After yesterday’s loss, the Cubs are now an hilarious 3-16 against lefty starters on the year. They return home today to face, of course, lefty Johan Santana.
- Wow. Gordon Wittenmyer absolutely exploded Cubs management for its Wrigley Field-related business decisions over the past few weeks, in particular the decision to have Wrigley Field host a couple concerts the week before a nationally-televised game against the Red Sox (because of the risk that the concerts would destroy the outfield grass, which they did). The outfield looked terrible for that game (and was only recently re-sodded), and the Cubs continued to host non-baseball activities at Wrigley Field during this most recent road trip, despite the ongoing process of fixing the grass. Gordon might have been a bit hard on the Cubs, but he’s got a point: in a season that’s all about asking the fans to look ahead to the future while simultaneously overlooking the team’s current struggles, the perception of priorities really matters. And, when money is the issue – considering the Cubs are still hoping to secure public funds to renovate Wrigley, and considering the Cubs’ on-field payroll this year is the lowest it’s been in years – the Cubs have to be especially careful about those perceptions. (One defense of the Cubs: they’ve had many concerts at Wrigley over the years, and I’m not sure this extreme level of grass damage has happened before.)
- A quote from Scott Boras in that article: “Any executive who for a $1 million profit takes one of the grandest museums of our country and mars the dignity and appearance of that museum needs to re-examine his decision-making.” Harsh, bro. You’ll note the Cubs regularly negotiate with Boras, including presently, with respect to first round pick Albert Almora.
- You can feel the despondency and resignation in Dale Sveum’s voice when you read quotes like these (this one offered after the Cubs’ loss in Arizona yesterday, completing a sweep): “Obviously we’ve done a lot better at home, not that it’s all that great, but it’s better than we’ve done on the road, that’s for sure. We’ve got some left-handed pitching coming up so we’ve got to start doing something against left-handed pitching, or it could be a long homestand.” After every loss, he’s just gotta thinking to himself, “Seriously, what the hell am I going to talk about this time?”
- Alfonso Soriano says the constant losing is mentally draining, which, like, duh. The Cubs are literally losing two out of every three games right now, and are on pace for a franchise-worst 108 losses. What happens when guys like Soriano are dumped?
- RizzOMG: For a national perspective, Buster Olney believes Anthony Rizzo will be called up this week (probably Tuesday), and Dave Kaplan agrees with the Tuesday speculation.
- NESN’s Will O’Toole put together an editorial cartoon about Theo Epstein, which I imagine has some kind of point or joke, but hell if I can figure it out. Must be a Northeast thing.
- A closer look at former first round pick Hayden Simpson. You can’t say he isn’t working hard to try and regain the form he lost after falling ill two years ago.
- MLBullets at BCB look at the Kevin Youkilis trade. The return was pretty terrible for the Red Sox – is that primarily because of the corner they were backed into (and because Youkilis’s performance this year has been so bad), or is it another whiff that the trade market has changed even for dump deals?