The Family and I just drove overnight to North Carolina to meet up with The Extended Family for a week at the beach, an annual family vacation thing. For me, “vacation” is loosely used, as it really only signifies a transposition of the physical location where I “work.” Yes, fear not, while I will still try to enjoy some waves and some family time, I’ll be here as usual, obsessing about all things Cubs. In theory, you won’t notice much of a difference content-wise, but you’ll probably see me a little less in the comments, on Twitter, and on Facebook. You may also notice a modest delay if there is breaking news or rumors, as I check my phone periodically, scramble to my room from the beach, and frantically start typing (and cursing the crappy Wi-Fi in our rental). July is, of course, a terrible time for me to take a “vacation,” but this is when families vacation. So I’ll make due. Enough meta? Bullets…
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer on the possible uptick in trade deadline activity for sellers this year: “With the new Wild Card format, things change day-to-day, week-to-week and it doesn’t take much of a hot streak to get in the race now. One hot streak or a couple injuries to a team that’s leading and everyone feels like they’re back in the race. It’s hard to characterize how it’s going to play out this year. We don’t really know, but in theory, there should be fewer sellers and there are going to be a lot more teams that are looking to add as we get closer to the deadline.” Let’s hope so.
- Dale Sveum was the one who got to tell Bryan LaHair that he’d made the All-Star team, and it sounds like it was pretty awesome. “I think he was pretty emotional about it,” Sveum said. “It kind of caught him off guard a little bit. That was one of those times as a manager, a special time, when you can tell a kid who’s 30 years old that he’s making an All-Star team after spending so much time in the Minor Leagues. It’s one of those special stories. That’s what we live for in this game is one of those special moments.”
- And from LaHair, himself: “It gives you chills,” he said. “You get a chance to quickly reflect, and I’m sure I’ll reflect more later on, but you think about all the work you put in and the adversity you’ve been through and the different adventures you’ve had along the way to get your first opportunity in the big leagues and now an All-Star Game is just incredible …. It was a dream as a little boy to be an All-Star, but to think it would happen this fast or if at all — it’s really tough to get into that game. It’s not something I play for — I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I’m thankful the players voted me in. I’m extremely thankful for that.”
- Alfonso Soriano was arguably snubbed, though he says there are so many good left fielders that he wasn’t disappointed. Dale Sveum was a bit: “The outfielders who are going obviously deserve it and the players voted. But what Soriano has done for us and gone out there every day on those legs, to come back and lead all Major League Baseball in home runs since May 15 is a tribute to a wonderful guy. You wish somebody else would appreciate it once in a while.” We appreciate it.
- After tossing 7.2 scoreless yesterday, Travis Wood now has a Ryan Dempster-esque scoreless inning streak going at 18.2 innings.
- Dave Kaplan, who’s been one of Starlin Castro’s harshest critics, offers a very positive take on the Cubs’ young shortstop.
- The MLBullets at BCB discuss notable All-Star snub Johnny Cueto, who offered his thoughts thusly: “I see that I have great numbers. I thought the way I pitched this year, I’d have a chance to go to the All-Star Game. I don’t know what happened. I don’t if know the manager of All-Star Game is pissed at me because I went out with one of his girlfriends.” I … I see. Ok.