Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

rizzo bryantJuly comes tomorrow, which means it’s just about time to announce the 2015 BN Trade Deadline Blogathon. Soon …

  • Jorge Soler played his first rehab game yesterday for the Iowa Cubs, grounding out, flying out, and striking out in his three at bats. The results, of course, matter very little for a guy who hasn’t played in nearly a month and is just getting back into baseball form. What matters most is how he felt, and he told Tommy Birch after the game that he felt good, with no pain. Hopefully he’ll need no more than a few more games at Iowa to get back up to speed – healthily – and can return this weekend to face the Marlins, the last team he faced before suffering the ankle injury.
  • The latest balloting update for the All-Star Game is out, and the Cubs continue to lag despite a huge fan base that has generally been very energized this year. It’s pretty hard to figure, and must have something to do with this being only the first competitive year in the last half decade. Maybe crazy ballot-stuffing support takes a few years of success. Then again, Dee Gordon and Paul Goldschmidt are getting plenty:

  • In the end, I mostly shrug. It would be nice to see some Cubs get starts, and it would be nice to see fans going nuts to support the players, but the whole system seems strange to me. Voting 35 times, using multiple email addresses, etc. What exactly does that prove? The All-Star Game is a silly – often fun – midseason diversion. That’s all.

  • Rian Watt digs into the Cubs’ proclivity to see pitches from the opposing starting pitcher – turns out they’re the best in baseball at that. Given the strength of the bullpens they’ve faced the most, however, you could debate whether that has been an effective strategy or not. As Michael wrote recently, it’s been most effective when the Cubs were facing a true ace-caliber starter that you just wanted out of the game at all costs.

  • Eddie Vedder is the headliner for the Hot Stove Cool Music concert put on at the Metro and benefiting Theo Epstein’s Foundation to Be Named Later. It’s July 9th, but tickets went on sale yesterday for about 0.3 seconds and were gone. I know, because I tried and failed to get a pair for me and The Wife, and I must have taken 0.4 seconds. D’oh.
  • I choose to remember this fondly:

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