and the MLBPA will have a news conference tomorrow to address the revelation of Ortiz's name appearing on the 2003 list of positive PED tests. Yet another reason to just release the entire list, have one big news conference, and get it over with.
- Jake Peavy will go on a three-start minor league rehab assignment and then could start ... September 3 vs. the Cubs at Wrigley Field. You may groan, but the Cubs have already defeated Peavy once at Wrigley already this year, on May 12, and his lifetime record at Wrigley is 1-2, 3.86 in five starts.
That ought to give you enough to chew on during the morning and afternoon. Have at it.