Alfonso Soriano is on one of his patented hot streaks, homering four times in his last four games. He’s raised his SLG 26 points in those four games (which is pretty incredible for August). The only problem? The four homers have been the only four times he’s gotten on base in those four games. I guess he really doesn’t like to run the bases.
- Boom, LaRussa’d. You didn’t need evidence that, had the spike been on the other foot when Matt Holliday leg whipped Starlin Castro this weekend, Tony LaRussa would have ordered retribution. But you’ve got it: after Takashi Saito plunked Albert Pujols on the hand last night, LaRussa had Jason Motte throw two pitches way in on Ryan Braun (the second of which hit Braun square in the back) to “send a message.” I didn’t think I could be more angry about the whole episode. I was wrong. Do you think Lance Berkman is now going to issue a statement saying “Saito was just playing the game hard”?
- Mike Quade appears to have finally accepted that the Cubs are out of the race, and are resigned to spoiling the seasons of other teams. “You wish you were [a contender] right now, and you’re not,” Quade said. “There’s always a little extra impetus when you’re playing contenders, especially contenders in your own division. It’s just time to make it hard on all of them.”
- Quade, who used to say all the right things, says something right once again: “We’re talking about a guy we just brought back from Triple-A, a guy who contributed a great deal last year and a young guy who we think is a big part of the future here,” Quade said of Tyler Colvin. “So we need to see him get opportunities. Again, it’s a fine line if we’re just giving a guy something. He has to earn it. And he understands that.” That’s actually a good point. Yes, I want to see Colvin starting almost every game the rest of the way out. The Cubs need to know what they have in him. But, at the same time, there is value in telling a kid he’s got to earn it.
- Bruce Levine had a chat yesterday, in which he came off as very defensive of Jim Hendry. Not so much, like, “Jim Hendry should not be fired, he’s done a fine job;” but, instead, like, “the Cubs either need to let him go now, or sign him to an extension – this in between stuff isn’t helping anyone.” I don’t wholly disagree, but, if the next GM is currently under contract with another team, booting Hendry now doesn’t really do anything to allow the Cubs to make moves. They’re stuck until the new guy rolls into town because there are no other “baseball guys” in the organization upon whom Tom Ricketts can lean. There might be a lesson there, Mr. Ricketts.
- You may have heard rumors about Old Style being replaced as the official beer of Wrigley Field, which would start selling Coors Light instead. But the Chicagoist cautions they’re just rumors, and it is trying to confirm whether it’s true. I understand the history and tradition. I really do. But I have a hard time getting too riled up because (and I’m about to commit a crime) … I kind of like Coors Light. I know. I just lost a few thousand readers.
- Speaking of corporate ways to make money, the Cubs have reached out to Arizona State to share and co-brand the new $84 million training facilities the Cubs are building in Mesa for Spring Training. It’s either a brilliant way to make some scratch from facilities that would otherwise be laying fallow part of the year, or a sign that the Cubs are desperate for cash. Allow your predisposition to decide which is true.