joe maddon speaksThe kids painted our front door walkway¬†yesterday with “washable” paint, but I’m telling you, that stuff looks pretty darn thick. Not so sure it’s going anywhere any time soon.

  • If you thought the Joe Maddon tampering investigation reached ridiculous proportions in terms of how long it took to exonerate the Cubs, Nick Cafardo’s got a scoop that will probably annoy you. According to Cafardo’s sources, MLB cleared the Cubs once, and, because he “didn’t like the first verdict,” Rays owner Stuart Sternberg insisted that MLB investigate again – which it did, and once again cleared the Cubs. I’ve got to believe that Sternberg was simply convinced – for some reason – that the Cubs had induced Maddon to opt out of his contract last year, rather than he was just being vindictive and hassling the Cubs because he didn’t like what happened. Either way, though, the whole ordeal doesn’t paint his organization in the brightest light. For their part, the Cubs and Maddon said all along that there wasn’t any tampering, and have in the last week indicated there are no hard feelings, and everyone’s moving on. So that’s that. Moving on.

  • A great read from Tony Andracki on the way the Cubs will keep an even keel throughout the ups and downs of winning and losing. Even as fans are less able to properly contextualize wins and losses (we get too high with the wins and too low with the losses), it’s important that the team can do it. Won a great game? Cool. Enjoy it, then shut it down and start again tomorrow. Lost a horrible game? Bummer. Kick a rock, then shut it down and start again tomorrow. Fans could learn from that.

  • Give them the right information, and keep them loose. That’s what Joe Maddon says is all he can do – or even needs to do – with his young hitters (CSN).
  • Kris Bryant isn’t worried about his lack of homers so far ( For him, this is a pretty substantial homer-less drought, but the last thing you want is a guy like him changing anything about his swing or approach. Just keep on keeping on, young man.
  • Jason Hammel says he’s dealing with a cracked nail on his right hand, which impacted his performance yesterday because he was trying to avoid developing a blister ( Hopefully that clears up by his next start. He still pitched relatively well.

  • A look over at BP Wrigleyville at Jon Lester’s latest start – sure enough, the cutter was commanded well this time around, and it made a big difference.
  • Brandon Decker with more on Jorge Soler’s sudden proclivity to chase breaking stuff down and away. I’m not sure that’s a pitch he ever fully spat on, even when he was having success in the early going last year or in Spring Training.¬†Hopefully he can start to more regularly recognize how pitchers are attacking him and deal with the issue, even if it stays with him for his career (we saw, for example, Alfonso Soriano have considerable big league success despite an obvious problem with the same kind of pitch). Of course, the more obvious hope is that he figures it out completely. It’s very, very early in his professional career – just remember how little pro ball this guy has played, and now he’s trying to figure things out at the highest level in the world.
  • If you missed Luke’s take on the weekend’s minor league action, check it out here. If you missed anything else from the weekend, catch up here.
  • The Cubs travelled to St. Louis donning Blackhawks sweaters, which probably took the edge off the loss yesterday:

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