I swear that I forget the feeling every single year.
I am a 33-year-old man, it is my job to write about the Chicago Cubs, and I still sometimes have to turn off Cubs games for a couple minutes because I get so unsettled at the sight of a flubbed ball, a bad pitch, or a failure to score. Since I can’t bear to leave the game off for more than a batter or two, it’s more a show of defiance than an actual desire to remove myself from the source of my frustration. That’s not super mature. But I can’t help it. This is what fandom does to people.
At least now, especially since I have kids, I no longer show the anger in any visible way. I furrow my brow, skew my mouth to the side, scream silently in my head, and turn the frustration inward where it will likely kill me before my time.
- Travis Wood talks about his start here at Cubs.com, and I think he’s pretty much got it right: without that one pitch to Troy Tulowitzki (two-run double), it’s probably a different story, with Wood going at least five innings, and giving up just one run at Coors Field – that’s a great story. As it was, Wood didn’t get out of the fifth, and gave up three earned. The pitch in question was a high-and-tight cutter that got just a little too much of the plate. Even still, it was impressive that Tulowitzki kept it fair and got enough on it to put it over Mike Olt’s head. That’s just Tulo, though.
- Great comments from Joe Maddon in the Tribune on how he focuses on the minor leagues once the big league season starts … which is to say, he doesn’t. There are boots on the ground in those cities in a much better position to know what’s going on there than he is when he’s trying to worry about what’s going on with the big team in Chicago. It’s a very “let people do their jobs” kind of attitude, and I like it much more now that I have confidence that the Cubs’ organization has very bright, capable people doing those jobs at all levels and functions.
- Patrick Mooney spoke with Joe Maddon about Javier Baez, and getting through the loss of his sister, Noely.
- The word should be out by now: don’t bother testing Jorge Soler’s arm on those throws to second.
- Despite my liberal Twitter use of Tsuyoshi Wada jokes – which are *intentionally* stupid – I’m not really into headline puns. I understand that it’s a part of the business, and it’s been done for decades, but, still. It’s just not my bag. That said, I really enjoyed this one on Cubs.com: “RISPy business: Cubs seeking clutch hitting.” That works.
- Holy crap, the difference between Brian Schlitter pictures in this one. I mistakenly thought he’d always been a beard/flow guy, but not so. It looks like he was, at first, a beardless guy stranded on an island with Tom Hanks, but five years later floated away to Chicago. (“SCHLITTER! SCHLITTTTTTEERRRRRRRRR!!!”)
- Speaking of Schlitter, Rian Watt looks for something unique about the sinkerballer and finds something: he’s the most extreme sinkerballer in the NL, or at least he was last year.
- If you missed it earlier this morning, I wrote about the Cubs’ offense from a numerical perspective, and then reminded everyone – myself included – to chill out.