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welington castillo featureIn part because I want to make sure everyone sees it, and in part because I don’t want to come down from the overnight high, I will remind you again: if you missed the end of last night’s game, not only did the Cubs win in 12 innings, but … Javier Baez said hello with his bat. I will have much more on Baez’s debut, but we’ll save that for a separate piece. Until then, Bullets …

  • Remember A.J. Hinch? Per Ken Rosenthal, he is now a former San Diego Padres executive (the organization is reportedly on the verge of hiring Rangers exec A.J. Preller as their new GM, by the way), parting ways with the organization. There are many connections between Hinch and the Cubs’ front office – so much so that he was considered for the team’s managerial opening last year. This may be something to watch.
  • Buster Olney and Keith Law talk about the Cubs’ future in the context of the Javier Baez promotion, and where the pitching might come from (one FA and one trade).
  • A young man is playing baseball – pitching and hitting – despite having only one arm. And he’s doing it quite well. Good on him.
  • New Diamondbacks executive Tony La Russa thinks his team is getting an unfair rap on the beanball stuff, pointing to how few HBPs his pitchers have given up. That’s a nice political tap dance, but it’s totally beside the point. I understand that a lot of this stuff was in place long before La Russa arrived, but it’s time to confront it, Tony: you’ve got a really shitty baseball culture, and you can help clean it up.
  • Probably not related: Andrew McCutchen has a rib injury that could keep him out for a while. He might be the single most valuable player to his individual team in baseball, and the Pirates must now really be kicking themselves for doing absolutely nothing at the deadline.
  • Of course Javier Baez’s debut was the big story yesterday, and rightly so. But, man, don’t sleep on the ridiculous Welington Castillo bat flip:

  • I know it’s high praise, but that thing was absolutely Luis Valbuena-quality.
  • Just an absolutely incredible meta-ish read from Andy Martino on the intersection of reporting, player relationships, and how writers/reporters may unconsciously drive stories about players. It might not be quite as impactful for you as it is for me, but it definitely makes you step back and take stock on how you approach “this sensitive business of writing about real people,” as Martino artfully puts it.
  • In case you missed yesterday’s Javier Baez Day Live Stream, you can watch the replay here, complete with singing, dancing, and actual thoughts on baseball:

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