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Suspension Possibilities, Offensive Explosions, Stickball Injuries, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

So, like I mentioned here yesterday, I just found out that I have to get foot surgery to repair damage originally caused by an accident in college. It’s deteriorated over time, and the doc says it’s only going to get worse from here. So, sigh, it’s gotta be done. It’s not *that* big of a deal (outpatient), but it’s gonna lay me up for upwards of six weeks, plus physical therapy after that. If it goes well, I can be back to normal-ish activity within maybe two or three months. Just typing that. Eff. This is going to suck.


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By the way – know how I suffered the original injury? It was college, and I was participating in a re-enactment of old time, 1800s stickball, which used pillows for bases (among other historical quirks). Sprinting to first to beat out a grounder (which I did), when my left foot landed on the base, it slid – because it was a damn pillow – and my foot rolled over, bending the knuckle of my big toe all the way back. Because I was an idiot college kid, I just kind of hobbled around for a few weeks, never got it looked at, and then was mostly fine again (even though it never looked the same after that). I’m told it wouldn’t necessarily have mattered if I’d gotten it fixed then or now, but I still have some regrets.

I do not regret busting it to first pillow base, though. Respect 1890.

  • A lot of the “news” stuff this morning would have focused on the multiple-ejection drama from yesterday, but I wrote most of that up late last night because it seemed a little more urgent than usual.
  • One bit to add: MLB will investigate the ejections (Tribune), as they always do, and in particular will determine whether punishment is due Contreras for technically hitting the umpire with his face mask. Everyone knows the contact was unintentional, but usually, that doesn’t matter when it comes to discipline. Umpires rightly need a little extra protection in those situations. THAT SAID, because it was utterly ridiculous that Contreras was ejected in the first place – the utterance of which, together with the start of the “tossed” signal, is what led to Contreras spiking his mask – I think a small fine would be the maximum appropriate punishment. If Contreras is suspended, he could appeal and then accept the suspension when the Cubs were going to rest him anyway, so it wouldn’t necessarily be a disaster. But it would be wrong, from a moral perspective, if he is suspended. [UPDATE: It’s just wrong. Contreras has been suspended two games.]

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  • Also: a Friday afternoon game against the Cardinals, in mid-September, when the teams are battling for a playoff spot. I’m not saying I’m happy it happened (though I am happy it possibly helped spark the Cubs to a win), but I do think this will forever be a fun part of the Cubs-Cardinals lore. So that’s cool. Because rivalries are fun.
  • The offense kept it going against the Cardinals, and kept up the history in the process:

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
  • Theo Epstein says there’s no real consideration at this point for a middle infield alignment that isn’t Addison Russell at shortstop and Javy Baez at second base, whenever it is that Russell is fully ready to return (CSN). As for when that is, Russell will go through another battery of activities today, and the Cubs will see how his foot handles it.

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  • Joe Maddon indicated that Baez was fine after the game yesterday, despite being checked on by trainers late, and then grimacing in his final at bat. Re-watching the play, it’s clear that Baez’s thumb in his glove bent a bit, and that’s the thumb that held him out of a game earlier this month.
  • The Cubs flipped over the 3 million attendance mark yesterday for the 10th time in team history.
  • The Red Sox were merely fined for their Apple Watch sign-stealing shenanigans (and the Yankees were fined a “lesser amount” for previous indiscretions that the Red Sox complained about in apparent retaliation). The crazy story turned into something of a nothingburger, but I’d imagine the next team to pull a stunt like that would be punished quite aggressively.
  • (Unless it’s the Cardinals.)
  • I would love to know what it was about this search that triggered a safe filter (#SensualBaseball):

  • Kevin Kiermaier is just ridiculous in center field. Whenever I start to think that maybe Byron Buxton or Billy Hamilton or Kevin Pillar has stolen the crown, Kiermaier does something like this:

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  • Last but not least: thank you for the support and kind words about me, the site, my family, and the post from this morning. It means so much to know that I can share these things with a community of passionate people who can just easily squabble about lineup decisions as brighten your entire day with just a few kind words. Much love, my friends.

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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.