The Cincinnati Reds will arrive in Chicago today with a magic number of five in the NL Central, meaning that, if they sweep the Cubs and the Cardinals lose a couple, they could clinch at Wrigley Field. I highly doubt they want their celebration to take place in the Wrigley visitor’s clubhouse …

  • Alfonso Soriano with a hilarious recounting of his experience last night, when only a handful of fans were still on hand by the end of last night’s rain delayed game (which did not conclude until after 1 am CT): “I could hear [fans] talking on their phones and whatever they said during the game. It was a funny night tonight …. They joked with me but that’s what they do all the time. A couple were drunk guys. I knew they were drunk because they waited for three hours. I was having fun with them. They had to do something to enjoy it because they waited so long. Drunk. They didn’t know what they were doing.” Had I been there, I’m confident I would have been Drunk Guy Number 3. And I would have been asking Soriano repeatedly for his glove.
  • It was a healthy discussion in the comments last week, and now Dale Sveum is saying the same thing, per ESPNChicago: “[Dave Sappelt] should be able to fill [the ReedJohnson role next year]. He has some speed, he has power, drives the ball gives you good at-bats, is a good fastball hitter. All those things come into play when you make those decisions. But he has the ability and bat speed and the ability to play in the big leagues.” Like I said last week, it would be great if that’s true, but it seems a bit overly confident on Sveum’s part. Sappelt’s had a great couple weeks, but that came on the heels of a really disappointing AAA season. I’m not saying Sappelt can’t/won’t be that guy next year, but I think it’s going to be more of a trial by fire rather than a lock (that’s assuming he’s on the roster come April).
  • Sveum speaks an unspoken truth about Bryan LaHair’s future with the Cubs, per the Tribune: “I think for his sake he needs to go play winter ball again and get those at-bats he’s missed out on and be ready for spring training. Just like he was this year …. It kind of goes unsaid, if Rizzo is healthy, playing time is going to be tough to find.” LaHair being on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster would be a shocking turn at this point.
  • Starlin Castro says Darwin Barney’s impressive defense at second makes him want to be even better at shortstop. Good.
  • Dale Sveum really, really likes OPS as a stat. Good. (Well, good relative to liking things like “batting average” or “W/L record.”)
  • Welington Castillo’s journey to the big leagues is worth checking out.
  • Your periodic reminder: with last night’s loss, the Cubs stand a half game worse than the Rockies (loss column), two games worse than the Twins, and three games worse than the Indians. The Cubs and Rockies play a three-game set next week.
  • Starting today, Spreadshirt (which is the home for BN apparel) is running a deal where you can get $10 off of orders of $50 or more, today through September 27. So now is clearly the time to stock up on those BN shirts you’ve been lusting after for lo those many years. Just go to the BN store here, and when you check out, use the coupon code “TENYEARS.” Boom. Money saved, shirts bought, me diving into piles of gold a la Scrooge McDuck expected.


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