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Batter Pace Problems, A Unique Cubs Story, Harper and Bryant Play, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

I’ll be curious to see what today looks like in the baseball world. I could see, with the Christmas holiday arriving on Monday, that a lot of folks will have already taken off with their families, and with enough of them off and about, that’ll hold up most of the action until next week. Alternatively, I could see a rush to get things done today before the weekend begins, so that players can be comfortable and happy with their families this weekend and through the holidays.


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Around here, it’ll be business as usual through the weekend …

(i) The batter swings at a pitch;
(ii) The batter is forced out of the batter’s box by a pitch;
(iii) A member of either team requests and is granted “Time”;
(iv) A defensive player attempts a play on a runner at any base;
(v) The batter feints a bunt;
(vi) A wild pitch or passed ball occurs;
(vii) The pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound after receiving
the ball; or
(viii) The catcher leaves the catcher’s box to give defensive signals.


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  • Those exceptions have not really been treated as the ONLY exceptions, because you see batters take a detour around the box all the time after a called pitch. Moreover – and this is the tricky part – there are guys who do keep one foot in the box, but nevertheless go through their whole batting glove routine and are just as slow. I suppose that’s where the pitch clock comes in, because if you’re doing all that craziness with a foot in the box and the pitch clock is ticking, the pitcher is just going to pitch. He’s not going to wait. And that’s a good thing for a sport that is trying to eliminate some of the additional standing around.
  • The Cubs’ former third base coach found himself a new gig:

  • The Sporting News has a fun look back at the one-time, one-shot pitcher Ryan O’Malley. You may or may not remember the lefty who came up out of nowhere to take a start for the Cubs in 2006 only because of a logistical need, and wound up being one of just eight pitchers since 2000 to throw eight innings of shutout ball in his debut. It was completely unexpected, and suddenly the Cubs had a new arm in their rotation … except his suffered an elbow injury in that very next start, and that was that.

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  • You will want to read Sahadev Sharma’s latest on new Cubs pitching guru Jim Benedict.
  • He’s trolling us, guys:

  • Just think, you guys could be doing this kind of thing all season long in 2019:


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  • Michael had himself some serious fun, and I was cracking up the whole way:

  • Speaking of cracking up:

  • Over at The Ten-Yard Line, the recommended assistant coaches who could be future head coaches, and eh hem eh hem Bears cough Bears.

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  • Among today’s Deals of the Day at Amazon, wooden train sets and accessories, which I love. You can also still get the Fire 8 tablet for just $49.99, and the Echo Dot for just $29.99.

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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 and @Brett_A_Taylor.