The Indians, Twins, and Rockies are all just two games better than the Cubs in the loss column. Just pointing that out.
- Cubs manager Dale Sveum offered a half-hearted defense of new starter Jason Berken’s rough debut yesterday. “He was a victim of a couple errors as well, it could have been a decent little outing,” Sveum said, per Sahadev Sharma. “Probably would’ve went five innings, gotten into the fifth giving up only two. But a couple errors cost him pitches and the ability to go five or six today. It wasn’t too bad, he didn’t really have a breaking ball to go with anything, but his changeup was halfway decent. So that was a decent little pitch he had working for him there.” Hooray! Halfway decent! (I kid, but, like, the Cubs obviously would have been far better this year if everyone was “halfway decent.”)
- Dale Sveum said it earlier this year, and he’s sticking by it: “Besides Alfonso Soriano, Shawn Camp probably has been our MVP. If we don’t fill that void [at the back end of the bullpen] with him, it would have been even tougher times.” Camp is hoping to return to the Cubs next year, and obviously he’ll get support from Sveum on that. Whether he’d come back for the minimum (or close to it), however, remains to be seen. It’s hard to justify giving Camp, however successful he’s been, multiple years or multiple millions when the 2013 club is not expected to be a playoff contender, and will be FULL of young relievers waiting for a chance.
- Jorge Soler got the Wrigley Field treatment yesterday, including batting practice with the team, during which he gave writers another excuse to use the unbelievably tired “Soler power” line. He hit five homers, including two out onto Waveland. Various big wigs were in attendance, and Soler said folks made him feel like he fit right in.
- Darwin Barney on yet another incredible catch yesterday, per Carrie Muskat: “I was worried that [right fielder Dave Sappelt] was going to run me over. You’re all ears and waiting to hear if he says anything, and I didn’t, so I committed to it …. You have to trust your outfielder, and trust that if he’s not going to slide, he’s going to say something …. [Sappelt] thought he had an opportunity to make that catch. He followed protocol perfectly. If the guy doesn’t say anything, he’s going to go low. Infielders are always taught to go high when they’re going backwards. Luckily for the both of us, he did it the right way, and so did I.”
- You can tell Barney, yourself, what a great catch it was – he’ll be at the 11 S. State Street Target from 10am to noon tomorrow.
- Here’s the catch, in case you missed it: