Different format today. Sunday we had the "Brunch of Champions" before another loss to the Marlins, who I officially hate. I can't stand their owner, I loathe that monstrosity in the outfield, their uniforms are fugly, and I don't like that they've even been to the World Series, let alone won two. I try to get over this irrational hate, but I cannot. Their very existence angers me obscurely. Glad to be done watching them, writing about them, even thinking about them, for a while. Now I can concentrate on my entirely rational strong dislike of the Reds, and of soupy chili with macaroni and way too much cheese on it. I used to regard them with fear and loathing. Now there's just loathing. And with Dusty Baker gone, it's diminished in intensity.
This just in: Kris Bryant can hit a little bit.
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Bullets and ballots.
- Jeff Passan (Yahoo Sports*): MLB All-Star voting is down, and the Cubs want ballot-box anarchy. Passan doesn't like Addison Russell starting.
- Buster Olney (ESPN-Insider ($)): Potential All-Star snubs. 3/5 of the Cubs' starting rotation is on the list.
- Jordan Bernfield (Daily Herald): Cubs' depth on display with recent injuries. They've skipped a beat, but it hasn't been due to the young position players.
- Isaac Chipps (ESPN): Are Chicago Cubs preparing to trade for a Yankees reliever? The rumor that would not die.
- Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Cubs reportedly continue to watch Yankees relievers closely. George King III keeps it going. Taylor considers it due diligence, and he's probably right.
- Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register): Dan Vogelbach not worried about his future. "The Iowa Cubs slugger is trying to tune out all the extra noise that seems to be building as the trade deadline looms..."
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Tommy La Stella, Clayton Richard join Iowa Cubs for rehab assignments. "They're both ready to roll," Joe Maddon said.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Joe Maddon isn't panicking but admits 'we have to firm things up'. Players echo his sentiments.
- Mark Simon (ESPN): Look for Jake Arrieta to load up on fastballs when facing Reds again. He's thrown the pitch a lot more this season, especially against the Reds. He used the fastball almost 2/3 of the time during his no-hitter against the team.
- ESPN: The evolution of Jake Arrieta -- and his beard. His fastball seems to have more hair on it when he has a beard.
- Zack Meisel (Cleveland.com): Projection systems say only Chicago Cubs have a better chance at a World Series triumph than the Cleveland Indians. "If the Cavaliers' championship didn't cause pigs to fly, the swines might be soaring come October."
- Joseph Gerardi (isportsweb): Why the Cubs shouldn't trade Kyle Schwarber. He's too good to lose unless the perfect deal comes along.
- Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Kyle Schwarber reunites with shattered windshield. Yesterday, Schwarber took a break from rehab to reunite with the shattered glass when he dined at Harry Caray’s, which sits adjacent to the Chicago Sports Museum.
- Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Hit ’em where they ain’t? Not working for Cubs’ Heyward so far. "It’s all about geometry sometimes," said Joe Maddon.
- Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): No need for Cubs to overreact when best years should be in front of Kris Bryant and Addison Russell. So who's overreacting? They're both in the lineup nearly every day.
- ESPN: Joel Peralta discusses being back in the big leagues [VIDEO]
- Tommy Meyers (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Organizational depth: Bullpen edition. 14 pitchers on the list.
- Daniel Pauling (The Clarion-Ledger): Former Ole Miss closer Wyatt Short signs with the Chicago Cubs. Diminutive lefty reliever has a live arm.
- John Seidel (Chicago Sun-Times): Former Oak Park cop caught up in Wrigleyville rooftop scheme. Richard Zasiebida was charged Wednesday with failing to report the income he made from a sports betting operation and ticket brokerage service.
Food for Thought:
- Charles Choi (Live Science): Quantum computers could simulate beginnings of the universe. How much is a qubit?
- Mary Beth Griggs (Popular Science): Researchers just found a huge underground helium pool in Africa. Helium has many industrial uses. It isn't just for talking funny. This is a huge find in more ways than one.
- Connie Guglielmo (CNet*): Adam Savage: Don't let science scare you. + [VIDEO]