Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

I’m mighty tired this morning for reasons both professional and personal, which doesn’t bode well for the upcoming 30-hour Blogathon. More on that, later today. Until then, Bullets …

  • With Matt Garza now not pitching on Monday, the Cubs are expected to start Justin Germano in that slot. Germano, who has pitched in long relief so far, was obviously picked up by the Cubs in anticipation that one or both of Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza would be dealt, and the Cubs would need a starter. Randy Wells went down with elbow surgery, and Chris Volstad (last night notwithstanding) hasn’t looked like a guy you want to give a rotation spot. Why not take a flyer on Germano, a guy who was at least killing it as a starter in AAA for the Red Sox? I still really like the move, and I look forward to seeing if he might be able to show up as a reasonable 5th starter option going into 2013.
  • (Interesting aside on Garza not starting: although the stated reason for him not starting is the fluid remaining in his triceps, it appears that his wife hasn’t yet given birth, and is scheduled to be induced early next week – I can’t help but wonder if that factored in the decision to hold him out, also. If so, good for them, God bless, and I hope all goes well. And I hope the Cubs hint that to interested teams.)

  • Dale Sveum offered some nonspecific thoughts on the Ryan Dempster Saga: “For whatever reason, people just don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes and all the reasons why you accept and why you don’t. It’s one of those unfortunate things that you jump to conclusions, but he’s one of the most class guys you’ll ever be around and obviously very productive when he goes out there every five days, too.” I have no doubt that we don’t know exactly what’s going on behind the scenes.
  • We’ve been expecting this for some time now, but Bud Selig made is more or less official yesterday: instant replay in baseball will be expanded. Presently, only home run calls are included, but Selig intends to expand replay to include fair/foul calls, and trapped/caught calls. I keep going back and forth on instant replay in my head. I want the calls to be correct, but I look at that David DeJesus home run (not) the other day in Pittsburgh, and I think, “that took 10 minutes, and they didn’t even get it right AFTER watching the replay.” That certainly doesn’t make me crazy about adding additional layers of review. That said, fair/foul and trapped/caught don’t actually come up all that often. I guess I’m just extra sensitive about extending the lengths of games that are, in my opinion, already too long to hold the average fan’s interest. For now, though I’m open to being persuaded, I would not support expanding replay to include calls on the base paths (I’d be easier to convince on balls and strikes, but only if you went to full on robo-umpires behind the plate, because there would be no change in the speed of play).
  • Travis Wood offered a relatively simple explanation for his terrible day yesterday, which resulted in a record home run in each of the first five innings. In short, he missed his spots, and the Cardinals didn’t miss those mistakes. I’d much rather he was getting blasted on mistakes than on pitches he thought he threw well.

  • Sveum says he doesn’t want to know about trade talks until/unless there’s a finalized deal. That’s an interesting perspective, because surely the front office would like him to know about where talks stand – it could impact playing decisions.
  • Reed Johnson writes about how he deals with trade rumors. The short version is: ignore everything until Jed tells you you’ve been dealt.

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