baltimore orioles logoThe Wife is heading to an out-of-town baby shower today, and she’s getting ready while the kids – in theory – watch a movie. The Little Boy is only just on the cusp of being able to do that kind of thing on his own. I’m in my office typing, and The Wife assured me that I should just keep on working, “They’ll be fine.” I can hear banging out there, which could be associated with mere toy-playing, or it could be stuff not meant to be banged. What to do, what to do …

  • Orioles slugger Chris Davis was suspended 25 games yesterday for testing positive for amphetamines, which he later said was Adderall. You get suspended for amphetamines only after a second positive test, so that means Davis already tested positive once before. In a statement, Davis claimed he had a therapeutic use exemption for Adderall in the past (i.e., to treat ADHD), but didn’t have it this year. Why the change, we may never know. Now, amphetamines are not steroids, but they are banned for a reason. Moreover, everyone knows the rules – and the players agreed to them – so I don’t have much sympathy for Davis, who will now miss the first 8 games of the playoffs, if the Orioles make it that far. He screwed up (at least twice), and it’ll hurt him and the O’s at the worst possible time.
  • That said, sometimes these PED discussions get a little sanctimonious and overblown, especially when they involve a guy who was all-world last year, and has really struggled this year. My instinctual reaction to the news was something of a shoulder shrugging, head shaking, what an idiot kind of thing, which I suspect has something to do with the latent knowledge deep in my brain that amphetamine usage was rampant in the game for years before the steroid era, and even openly discussed. It just doesn’t strike me viscerally the same way as steroid usage. These discussions are always tough at a human level, because you don’t want to say anything that undercuts the accomplishments of guys who did it 100% clean, while you simultaneously understand (but don’t condone) why guys try to cheat to get an edge.


  • Jim Callis approves of the Cubs’ plan with respect to Kris Bryant (even if he’s confident that, from a talent standpoint, Bryant could be a starting third baseman right now in the bigs), noting the team control issue. He also guesses that Bryant is an MLB All-Star five years from now (or sooner, but that wasn’t the question). Callis addressed a question about any concerns on Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez, saying that accommodating them both positionally won’t be a problem (and later clarifying on Twitter that he’s also not concerned about their future offensively).
  • Patrick Mooney writes about roster construction and the many young players, with an extra nod toward Logan Watkins.
  • Anthony Rizzo believes the Cubs’ young players will be better for the time they’ve spent in the big leagues this year and struggled (Cubs.com).
  • Speaking of which, I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’: when Rizzo came up to the Padres for 49 games late in 2011, he struck out 30.1% of the time – nearly 1/3 higher than the 21/22% rate he was typically at in the minors. He adjusted, and now he strikes out less in the big leagues than he did in the minors. Currently, Javier Baez is striking out at a rate about 1/3 higher than he did at AAA.
  • Tom Tango says, when you do the deeper math – not just the straight subtraction of games and record – the Cubs are actually among nine teams that have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Well shucks.
  • Arizona Phil looks ahead to the Cubs’ impending crop of minor league free agents. This is complicated stuff, but if you’re into the minutiae of organization-building, this is a must read.


  • BN’er Dennis Miller (you may know him better as 5412) was on WGN-TV this week to discuss his latest book. It’s not Cubs-related, but if you’ve got a hawkeye, you can see many Cubs-related things in the video.



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