Don’t forget to check out the DraftKings All-Star Game VIP Experience contest – you can win, well, a VIP Experience at the All-Star Game. I’ve already signed up, and I would really like to win this. But I also have to tell you to sign up, because, like, business.
- I still have no concerns about Kris Bryant’s lack of homers/power, because he’s showing us some truly impressive things. But I do think it’s reached the point where it’s fair to comment on just how crazy it is that he doesn’t have a homer yet through 19 games and 85 plate appearances. Then again, a full 44(!) of those 85 plate appearances ended without a ball in play thanks to his huge walk and strikeout rates. On 41 balls put into play, how many would we expect to leave the park if Bryant were continuing his hellacious homer pace of the 2014 minor league season? Well, last year, out of Bryant’s 594 plate appearances at AA and AAA, Bryant put 332 balls in play and 43 of them left the yard. That’s one in every 7.72 balls in play leaving the yard. So, if Bryant were continuing that pace this year, you’d expect him to have about 5 homers already. That’s a lot, but continuing the minor league homer pace was never likely. So, I guess the upshot here is that it’s not that crazy that Bryant doesn’t have a homer yet. “Surprising” is fair.
- (Also, he had, what, two balls in Pittsburgh that would have left many other ballparks?)
- Joe Maddon came away from the Cardinals’ series relatively encouraged by his team, and feeling like the Cardinals simply had more experience (Cubs.com). Also, he was fine with Starlin Castro’s imitation play the other night, having a little fun out there (Tribune).
- Justin Grimm’s stuff looked good yesterday, by the way, if you didn’t get a chance to see. The fastball wasn’t quite mid-90s, but that was true for him last year, too – velocity build throughout the year. The slider was sharp, and clearly deceptive. I think it’s going to be very good to have him back.
- Patrick Mooney on Addison Russell’s continued emergence.
- The Cubs/Cardinals game that was postponed back in April has now been rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on July 7. It’s a separate-entry kind of thing, so you’ll need a ticket for each game – and folks who had tickets for the postponed game can use it for the makeup game at 12:20pm CT.
- Anthony Rizzo’s two-strike approach is among the best in the game, and it’s because he’s completely bought into the idea that, once he gets to two strikes, he’s got to shorten everything up just a little bit (Cubs.com).
- A look at Jake Arrieta’s preparation routine.
- If you missed it this morning, Luke looked at the upcoming draft, as well as the latest scores and stats from the Cubs’ minor leagues.
- Great read at Crain’s on the sports implications of Periscope, the new live streaming app owned by Twitter – essentially, it allows anyone to easily stream whatever’s going on around them from their smart phone. You can see how this could be a problem for sports teams and TV broadcast rights holders. I think Julian Green, the Cubs’ VP of Communications and Community Affairs, put it best in that piece: “We know our fans are expanding their use of new digital apps and platforms to share game experiences with their social networks, and that content sharing is great for promoting the game. But we must also ensure these new capabilities don’t infringe upon the rights of our broadcast partners.” That’s the balance, and I’m not sure it’s going to be easy as Periscope – and thinks like it – become more ubiquitous in the coming years. I think fans also have to take on some of the responsibility here: don’t live stream games to other people by pointing your phone at the TV, and don’t live stream games when you’re in the ballpark. It’s not right, and it’s not fair. Just because you can do something with your phone doesn’t mean you should. Small snippets of things here and there? Sure. Long stretches of the game? Nope. Not fair. That’s the balance, and we’ll all be figuring it out together in the coming years.
- Like I said at the time, the Cubs weren’t going to come back to win, but I think yesterday’s ump may need a call from the league office after this called strike three to Welington Castillo to end the game (number 4):