I’d grown accustomed to using this preamble space in the Bullets for a discussion of the growing Cubs losing streak. Now what do I do? How about that one-game winning streak, eh? Theo and Jed spoke to the media yesterday, and I’ll have more on that later this morning. Until then, Bullets…
- Former Chicago Cubs farmhand Andrew Cashner is now a hard-throwing setup man for the San Diego Padres, after an offseason trade dealt him (and a prospect) for Anthony Rizzo (and Zach Cates). Yesterday marked his first return to Chicago, so you’d think there would be a fun, smoke-blowing interview on tap. But instead, Cashner was coarse and, I don’t know, overly sensitive? After explaining that he understood that he was traded because he was “a Jim Hendry guy” and not a Theo/Jed guy, Cashner was innocuously asked about his shoulder, which cost him almost all of 2011. Since Cashner’s throwing 100mph now, you can understand the question, and it’s light-hearted nature. But Cashner didn’t take it that way. He scoffed that the media would even ask him that question, and then stormed off. Odd reaction to a legitimate question. Best of luck, Andrew.
- Ian Stewart, who had a good offensive day yesterday, like everyone not named Joe Mather or Blake Lalli, is pleased to have the Cubs’ losing streak behind him. “It’s hard to describe what a losing streak like that feels like,” Stewart said. “To an extent you just feel like you are going to lose and it is tough. Today was a big day for us and a lot of guys broke out. Hopefully that continues.” Not all “narratives” and ethereal crap about sports is legit. But I truly believe that, when a team loses enough, and starts expecting to lose, it impacts their performance negatively. In that regard, Stewart is saying the same thing, and it’s good that the Cubs finally got off the schneid.
- Travis Wood, to his credit, isn’t willing to blame his poor outing yesterday on the wind. “Don’t blame it all on the conditions,” Wood said. “I missed some pitches and stuff. Maybe some of them don’t get out but a lot of them were hit hard. It was just one of those games.” If the wind were neutral yesterday, Wood probably goes six, and gives up just a few runs. That’s not to excuse his performance, it’s simply to highlight something we’ll have to get used to with Wood (if he’s to stick in the rotation for a while): when the wind is blowing out, Wood could easily struggle. He’s always been a fly ball pitcher, and, while he can work on that some, he’s got to do what works for him. If that means he’s relatively less effective than a typical pitcher when the wind is blowing out, that’s just the way it’s going to be.
- The full text of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (2012-16 Basic Agreement) is finally available. We already know the gist of the many, many changes, but there’s always some nitty-gritty that we might find interesting. The Agreement is 311 pages long, though, so … get to work, I guess.
- Former big league pitcher Bobby Ojeda wrote a touching, funny, illuminating piece for the New York Times about his experience growing up as a pitcher, and then doing what it took to stick in the big leagues. It’s a pretty frightening tale, actually, and makes you wonder what pitchers might be dealing with on a daily basis. (h/t Obstructed View)
- Remember that play a few nights ago, when third base coach Pat Listach sent Blake Lalli with just one out even though it looked like even a mediocre throw would get him? Well, the Pirates made a couple good throws, and this is what happened (thanks to BN’er Kevin S for the hilarious pictorial):