Once again, Russ is away at a basketball officiating camp this weekend, so I'm filling in. (Beginning to wonder about this officiating thing. Think we could get Russ to go to umpire school instead?)
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Patrick Mooney says the Cubs have raised their game playing the tough Nationals.
- Cubs players say Anthony Rizzo is the undisputed team leader, taking the organization to "the next level."
- Mooney on Cubs draft possibilities including Illini closer Tyler Jay.
- The Cubs could be looking at Rafael Soriano, who pitched for Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay in 2010.
- More on the Cubs' interest in Rafael Soriano.
- Jorge Soler says he hopes to be back when he's eligible to come off the DL.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Joe Maddon has high praise for Rizzo, saying he ought to make the All-Star team.
- Meanwhile, Kris Bryant thinks Rizzo could qualify for an even higher honor.
- And Maddon is still backing Tsuyoshi Wada despite his bad outing Friday night.
From CBS Chicago:
- Matt Spiegel writes about Rizzo's "A-hack" and "B-hack" and how it could possibly help Javier Baez.
- You do, of course, remember "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The Cubs game he supposedly attended was 30 years ago Friday, although the game where the scene was filmed happened in September 1985, as I discovered five years ago when I heard from one of the film's assistant directors.
- Dan Bernstein says Starlin Castro could be on the way to a 3,000-hit career.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Joe Maddon and several Cubs players admit they have room for improvement.
- Paul Sullivan says the Cubs should bring up Kyle Schwarber to DH in A.L. parks this week. (Paul: no, they shouldn't.)
- VIDEO: Jake Arrieta talks about how he deals with rain delays.
- VIDEO: Anthony Rizzo on Thursday's wild game-ending play.
- The Cubs got Landmarks Commission approval for additional concession stands in the bleachers. (Yes, they needed that. Both the approval, and the additional concession stands.)
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Dan Cahill writes about a report that had Chicago as 45th-best among U.S. baseball cities based on mainly affordability criteria.
- Kris Bryant says he'd like to participate in the ASG Home Run Derby.
- Gordo says Joe Maddon is trying to build a culture of accountability around the Cubs.
From the Daily Herald:
- Bruce Miles says the Cubs won't neglect pitching in the upcoming draft.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Brett Taylor has a complete draft primer, covering all the rules, slots, etc.
- Even more on Rafael Soriano.
- And the Cubs could be interested in another international signing -- Cuban outfielder Eddy Julio Martinez.
- Luis Medina on prospect Jen-Ho Tseng's quest to improve his velocity.
From Chicago Cubs Online:
- Christian Villanueva's bat is on fire. (Well, not literally.) Could this mean a callup this summer?
- Chris Kulawik wonders what the cost would be, in players, to acquire Jonathan Papelbon. (I'd ask whether the Cubs even would want him.)
- The Cubs are among three teams being "aggressive" on Rafael Soriano.
From Cubs Insider:
- Could the Cubs still get something out of Gerardo Concepcion? Gunther Dabynsky thinks so.
- More thoughts on draft day from Todd Johnson.
- Todd Johnson also profiles Cubs catching prospect Victor Caratini, calling him "a developing leader."
- Why does Joe Maddon bat his pitcher eighth? Jayson Stark asked Maddon. And it makes sense.
- The Cubs had the most engagement of any MLB team on Twitter in May, reports Sean Dolinar at Fangraphs.
- You can vote for Iowa Cubs players to go to the Triple-A All-Star Game. Javier Baez' performance rates a vote. Voting continues through June 26.
Today's food for thought:
- A man has been pranking the post office in Ireland by sending all kinds of weird packages in the mail. Most of them have actually been delivered.
- Check out this drawing of a dinosaur with the scientific name Regaliceratops peterhewsi. Unofficially he's known as "Hellboy."
- Some animals can recognize their image in a mirror. And some can't.