It’s an off-day for the Cubs, who head out West to San Francisco for a series starting tomorrow. My kickball game last night went well enough (like the Cubs, we came back from being down early, scored three in the top of the final inning to take the lead, and then got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the half to seal the win (our closer is Carlos Marmol)), and our team improved to 5-0 on the year. The bummer? My OBP finally slipped under 1.000, as I grounded “out” on a totally blown call at first base.
- Tony Campana hasn’t started since May 21, and, to me, doesn’t sound too thrilled about it. “I guess it’s all right,” Campana said. “Everybody wants to play but we had to make a change. You can see that we had to do something and Joe brings a little more thump and he’s been having really good at-bats so he gets his chance. I’ll just come off the bench, do what I do off the bench and try to bring some excitement.”
- Sveum added that Campana didn’t so much lose his job as others claimed playing time. “It’s just one of those things where [Campana] didn’t do anything to lose his job,” Sveum said. “He was kind of more of a victim of doing a good job but the offense not scoring runs so I thought put somebody in there that might juice the team with a home run or a three-run homer or two-run double, something like that. Unfortunately for Camp, like I told him, he’s just a victim.” Since May 21, Mather is hitting .250/.294/.344. Just sayin’.
- Ryan Dempster was sufficiently pissed about his poor outing yesterday that he put a hole in the wall between his locker and Alfonso Soriano’s. Thankfully, he apparently used something wooden, rather than his hand.
- Darwin Barney said that yesterday’s walk-off homer was the first of his career at any level. Barney, you’ll recall, added 15 pounds of muscle at Camp Bussy (formerly Camp Colvin) this offseason, and it seems to be working. His IsoP this year is a healthy .155 after being just .077 last year. His .274/.326/.429 line on the year is excellent for a quality defensive second baseman, and, at the moment, he’s looking like an above average starter at second base. I should caution that his numbers can fall rapidly, and this kind of offensive improvement at the big league level is quite rare, but I’m happy to enjoy the ride while it lasts.
- It sounds like Anthony Rizzo is expected back in the Iowa lineup as early as today, after missing some time with a sore wrist. Speaking of Rizzo, Kevin Goldstein has an ESPN Insider piece on the slugger.
- Dale Sveum and White Sox manager Robin Ventura are texting buddies.
- Kerry Wood authored a children’s book.
- Theo Epstein was the subject of a Bloomberg TV program last night, and you can see some of the notable quotes here.
- Cubs’ Scouting Chief Jason McLeod was on a media blitz yesterday, and I’ll have much more on that later today.