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cubs splatter hatWell, that didn’t take long. It wasn’t but a few hours after I told you all how thankful and excited I was that we’d met our $12,000 Make-A-Wish goal (and then some), and how if we got over the $15,000 mark I would, as promised, wear a gloriously awful Chicago Cubs hat for the duration of the Blogathon, that you met the mark (together with the $1,000 matching donation from an anonymous Make-A-Wish supporter, which is yet to be added to our tally). We’re now over $15,200 raise for a great cause, and I will now have to live up to the offer I made – far too hastily – and wear the hat you see there in the picture.

I will have much more on the 37-hour Blogathon soon, and, in the meantime, there’s nothing to stop you from still giving to Make-A-Wish if you haven’t yet. It’s a great cause, and your donations are tax-deductible, so you can think of this as part of your normal annual giving anyway! (Obligatory: I’m not a tax dude, so you should check with a tax advisor on the deductible stuff … but, to the extent you deduct donations to charity, this can be one of them. Though I’m not allowed to say that for certain. Wink.)

  • If you’re looking for a bright spot to Edwin Jackson’s so-so outings post All-Star break, the walk he issued in the 6th yesterday was his first since the break. That one came on four straight pitches, and it was fairly apparent that something was wrong. That something was a hand cramp he couldn’t shake, and which would not allow him to grip the ball properly. Bad timing, because if Jackson had been able to get through the inning unscathed, it would have been his first quality start in quite a long time. As it was, Jackson put two on, departed, and then the floodgates opened.
  • Jackson has dealt with the issue before, and it didn’t not cause him to miss a start, for what it’s worth (Cubs.com).
  • If you were wondering, like I was, why Justin Ruggiano has been missing the last few games, it’s because of a groin issue. So far, it hasn’t put him on the DL – given the looming Trade Deadline, you’d expect that the Cubs would like to leave their options open – but he’s been working with trainers on it (Cubs.com).
  • Starlin Castro is understandably sad by the departure of his long-time middle infield-mate, Darwin Barney (Cubs.com).
  • Is Anthony Rizzo actually making less hard contact this year than last year, despite his surge in homers? ESPN’s Mark Simon’s data says yes, which is tough to accept – not just because of the homers, but just based on what you see with your eyes. I tend to trust the numbers in these situations (because that’s the whole point: sometimes, your eyes deceive you), but it’s really hard. Just seems like Rizzo is hitting the ball harder more frequently this year.
  • Rick Renteria marvels at Greg Maddux. And some more Maddux memories.
  • Jeff Sullivan on The Big Trade, a few weeks later, and why it’s proving to have been a fantastic decision for the A’s to go early (and, probably the Cubs, too).
  • Well, folks are going to be showing clips of this Ryan Raburn play for a while:

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