A Happy Labor Day to folks grilling stuff while wearing white and not working. There’s baseball to be played today, so I’ll be here as usual. Check in periodically in between beers and flips.
Reminder: BNTV records a new episode tomorrow, which means you can send in your questions and comments to BNTV at bleachernation dot com. I don’t really do a “mailbag” here at BN, so this is the vehicle by which you can ask those questions.
- St. Louis Cardinals: Overreacting the RIGHT WAY Since 1892. The latest iteration included pitcher John Lackey yelling at Starlin Castro after the Cubs’ shortstop popped out and shouted at himself in Spanish. Apparently Lackey didn’t care for it, and the resulting discussions included not only Castro and Lackey, but also Yadier Molina and Cubs first base coach Eric Hinske, each of whom was trying to calm things back down. Reading Patrick Mooney’s account, you can put together a picture where perhaps Lackey didn’t like Castro being mad at himself for missing a pitch (because the implication was that it was a bad pitch that Castro feels he should have driven), and instead of just being happy to get the out, Lackey inserted himself.
- And then there was manager Mike Matheny (according to Jim DeShaies during the broadcast) yelling at the Cubs for throwing high and tight to Matt Holliday … with the bases loaded … in the 8th inning … of a tie game. Yes, the pitch was totally intentional. My advice? Busy yourself readying another reliever to bat, and worry less about imagined transgressions by the other team.
- (All that said: it’s good to see the rivalry starting to percolate once again. It’s been one-sided for too long, and it’s good for both teams, and for baseball, for them to have a little meaningful antipathy.)
- Jorge Soler arrives at Wrigley Field today (1:20) when the Cubs take on the Brewers. I hope to get many reports from folks taking in the atmosphere. It should be pretty good.
- Speaking of the Brewers, they made the big waiver deadline deal in the NL Central yesterday, picking up reliever Jonathan Broxton from the Reds for a couple PTBNLs. Those players probably won’t be too significant, given that the Brewers are believed to be picking up not only the remaining $1.9 million on Broxton’s salary this year, but also the $9 million he’s owed in 2015 and the possible $2 million buyout of a 2016 option (that’s a pretty significant salary shed for the Reds next year – nicely done). Broxton, 30, has a sub-2.00 ERA this year, but a FIP over 3.50 and an xFIP over 4.27. His 19.6% K rate and 9.0% BB rate are both right around average for all pitchers – not exactly what you want to see in a late-inning reliever, especially one that you’re paying so much money. The Brewers are clearly going full bore for 2014 at the expense of 2015. Probably the right move for them, and a really great move for the Reds, who have a serious salary crunch looming on the horizon.
- We recently talked about the Cubs’ Mr. Everything, Anthony Giansanti, a minor league who has played every position except catcher and center field for the Smokies this year (including pitching), and he has played those positions, too, in recent years. He can do it all. But he can’t claim to have done what this Brewers minor leaguer did: namely, he played every single position in a single game. Obviously that was a unique circumstance, and the Smokies’ playoff hopes – dashed yesterday – precluded them doing the same thing for Giansanti. But that would be pretty cool. Then again, the Smokies do have one game left today, and since they’re eliminated from the post-season …