In order to help try and eradicate the bad headaches that have ensued my sickness earlier in the week, and to try and cut off from just medicating, The Wife suggested – insisted? – that I go get a massage yesterday. I have never had a massage. Every stereotypical thing you think about the massage I had is probably true, right down to the essential oils and pens with flowers on them in the spa (yes, spa) waiting area. Going was something of a last minute decision, or I probably would have changed into a different shirt – I got the feeling that the women of this spa weren’t accustomed to too many dudes rolling in with a big Ron Swanson face on a guy’s shirt, demanding “all the bacon and eggs you have” (yes, that’s really a shirt I have and wear). In the end, though, it was a very relaxing, de-tensing experience. Feeling pretty good this morning, so, knock on wood, but I think it helped.
As a related note: because of the eye strain involved, I’m trying to limit my screen time for the next few days to make sure this is all behind me by next week (I’m seriously like a blogger on a rehab assignment), so you may not notice as much of me around here as usual. Although, I started doing it on Wednesday, so if you didn’t notice then, you probably won’t notice now.
- The second half starts today, with the Cubs standing at 40-54. That’s good for last in the NL Central, third to last in the NL, and fifth to last in baseball. A miracle run is not coming, but that doesn’t mean the second half is not without meaning or purpose. We will see important pieces like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro finish out what look to be strong years. Hopefully Jake Arrieta keeps up his success, and stays healthy, changing the Cubs’ pitching discussion slightly heading into 2015 (hell, he doesn’t even have to keep being *this* good to do that). It’ll be very interesting to watch the Hendricks/Wada/Beeler/Straily group of pitchers sort itself out – frankly, you’d almost like to see another rotation spot open up at the big league level so at least three of those guys can get serious looks in August and September (more data on them heading into the offseason is a good thing). Arismendy Alcantara will get a long look, and could go through some struggles and adjustments that will help him in 2015. You’d like to see guys like Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson turn it around a little. Welington Castillo could stand to hit a little. And you’d really like to see the positive energy – undefinable, but you know what I’m talking about – that has built up over the past month continue through the rest of the season.
- … but, let’s be honest, we’d still like to see the Cubs finish in the bottom 10 so that their first round pick next year is protected, just in case they decide they want to go after any big-time free agents.
- A fair, albeit pointed, piece from Patrick Mooney, who acknowledges the importance of all that came before, but says that it’s time to turn the corner – as in, it’s time for the Cubs to take some actions consistent with a belief that the “building” part of the rebuilding process is at a close.
- A great read from Call to the Pen on Chris Coghlan’s breakout success this year, which appears to be more on the side of “legit” than “fluke.” Coghlan is driving the ball with much more authority this year, in large part because of what appears to be a conscious effort to pull the ball more (which is among the ways guys of his build can hit for more power). I don’t have any illusions that all of Coghlan and Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney (if he turns things around) will be around for the Cubs next year, but it’s nice to have a group of quality reserve outfielder options heading into next year, if the Cubs want them.
- Jerry Crasnick on Kris Bryant (and fellow Las Vegas native Joey Gallo).
- Kyuji Fujikawa’s rehab continues, with a scoreless (2 Ks, 1 BB) inning for Kane County last night.
- BN Blogathon thermometer update:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) July 18, 2014