A minor point about the game last night: everyone is getting on Jeff Baker’s case for trying to stretch a single into a double “in an eight-run game.” Why, exactly, does it matter how big the lead was at that point? It was only the 5th inning, and the Cubs had a long way to come back. No one would argue that it’s a whole lot easier to score from second than from first, and if you chip away a run here and there, you never know what might happen. You don’t have to get them all back in one chunk. I really can’t wrap my head around the criticism, and I’d love to be set straight.
- Mike Quade summed up Matt Garza, who was in line for a blowout loss last night before the Cubs came back, and was apparently a little nutty after the win: “There’s always something wrong with him mentally. But that’s why we love him. He’s my kind of lunatic.” Does that make Carlos Zambrano not your kind of lunatic?
- Aramis Ramirez’s value – both in trade and to the Cubs in 2012 – is skyrocketing. He’s the hottest hitter in baseball, and he’s catapulted himself, unbelievably, into the discussion of the best offensive third baseman in baseball in 2011.
- Paul Sullivan says Crane Kenney’s time as the Cubs’ President is drawing to a close. Speaking about Red Sox President Larry Lucchino as a contrast to Kenney, Sullivan says: “Lucchino gets things done. He was instrumental in building Camden Yards, which began the retro ballpark revolution. He got a new ballpark built in San Diego, and a renovated Fenway Park in Boston. He also won a couple World Series with the Red Sox, and doesn’t put up with any garbage from players, agents, or the media for that matter. I believe his contract is up in Boston, so he should be available. Don’t know if he is the answer, but something has to happen. The current Cubs president, Crane Kenney, certainly had his shot, and failed. The only ones still defending him are his pals in the media. Time’s up.”
- I’m not going to link it, because it deserves no more page views than the one I already gave it, but Steve Rosenbloom yesterday criticized Carlos Zambrano for planning to fly to Guatemala over the AS break to adopt a child. I wish I could say I was exaggerating.
- Two Cubs prospects made Baseball America’s mid-season top 50 list: Brett Jackson comes in at number 32, and Matt Szczur is number 48.
- Cubs’ DSL prospect Enyelberth Pena, a right-handed pitcher, was suspended 50 games for steroids. I hadn’t heard of him until this news, so it’s at least a fair guess that he’s not a kid to be extraordinarily worried about.
- Prince Fielder selected, among others, his teammate Rickie Weeks to be on the NL Home Run Derby squad, rather than, say, Carlos Pena (tied for fourth in the NL in homers at 19). Weeks, however, has 16 homers himself, and is an All-Star this year. Probably not a lot of complain about, but it would have been fun to see a Cub in the Derby.
- Curt Schilling on the prevalence of cheating in the 1990s.