It was easy to miss, what with the Blogathon and Trade Deadline, but here’s your reminder that there’s a free fantasy contest running today. It’s got a $300 prize pool, and signing up helps support Bleacher Nation. So, sign up. It takes two minutes, and you can have some fun watching your team rack up points with today’s games.
- Anthony Rizzo, who hit two solo homers last night, offered a spot-on summation of the Cubs’ offensive struggles this year, even if he didn’t quite mean it that way: “They scored more runs than we did, and we didn’t give ourselves the opportunity to score runs tonight,” Rizzo said, per Cubs.com. “This is unusual for us; usually we give ourselves that opportunity every game …. ” Indeed, the Cubs have frequently given themselves the opportunity to score this year. Not cashing in on those opportunities consistently has been the issue.
- Speaking of Rizzo, he complimented his fellow two-homer-night teammate, Junior Lake, for his approach so far in his big league stint. Rizzo, 23, sounds like a leader already. He’s also putting together a great year when you dig in. I especially like to see that he’s got just 86 strikeouts, compared to 53 walks and 50 extra base hits. That tells you a guy is hitting really well, regardless of what his BABIP-depressed batting average says.
- Jed Hoyer spoke about Rizzo, and Starlin Castro, yesterday on the radio.
- As projected: SportsCenter’s highlight package of last night’s game was 75% Yasiel Puig (the other 25% was a Jerry Hairston single), including him getting thrown out at the plate (the other players involved were barely mentioned) and his 9th inning superfluous homer. Rizzo and Lake – both just 23 – homering twice apiece? Didn’t happen. Lake’s catch crashing into the wall? Didn’t happen. Darwin Barney’s ridiculous play? Didn’t happen. Cody Ransom’s diving play? Didn’t happen.
- Kyuji Fujikawa, recovering from Tommy John surgery, visited with his teammates at Wrigley Field yesterday, saying that he’s fully planning on being back – and hopes to be closing – for the Cubs in 2014. Fujikawa had surgery on June 11, so the earliest you can reasonably expect him to be back with the Cubs is around July next year.
- Dale Sveum, whose decisions the last two years strongly suggest that he’s a believer in sabermetrics, says he believes that “clutch” exists as an independent player ability, per Cubs.com. While “clutch” is something of a divisive issue among modern statistical thinkers – the numbers tend not to back it up, year to year – Sveum essentially says that being clutch is the ability to put together a better at bat with runners in scoring position and the ability to keep yourself a normal level of calm in those situations. I can’t really argue with that.
- Internet awesomeness: Dramatic Jon Morosi tweets.
- The Wrigley Beer Man could use your help.
- The BN apparel shop has a special offer going on right now where you get $10 off any order of $50 or more. Just use the coupon code “TENOFF.”