Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

I’m headed to Chicago this morning (I’m there until Friday afternoon), so my usual travelling caveat applies: you should see normal posting, but I might not be around as much in the comments or on the Message Board. Behave. If anyone is going to tonight’s or tomorrow night’s game against the Phillies, I’ll be in the right field bleachers. Before tonight’s game, the Cubs are having a “Social Media Night” even at the Captain Morgan Club next to Wrigley, so I reckon I’ll be there starting at around 5, 5:15. Stop by.

  • Carlos Marmol is receiving treatment for his strained hammy in Chicago, but isn’t expected to be healthy again for another 10 to 14 days. “He’s getting his treatment every day, and we’ll see what happens,” Sveum said before adding that Marmol will get a couple minor league innings before returning. Injuries are rarely a good thing, but they aren’t alway 100% bad. Getting Marmol some head-clearing time, and then minor league time, could really help him get his psyche in a better place. Maybe that will improve his performance.
  • Dale Sveum was asked again yesterday about his decision the day before to have Starlin Castro bunt with no outs in the 8th inning of a tie game, in order to move over runners on first and second (despite knowing that “success” would lead to an intentional walk of Bryan LaHair), and he got a little more gruff this time. “You’re not going to ask certain people [to bunt] if they’re not capable of doing things,” he said, according to the Tribune. “But he’s capable. He runs good, so if it is a really good bunt he can beat it out. You can go on and on about the goods and the bads of all of these things. The bottom line is I’m the one that makes the decisions. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t.” That’s probably the best response, all things consider. Don’t try to blame Castro for poor execution, don’t admit it was a mistake (even if it was). Just say it was your decision, and that’s that.

  • But Sveum went on talk about the sabermetrics of bunting in that situation. Shrug: “You wanna talk about [sabermetrics], then OK. Then you talk about the team that has more people on base during the course of the game is going to win way more games than the other teams. You want to keep intentionally walking guys and all that? Then the odds gradually come [the opposing team’s] favor to win the game. If [the opposing team’s] third, fourth and fifth hitters get up five times in a game, you’ve got a chance of losing that game at an alarming rate.” Dale is right that intentional walks are frequently a bad idea, but when you have to give up an out to get that intentional walk (and the guy giving up the out and the guy getting walked are your two best hitters), I just don’t think the math works out. In any event, it was a terrible decision, but we’re moving on.
  • White Sox manager Robin Ventura says managing in the AL is much more difficult because, in the NL, you already know when you have to use your bench (i.e., when the pitcher’s spot comes up). We’re used to Ozzie Guillen trolling us before the Cubs/Sox series, but this is probably as outrageous as Ventura is going to get.
  • Bryan LaHair confesses that it would be pretty cool to be an All-Star. So, maybe you help him out there.
  • Noah at VFTB interviewed Anthony Rizzo. It’s an audio file, if you’d like to give it a listen.
  • MLBullets at BCB looks at Matt Kemp’s “Iron Man” streak coming to an end.

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