Can't Lose to the White Sox, Russell Response, Javy Feat, and Other Bullets

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Can’t Lose to the White Sox, Russell Response, Javy Feat, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

The off-day clearly messed with the Cubs’ mojo. No more off-days! Cancel all remaining off-days for the rest of the season! (Done.)

  • Any team can lose to any other team in baseball on a given day – it is the nature of the sport – but if the Cubs do not win two of three against the White Sox at this stage of the season, which so much on the line for the Cubs and so little on the line for the White Sox, it is going to be a very jarring weekend indeed. And now, to make that happen, the Cubs will need to beat Lucas Giolito today (who has mostly stunk this year, but has been peppering his second half with random, one-off, brilliant starts) and Carlos Rodon tomorrow (who has been pretty darn good this year). The Cubs also need Big Jon Lester today, and Big(?) Kyle Hendricks tomorrow.
  • Jose Quintana’s line doesn’t look great from yesterday, but outside of one hanger that got obliterated, he actually pitched well. For the game, he allowed a .571 BABIP even though his hard contact rate was a very good 26.7%. He also struck out eight and walked none. It happens. Sucks that it happened at a time when the Cubs needed the performance to translate to better results, but Quintana did what he was supposed to do. Sometimes baseball just gets you.
  • There’s no way of getting around it: the responses to the Russell news from Joe Maddon and Anthony Rizzo yesterday were far less than you’d like to see. Among Rizzo’s comments: “We heard these things last year. This a part of life. It’s the life cycle that happens. I don’t know much about it.” Among Maddon’s: “I did not [read Melisa Reidy’s story] …. I don’t know, should I? Again, the process is in the hands of MLB and the players union and the player and his former wife. There’s really nothing I can do. There’s nothing I’m capable of doing. It’s outside of our control, our hands. Processes and mechanisms are put in place for a reason. It does not need my interference right now.”
  • If I could describe those comments in the most generous way possible, I would say they were alarmingly tone deaf in light of the accusations that were levied and the era in which we live. I don’t really even know what Rizzo was trying to say, and I don’t know how it is possible that Maddon could have been aware of this issue all day and never took a moment to read the story underneath it. I don’t get it.
  • That said, I don’t live in their world, and – at least with respect to Rizzo – it’s not hard for me to imagine him having no knowledge of the updated situation at all, coming to the park, getting asked questions, starting to respond in a general way, and then realizing it’s not actually something he should be talking about, so he cut himself off. I’m not sure it’s fair to rip into Rizzo in this situation.
  • Maddon? He should have been better prepared as the organizational leader of the clubhouse. Just on a human level, how do you not even read the story? And then ask whether you should? Yes. You should read it. Everyone attached to the Cubs in any way should. Heck, even if for nothing other than cold, calculating baseball and business reasons – you should have the information in your head. Again, I don’t really understand that one.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
  • The specific factoid here goes less to the MVP debate than the nature of the player underlying the factoid:

  • Great offensive players simply don’t move around like that at the most important defensive positions in the infield. It just doesn’t happen. And the ability to do it? To keep being offensively great while also giving your team the option to move you around to different positions and be defensively great, too? I actually start to get a little angry thinking about how this fact is omitted by the Christian Yelich shouters when they point, almost exclusively, to his wRC+ as the reason he’s the MVP.
  • Over in the Bears world:


Author: 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.