Tuesday, we took the El to US Cellular Field, only to lose the second game of the Crosstown Classic to the White Sox, and today we’re hosting the fourth game of the home and home set, with the record standing at 1-2. This is unseemly, at least on paper, where the Cubs should have taken at least three of these games. But too many walks and too little offense have taken their toll so far.
But, as the saying goes, we don’t play the games on paper. We play them on grass. Just ask Bill Lee. Today, we’re hoping for some meat loaf to help assuage our hunger for victory. One win and a “Peanut” isn’t quite a Snickers bar. Tonight, the Cubs take their cuts against Chris Sale.
Here's a little infotainment for your Thursday. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).
- George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): Cubs trade deadline under glass. A worst-to-first ranking of deadlines deals, Chicago-style.
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): The Cubs could be looking at a long-term Rays starter. No names or basis, but conjecture.
- Joel Sherman (NY Post): The deals that failed before Cubs/Yankees trade reality.
- Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): The latest on Josh Reddick and the Cubs: There have reportedly been “talks”. I would think this doable, given the Cubs’ resources and areas of need. We’ll have to wait and see.
- Neil (Chicago Cubs Online): Cubs focused on outfield, reportedly considering deal for Josh Reddick.
- Phil Rogers (MLB.com): After pitching deals, what’s left (field) for the Cubs? More on Josh Reddick.
- Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs might not be done with almost a week before the trade deadline. “We’re going to take a step back. But there’s still a good amount of time before the trade deadline. We’re going to engage with every other team and see if there’s an opportunity to get better,” said Theo Epstein.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Hector Rondon supports Aroldis Chapman taking over as closer. "I think this opens [Rondon] up to just pitching and not trying to throw 97 [mph] on the edge all the time and being concerned if he makes a mistake with his slider," Maddon said Wednesday.
- Jared Wyllys (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Grace in the mess: Hector Rondon. “I don’t care if I pitch in the eighth or seventh. The only thing that matters is to come into the game and do my job,” he says.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Aroldis Chapman arrives in Chicago with focus on wins. "It feels very good to wear a Chicago Cubs uniform," Chapman said, sitting in the visitors' dugout at U.S. Cellular Field. "There's a lot of expectations here in Chicago, and I'm here to do my job and try to win a World Series."
- Tim Huwe (The Zygote 50): The day after Gleyber. Gleyber Torres, that is. Traded for that Chapman guy. Huwe entertains a few thoughts.
- Larry Scott (Today’s Knuckleball): Acquiring Chapman could hurt Cubs’ future rotation. Scott thinks the Cubs have cashed in all of their chips and won’t be able to ante into the starter pool.
- Mike Axisa (CBS Sports*): Chapman claims controversial comments to Cubs’ media were lost in translation. Wat? He means that “Chapman's comments were clearly not translated to English accurately.”
- Grant Brisbee (SB Nation): The Chapman trade and the rewarding cynicism of the Cubs and Yankees. The lesson is, and always will be, "See? We told you it would all blow over."
- Danny Ecker (Crain’s Chicago Business): With Chapman trade, Cubs following common PR formula. “Unfortunately, sports franchises are developing a formula for adding players associated with domestic violence to their rosters.”
- Mike Imrem (Daily Herald): Maybe women execs could have helped with the Chapman situation. Mike gets ideas. This is not a bad one, but I don’t think this is the best test case or the best-drawn-scenario. Your mileage may vary.
- Adam Kilgore (The Washington Post): The Cubs paid a fortune for Aroldis Chapman. But even that helps their pennant chase. Because, as Kilgore explains, “the steep price the Cubs paid for Chapman probably set a baseline that makes acquiring a reliever like him prohibitive.”
- JJ Cooper (Baseball America): Red Sox, Cubs trades may have added benefit. “...they have made life more difficult for other contenders looking to help their rosters at the trade deadline...”
- Erik Lambert (Sports Mockery): ESPN proposes trade for Chris Sale to join Chapman on the Cubs. Jim Bowden scratched his head and this trade fell out. See what you think. Includes poll.
- Jeff Sullivan (Fangraphs): Luck has not been Jason Heyward’s problem. A “paper” about Heyward’s lack of hard contact.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Jason Heyward’s not making it easy for me to defend him. See above article for confirmation of Altman’s eye test.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Jason Heyward: ‘What can I do but to keep working and stay the course?” “The bigger issue at this point might be what Maddon does with Heyward if his struggles continue.”
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Cubs keeping the faith with Heyward despite season-long struggles. Joe Maddon went so far as to say "He's probably struggling a little bit.”
- Sharon (World Series Dreaming): South Bend Cubs: An interview with Mama Dewees. Donnie Dewees’ mother says a few syllables about her son.
- Jacob Spiwak (Sports Mockery) Here’s why White Sox fans should root for the Cubs in the Crosstown Classic. Besides the fact that they’re rooting for the wrong laundry, they also have Kenny Williams, and he gets ideas.
- Richard Kagan (Fansided): Chicago Cubs Flashback: Ron Santo: Hall of Famer. I saw #10 play. A lot. Met him twice. In all cases, it was a privilege. It is to him that I appeal when the Cubs go south.
- James Hilchen (Stadium Journey): Principal Park: Home of the Iowa Cubs. A review of the Triple-A affiliate’s ballpark.
- Jim Williams (CBS Sports*): Technology helps a blind Cubs fan ‘see’ the action. Andy Fabino, blinded five years ago, said “It’s like being a kid again.”
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Joe Maddon relishes chat with predecessor Rick Renteria. Renteria, the White Sox’ bench coach, received numerous hugs from Cubs coaches and players before Monday night's game.
- Carlos Portocarrero (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Hammer time’s not so bad. “I’m just saying that it would be nice to mix in some praise each time we talk about those dang second-half splits.” Looked pretty good last night.
- Antonio Morales (The Clarion-Ledger): Jackson State’s Carlos Diaz inks contract with Chicago Cubs. Undrafted catching prospect signs on.
- Bradford Doolittle (ESPN): Are walks becoming a problem for the Cubs? They have been recently. Whether or not that continues is the question.
Food for thought:
- Samantha Cole (Popular Science): Roach milk: The next superfood? It has more than four times the nutritional value of cow's milk. Don’t bogart that bug.
- Kate Baggaley (Popular Science): Watch this orangutan make sounds resembling human speech. “Rocky” is probably in line for a contract announcing football.
- Kacey Deamer (LiveScience): ‘Grow’ your own glowing flowers: The science of fluorescence. I’ve done this one. The science behind it is cool though.
Good start to an 8-game homestand. Let’s keep it going. See you Sunday.