Twelve restful hours later, I woke up refreshed (but with a hangover-like feeling) from the 36 hour Blogathon. More on what the Cubs did, and didn’t do, later. Until then, Bullets …
- Edwin Jackson must be pitching with a lot of conviction lately. After last night’s dominant start, Jackson’s got a 3.13 ERA over his last 10 starts (and a 1.83 ERA over his five July starts).
- Dale Sveum was both complimentary and sabermetric in his post-game comments, per Cubs.com. “[Jackson's] fastball, since the fourth or fifth start of the year, he’s creating a lot of ground balls and getting late action. He’s got a ratio of ground ball to fly ball like a power-type sinker guy now. It’s two-to-one, and it’s off the charts for a guy like Derek Lowe and Kevin Brown and [Jake] Peavy, who make their living on ground balls. At the beginning of the year, every ground ball he gave up found a hole, and now they’re going at people.” Regression, folks. It works in both directions.
- Anthony Rizzo has been something of a streaky hitter this year, but is currently in a good stretch, including a homer and a double last night. Thoughts on that, and from Rizzo, himself, here.
- ESPN and SportsCenter get a lot of (deserved) grief these days, but there’s one thing they’ve always done well: those commercials. Tonight at 8pm ET (7pm CT), they’re doing a countdown of the best ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercials.
- Speaking of deserved grief, Deadspin with a deep, deep look at what SportsCenter is made of these days. Hint: it ain’t baseball, and, when it is, it ain’t the Cubs.
- Anthony Rizzo summed up the trade season thusly, per Cubs.com: “Everything’s rumors now. One person can send out a tweet and it’s a big headline rumor.” Rizzo is, of course, right. It doesn’t take more than five or six words to send folks into a tizzy in July (and yes, I play my part in the tizzying). For whatever it’s worth, I found the report-backtrack-conflicting-information-new-report absurdity that Twitter can help propagate to be significantly reduced this year over last year’s trading season.
- Then again, as a fierce defender of the merits of Twitter, I do feel compelled to note that the medium for the message isn’t really what matters. Whether Ken Rosenthal said it on TV (he did) or on Twitter (he did), if he hears that the Cubs are listening to offers for Jeff Samardzija, folks are going to want to know and discuss that. If presidential election results were first announced on Twitter (these days, they are), does that make the subject matter any less headline-worthy? The world is changing, folks. We now live in one giant interconnected conversation, and rejecting the message because of the medium in which it is transmitted is a mistake. (Obviously I’ve gone a bit far afield from what Rizzo was saying, but it’s hard to get down once you’ve stepped up on that soap box.)