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javier baez featureEver dream about being locked inside some place after it closes? A school? A mall? A zoo?

The wedding I went to yesterday, which was lovely, had its reception at a zoo. That was a very cool choice, and made for a uniquely fun experience. As I left, however, I found that the underground exit to the lot where I’d parked my car – the only exit to that lot – was gated and locked. I could see my car, tantalizingly close, but beyond a barbed wire fence. After unsuccessfully trying to find someone to unlock the gate, I wound up walking the length of the zoo to an attached parking lot on the other end of the zoo, where, until a security guard tracked me down, it was something of a haunting experience – wandering the back-service-roads of the zoo, in the dark, with no one around anywhere.

The lesson, of course, is to pay particularly close attention to the precise area you’re supposed to park when attending events, and the organizers have gone to the trouble to tell you where you’re supposed to go. Don’t wing it. I was the only person in attendance who parked in the wrong area.

  • Although it sounds like the thinking is still that Starlin Castro (ankle) will probably not be able to return before the end of the season, Anthony Rizzo might be back next week (Cubs.com).
  • Rick Renteria didn’t get too terribly specific when asked about Javier Baez’s strikeout issues (Cubs.com), though he did seem to suggest that Baez might be getting pull happy, rather than working balls middle and away to center and right center. To my eye, unfortunately, Baez is dealing both with pitch recognition issues and contact issues, the combination of which is giving him fits. The latter has some mechanical components (like what Renteria mentions), but the former is simply something he’ll have to continue to work at as best he can. No, I’m still not “worried” about Baez, and, yes, I still think these struggles are to be expected and a part of his development process.
  • After a recent slump within a slump, Baez’s strikeout rate is up to 41.7%.
  • Tsuyoshi Wada is not expected to miss a start after leaving his last start early with a calf-cramping issue (Cubs.com).
  • Love for Arismendy Alcantara’s speed and versatility (CSN).
  • Arodys Vizcaino finally made his Cubs debut yesterday, throwing an inning, allowing a single, a homer, and striking out one. His fastball reached 96mph, which is a fine sign. It’s not the 100mph he was reportedly hitting in Spring Training, but we’re reaching the end of the year. Hopefully he has a productive close of the year and offseason, and then features prominently in the Cubs’ pen next year.
  • Bruce Miles knocks it out of the park with his latest thoughts on Sammy, Big Z, and Lou … and them coming to the 2015 Cubs Convention. It’s just his idea, mind you, but damn if that wouldn’t be the hottest ticket in town.
  • For now, there are not yet any Cubs-related candidates for the Diamondbacks’ open GM position.
  • FanGraphs: the beginner’s guide to measuring defense.

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