We are officially under one month from the premier of ‘Game of Thrones’ penultimate season. The wait has been interminable.
- I know you could say it doesn’t “matter,” but I’m still pretty ticked off about the reversed lead-off homer by Anthony Rizzo, which would have marked his THIRD STRAIGHT GAME with a lead-off homer, beginning with his very first game there. That’s something so unusual and cool that we would have carried it forever. Although replays made it look like the ball may well have been foul, I really don’t like the way things played out, with an initial decision the ball was fair, and then a conference where the umpires decided – without replay – that the ball was foul, which created a PRESUMPTION in favor of the ball being foul when they went to the replay, which definitely wasn’t going to show the ball as clearly fair or foul because of how high it was. That just didn’t have to play out that way, and it makes me angry.
- As you saw on the broadcast, it certainly made Rizzo angry, too, and he was still chapped after the game (CSN): “That was absolutely a home run. There is no way it could have gone over the pole foul because this is one of the shortest right fields in the league. I hit it too hard for it to have time to go foul. I respect the umpires and I never like to criticize them because I know they give their very best but they got that one wrong. At least, we won the game and that’s all that really matters.” I tend to respect Rizzo’s opinion about how he hit the ball, and the fact that he’s THIS confident – having played at PNC so many times, and hit so many balls (in games and batting practice) – tells me the ball was probably fair.
- More first inning craziness: a Chicago pitcher had his throwback uniform all cut up before throwing a pitch. No, I’m not talking about Chris Sale’s infamous jersey-slicing outburst, but Cubs starter Eddie Butler, who had MLB-issued white sleeves on under his uniform, but that was a deemed a no-go by the umps. So the trainer had to come out with scissors and start cutting:
Low-hanging fruit. 🤐 pic.twitter.com/QtuWnY2Lch
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 16, 2017
- Kyle Hendricks (right middle finger tendinitis) had another MRI after his setback throwing last week, but it showed nothing new or scary (ESPN). So I guess we continue to wait and see when he stops feeling the discomfort.
- I cringe reading this quote from Ben Zobrist about his wrist (ESPN): “I think we’re going to try and do some imaging [MRI] just to see if there is anything going on in there. It’s inflammation that hasn’t gotten better because I’ve been playing through it for the last two weeks plus.” Zobrist hasn’t been able to hit from the right side for almost three weeks, and his numbers have been abysmal since the injury first occurred. Why in the world was he playing through the injury given that, and now given that we know he himself felt like it wasn’t getting better because he was playing through it? I don’t even ask that rhetorically. There has to be a reason – was it simply because Tommy La Stella was also hurt, and the Cubs didn’t trust anyone else to come up?
- Cubs first round pick Alex Lange will start tonight for LSU in the College World Series on ESPN at 7pm CT, if you want to watch. Michael profiled him here yesterday.
- Something to keep an eye on, as President Trump is looking to reverse course on a lot of the USA-Cuba relations that had taken a more open turn in the last couple years. How that will impact baseball players coming over remains to be seen.
- Totally random note: as the Cubs bounce back and forth around .500, the previous expectation that they’d be picking late in next year’s draft may not hold, and thus your assumptions about how that draft will relate to the Cubs’ offseason plans may also not hold. Get back up to speed on the way the new CBA changed draft pick compensation against that lens. In short, to the extent the Cubs go after qualified free agents, the good news is that it will cost them only their second highest pick (not first), unless they go over the luxury tax.
- I knew it had been a while, but a month?! A month!?! Yikes:
- Eli is all of us:
Me, tonight: This is it. This is finally the game that will get the Cubs going.
Me, tomorrow: How did they let Cervelli hit FIVE homers?
— FuzzBeed Eli (@EliGieryna) June 17, 2017
- Apropos of the Cubs and Pirates playing in a Negro Leagues Heritage Game last night:
MLB’s Rob Manfred to announce new partnership with Negro Leagues Baseball Museum https://t.co/AO2iykogeq
— The Kansas City Star (@KCStar) June 17, 2017
- The Cubs played as the Leland Giants last night, which was the first Negro league team to play against MLB’s Chicago Cubs, and was formed by way of the merger of two other Chicago teams.
- I do not approve of The Freeze ever losing a race. I demand a rematch where these two start at the same time, and we chuckle as The Freeze destroys him:
Aw, man, somebody beat The Freeze. Still took an enormous head start. pic.twitter.com/3gFysoABlB
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) June 17, 2017
- TYL Bullets for you here. Dexter Fowler and other Cardinals doing carpool karaoke here.
- You know you’re gettin’ old when you see pressure washers are the Deal of the Day at Amazon and you think, “Ooh, do we need one of those? Maybe we need one of those!”
- Perhaps a little more exciting: the big 25% off sale on Nike and Under Armour gear at MLB Shop and Fanatics ends tomorrow. When you shop via our links, it supports BN in the process, too, so it’s win-win. Both places have tons of Cubs gear, and Fanatics also has every other sport (so if you’ve got some other teams, make sure you check out the full selection there for this sale).