Real baseball is supposed to be coming very soon. Two weeks from today, in fact. In the meantime, the simCubs still ride high atop the NL Central standings and the leaderboards are liberally festooned with Cubs both young and old. You can see for yourself.
The Astros and Rays are fighting it out for the AL wild-card. Yankees, Indians, Angels are on top of their respective divisions. Braves, Cubs, Dodgers lead their divisions with the Nationals and Brewers slugging it out for the fourth spot.
Anthony Rizzo has relinquished the top spot in home runs, and Craig Kimbrel is one behind Giovanny Gallegos, but the simCubs are well-represented, both on the stat-boards and in the nominations for All-Star spots. Brandon Palmer will have some words about these matters in his interview, later today.
The simGames have increasing divergence from the ‘reality’ timeline as players who have been released continue to show up in these games and perform well. But then we have made trades and the minor leagues still operate in toto and are stocked with NPCs who don’t exist outside of the Cub Tracks continuum. And of course there are huge roaring crowds and my intranet antivirus works, so there’s no ‘roni.
I find it a pleasant diversion (especially given that I have never expected there to be any actual games this year,
nor should there be). Your mileage may vary. In any event, the ageless Jon Lester (10-4, 3.14), who has been trying to go to eleven for quite a while now, faces Felix (not the King) Hernandez, (8-2, 3.33) as the 59-35 simBraves host the 64-29 simCubs. Al will have more about the game in the game post at 2:30 p.m. CT Tuesday. and then I’ll post the actual URL to the stream at 3 p.m. CT. Or you can catch the game at the BCB Media Center and also catch past games and game videos, if you want the full #simCubs experience.
... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you a lighthearted Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review hand-picked scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history*.
Today in baseball history:
- 1911 - When umpire Bill Klem stops the Phillies-Cardinals contest to have an unruly fan banned from the Baker Bowl, the removal marks the first expulsion of a patron from a game. The standard practice at the time was to use bodyguards after the contest to protect the arbitrators, rather than risk the crowd’s ire by ousting one of their own. (1)
- 1919 - After PH Joe Harris triples with three on base to give Cleveland a 7-3 lead in the last of the 8th, reliever Elmer Myers gives up a run, then loads the bases on walks. In comes little-used lefty Fritz Coumbe. Up steps Babe Ruth who hits his second homer of the day for an 8-7 Red Sox win. Out goes Indians manager Lee Fohl, fired for the move. In comes CF Tris Speaker to manage the Tribe. He will bring them home in second place and stay as skipper for seven years. (2,3)
- 1934 - The second annual All-Star Game produces Carl Hubbell’s amazing feat of striking out five future Hall of Famers in a row. Off to a shaky start with two on base in the 1st inning, Hubbell uses his screwball to fan Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx. He adds Al Simmons and Joe Cronin to start the second. After three scoreless innings he leaves with the National League ahead, 4-0. The American League rallies, scoring nine runs off Lon Warneke, Van Mungo and Dizzy Dean, while Mel Harder pitches five shutout innings in relief of Red Ruffing to hold the lead. Frankie Frisch and Joe Medwick hit homers. Earl Averill’s three RBI are decisive for the AL’s 9-7 victory. (1)
- 1948 - After yielding a two-run homer to the A’s Hank Majeski to tie the score, reliever Satchel Paige gets his first major league win as Larry Doby hits a two-run homer and the Indians tack on another run in the 9th to beat Philadelphia, 8-5. (3)
- 1969 - The Cubs score five runs in the fifth inning to beat the Mets, 6-2, behind Bill Hands. The win halts the Mets’ seven-game win streak and leaves the New Yorkers in second place by four games. (3)
- 1984 - On the 50th anniversary of Carl Hubbell’s legendary five consecutive strikeouts in the 1934 All-Star Game, National League pitchers Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden combine to fan six batters in a row for a new All-Star Game record in the NL’s 3-1 triumph. After Valenzuela whiffs Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson and George Brett in the fourth inning, Gooden, the youngest All-Star ever at age 19, fans Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon and Alvin Davis in the fifth. (1,3)
- 1992 - The Pirates trade 3B Steve Buechele to the Cubs in exchange for P Danny Jackson. The swap opens up the Bucs’ 3B spot for Jeff King. (3)
- 2000 - Sammy Sosa wins the All-Star Game Home Run Derby by defeating defending champ Ken Griffey Jr. in the finals. (3)
- 2019- Jim Bouton, an excellent pitcher as a young man turned knuckleballer after arm injuries cost him his fastball, but better known as the author of Ball Four, one of the best books ever written about baseball, dies at 80. Blackballed by baseball’s establishment after his book was published in 1970, he dabbled in acting and sports journalism before making a comeback in 1978 and writing a number of other books, including one on his quixotic fight to preserve a historic ballpark in Pittsfield, MA. He had been suffering from dementia for the past few years. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Bobby Lowe, Dutch Rudolph, Andre Dawson HOF.
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — Society for American Baseball Research.
- (5) — Baseball Hall of Fame.
- (6) — This Day in Chicago Cubs history.
*We try to vet each item. Please let us know if an item is in error, especially if you have a source. A note: The history of baseball necessarily reflects certain political realities. My official view is centrist, regardless of my personal feelings or failings.
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Thanks for reading!