Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

len kasperIf you’re just now tuning in, the overnight news was that the Cubs have reportedly signed Anthony Rizzo to a long-term extension. It’s a good start to the week.

  • That unbelievably bad throw by Kurt Suzuki in the 9th inning yesterday, which went all the way up the left field line, allowing Alfonso Soriano to score the winning run? Turns out that Suzuki’s throw hit Welington Castillo’s bat. Castillo, after the pitch, stayed perfectly in place, screening Suzuki on his throw to third. It was a case of intentional unintentional interference, and it was a pretty savvy move. Let that be a lesson for you youngsters: you don’t have to get out of the catcher’s way on a throw to third. Just stand still, and if you block him, you block him.
  • Len Kasper’s first move as Commissioner of Baseball? Ban the designated hitter (boo! hiss!). I kid with the booing, because making the rules uniform between the leagues is something with which I agree very strongly, and Len has the good sense to note that a 26th roster spot would have to be added to every team in order to appease the union. But Len’s reasoning is a little different from my own: for Len, it’s about the strategy of having the pitcher in the lineup. For reasons I’ve discussed previously, I’m not really down with the whole “strategy” argument, but I do agree that harmonizing the league rules should be a top priority for the next commissioner. For my money (or, more accurately, for the Players Association’s money), that’s probably going to mean DH in the NL, though. Len’s other commissioner suggestions are pretty interesting.

  • (In case it was unclear, Kasper isn’t actually gunning for the soon-to-be-vacated commissioner spot. He was just writing about what he’d do. Feel free to offer your own thoughts if you were commissioner-for-a-day.)
  • Here’s your daily Tom Ricketts/Wrigley renovation troll, courtesy of St. Louis writer Bill McClellan. According to McClellan, who has clearly followed the Wrigley renovation storyline closely, Tom Ricketts (1) is a villain whom Cubs fans hate (“despicable … to a Cubs fan,” is McClellan’s phrase), (2) still wants public money for “this and that,” (3) just wants to squeeze as many dollars out of Wrigley Field as possible (no mention of that, you know, renovation), and (4) craves the spotlight. Ah, yes. That must be why Ricketts is a virtual ghost when he’s not talking about the renovation (which is his job), or when he’s not walking around Wrigley Field meeting fans and posing for pictures at almost every single home game. Well, I guess that last part does sound like a guy who craves the spotlight … if you didn’t know he’s actually just a big fan himself and understands that the other fans want to meet him. Despicable villains tend not to do that.
  • Friends of the program over at Midway Madness want to hook you up with some Cubs/Sox tickets. Polish up your creative chops, and check out their contest here.

  • Tank McNamara on the Cubs, because why not. (h/t BCB)

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