And now for your regularly-scheduled “lighter” afternoon, off-day fare …

The Cubs welcome the New York Mets to Wrigley Field starting tomorrow afternoon, and, incidentally, each game this weekend offers you a unique reason to attend. The Cubs’ promotional staff gets credit for two of those games, and the Mets’ farm system gets credit for the other.

Friday – 1:20pm CT

Tomorrow’s game will be the Cubs’ first opportunity to see one of the fastest-rising young players in baseball, pitcher Matt Harvey. I’d reckon you’ve heard the national media fawning over him for weeks now, which, yes, is partly because he plays in New York. But it’s mostly because he’s been stupidly, ridiculously, over-the-moon good. The 24-year-old righty was drafted by the Mets in the first round (7th overall) back in 2010 (so I guess that means we can dream on Gray/Appel for 2016?), and has exploded this year. In 56.1 innings of work over eight starts he’s got a 1.44 ERA and an 0.728 WHIP. No one can hit him (4.3 hits per 9) and he doesn’t really walk many (2.2 per 9). He strikes out a ton (9.9 per 9), and has already accumulated 1.8 WAR. Through eight starts. His FIP and xFIP are both under 3.00, which is insane. He’s as good as folks say he is, and you get to see him mowing down getting blasted by the Cubs on Friday.

Saturday – 12:05pm CT

Saturday’s game, which will feature players playing baseball, is at least as notable for the nostalgic blast from the past: slap bracelets! The Cubs are giving out watch-like slap bracelets to the first 10,000 fans at the game, and they are as awesome as you remember them. (Except these versions are rubber, so they don’t have that pesky problem of the metal interior protruding and slicing your friends in study hall “on accident.”)

To apply the slap bracelet, simply slap it. End of instructions.

I now have two watches. This one, and the one The Wife gave me for our wedding. Which to wear, which to wear …

Sunday – 1:20pm CT

Sunday’s game nets the first 10,000 children, 13 and younger (so grab the neighbor’s kid if you have to), a Starlin Castro “mini figurine.” It appears that it isn’t technically a “Lego” figurine, but if I called it a “Lego” figurine, you’d have a better idea of what I was talking about. So, yeah. This is not a “Lego” figurine, but …

Because it is a constructable and opposable figurine, you can do many things with your miniature Starlin Castro. You can have him step up to the plate, ready to blast a homer (one-handed!):

Or you can get him ready to field a grounder. And then miss it:

castro fielding

Or you can be a twisted person and simply stare at his disembodied pieces:

So many options. So many activities. So much fun.

There you go. Boom. I’ve made your weekend plans for you.

  • Luke

    Even for fake Lego, that could not be any more awesome unless he was in a Hawks uniform.

  • Cubbie Blues

    We picked up one of the Castro non-lego figures the other weekend. Somehow I don’t know if I got ripped off for $15 or not, but when your son has to have it what else are you going to do?

    • King Jeff

      Yeah, your “son”, right.

    • hansman1982

      I thought you were childless?

  • Kygavin

    Am i the only one who found the “Fake Lego” Castro part to be hilarious? Well done sir

    • Seth

      Nope definitely not. I blew a good amount of air out of my nose.

    • Brett

      Thanks. I hope you weren’t the only one, as that was the intention. Well, “humorous,” if not “hilarious.”

  • hansman1982

    “Or you can be a twisted person and simply stare at his disembodied pieces”

    I have a feeling that this will be how Castro’s career ends:

    “There’s a play at the plate, Castro slides and I think he just fell apart there as in literally there are bits and pieces of him strewn about home plate. And the catcher throws to 2nd to get the third out and the Cubs are doubled up to end the game.”

    • Ryan

      Was Castro safe at least? If so, worth it.

      • hansman1982

        It’s the Cubs so, of course not.

        • OregonCubsFan

          His foot was safe but the rest of his pieces were out…

    • Brett


    • biggz

      I read that passage in the voice of Pat Hughes, and it was beautiful. Well done, sir.

      • hansman1982

        That is what I was trying for…thanks!

  • meredith

    If only I had off on Sunday, they always give me the kids giveaways…

  • Cub Fan Dan

    I happened to come home to a decapitated Starlin bobblehead.

    Apparently, the wife was cleaning & it fell off the bookshelf. I knew she didnt do it on purpose because if she did, the Samardzija would have been the first to go.


    • Cyranojoe

      Love the Instagrammed edging…

  • Hawkeye

    I couldn’t tell anything from the pictures, but is there anything designating this “lego” character as Starlin Castro? (ex. Jersey Number) I am just wonder if they don’t give them all away on Sunday, could we see the same figurines arise next month for “Luis Valbuena Lego” night?

    • King Jeff

      I thought his defensive stance gave him away.

      • Jono


    • Brett

      Yeah, it’s got his name and number on the back.

  • Melrosepad

    Wouldn’t mind having one of the “Lego” Starlins to go alongside the Carlos Pena one I picked up last year at Tropicana Field.

  • Jim


  • Chad

    I am off to see Garza in Des Moines tonight. Hopefully the rain can stay away until the game is over!

    • Honey nut Sorianos

      Garza was flat out awesome tonight. In the sixth inning throwing 95 mph. Good movement on his pitches …. He looks ready to comeback!

      • Tommy

        I’m sure I’m not the first to make this observation, but your moniker is the best ever, Honey nut Sorianos!

        • Honey nut Sorianos

          Thanks Tommy… It’s also been my fantasy baseball name 4 years running.

  • Die hard

    Can beat Harvey with small ball — wait for two strikes before swinging and bunt with men on first or first and second to make him work out of stretch and get off the mound out of comfort zone

    • scorecardpaul

      Brett, you really need to start highlighting Die Hards posts. I actualy read this one and missed who it was posted by. The simple thought that even for a second, I allowed my brain to think about one of his posts made me just a little bit dumber. And at the level I am starting at, I have to be very careful nowadays.

    • cas-castro

      The key of course would be to get on base. I would hate to give up outs against a guy like that. Maybe some hit and run, get the fielders out of position. That work if we can make consistent enough contact against him.

  • Castro to Barney to Chance

    Cubs v. Cards in uniform contest at espn! We’re not doing so hot; farther behind in percentage points than we are games back in the NL Central.

    Vote early and often!

    • MichiganGoat

      It’s always a good time

    • Mikelach13

      Why is the Cubs jersey Theriot’s number? I thought he was happy to be on the other side of the rivalry???

  • Sam

    I’ll be at the game on Sunday. 1st row in the middle of the visitor’s dugout!
    And Brett, you did nothing wrong yesterday. We all feel like you are a friend and you are a good man.
    Keep up the great work and keep moving ahead!!!

  • Honey nut Sorianos

    The 2002 “money ball Oakland As team” on may 21st was 19-25. Could the 2013 Cubs be the 2002 Oakland As? Of course the As went on to win 20 straight games. We have the starting pitching.

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