dale sveum haz a sadIt’s my fault for continuing to watch SportsCenter as though it offers anything more than an easy package of highlights and modest cultural relevance, but I’m getting pretty sick of seeing – for years – a ridiculous baseball catch at number two on the top ten list, only to see a completely standard dunk at number one. Which is more impressive: a diving backwards catch over a fence to rob a home run, or the statistically highest-percentage shot in basketball, which happens a dozen times every single game?

  • Dale Sveum sums up last night’s loss, per Cubs.com: “You’re going to have these kinds of losses. You’ve got to have a resilient team. We’ve been playing really good baseball and once again we beat them for seven innings and played really good. Walks are big. Especially if you have eight of them.” Nearly a walk per inning will basically always give you a loss. Hopefully the players can simply shrug and move on today. It was a blowout loss. It happens. At least now the Cubs’ run differential doesn’t offer any illusions …
  • Matt Garza and Travis Wood are trading spots in the rotation this week, which means that Garza will face the Angels in Anaheim, while Wood faces the Pirates in Chicago. The Cubs say it was about getting Wood a couple extra days of rest, but it’s fair to wonder: maybe they just wanted Wood’s bat in the lineup. Maybe they wanted to show Garza off to the Angels. Maybe it was just about the rest, and the other stuff was an added bonus.

  • Javier Baez had a ridiculous game yesterday, as did many of his Daytona teammates (14 runs, 20 hits). Baez was 5-6 with a homer, three doubles, and a single (and a strikeout, naturally). The singular game improved his season line from .260/.305/.480 (at which you’re thinking: decent in a pitching league for which he’s young, and at least he’s a shortstop) to .277/.319/.519 (at which you’re thinking: that’s pretty good so far for Baez, especially at his age in that league).
  • Junior Lake (rehabbing fractured rib) continues to tear up Extended Spring Training (as you’d hope he would), while playing third base and center field.
  • I’m scheduled to be on The Score this evening at 9pm CT with Nick Shepkowski. Tune in (or listen online) for what I can only assume will be gold in aural form.

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