Catch a Ball, Sing a Song and Other Bullets

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Catch a Ball, Sing a Song and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I have accomplished many things in my 30 years. I have enjoyed many great moments. But never before did I feel that my life truly had meaning. Until last night. We have been selected to be a Nielsen household. Take that, guidance counselor.

  • As discussed yesterday, the Cubs will have to make a couple roster moves today to open up spots for lefties Chris Rusin (who starts tonight) and Alex Hinshaw (whom the Cubs claimed on waivers this weekend). Carrie Muskat says we can expect to see reliever Jeff Beliveau demoted, as well as infielder Adrian Cardenas. The former makes sense because Hinshaw is essentially taking his spot. The latter makes sense because he isn’t getting any playing time and, since Rusin is presumably coming up for just one start right now, it would be silly to demote another pitcher. That said, when the Cubs do send Rusin back down, they’ll presumably bring back up a position player, and it can’t be Cardenas (for 10 days). Tony Campana, perhaps?
  • The Cubs fan (yes, Cubs fan – it was in Milwaukee, after all) who caught Josh Vitters’ first home run had an unusual trade request for the ball. You see, it’s tradition that, if you catch an historic or memorable home run ball, the player will give you a signed bat or jersey or tickets or something like that in exchange for the ball. This time, however, the fan asked not for stuff – he asked for the opportunity to sing the national anthem at Wrigley Field. That’s awesome. I hope he gets his shot (his name isn’t in the article, but he’s a pastor; so, if you see a pastor singing the national anthem at a game this or next year, it’s probably this guy).
  • Speaking of which, Vitters talks about his up-and-down night (he struck out twice in ugly fashion), and about using the last six weeks to show what he can do.
  • Speaking of using the last six weeks, among the many evaluations going on as the season winds down is taking place behind the plate. While the Cubs are likely to go into 2013 with an expectation that both Steve Clevenger and Welington Castillo will share the catching duties, they undoubtedly prefer that one of the two claim the nominal starting gig. If both fall off significantly, however, Dale Sveum concedes that the Cubs might have to look outside the organization for a catcher this offseason. I’m thinking Castillo, assuming he improves slightly on his game-calling and his receiving skills, will nail down the job.
  • Matt Garza hasn’t started throwing yet, and might not until after another x-ray and evaluation on September 1. The odds that he pitches in a game again this year are minuscule.
  • Dale Sveum says something Mike Quade never would have: “Valbuena got hot again and is really swinging the bat. But my priority is still going to be getting Vitters quite a few at-bats. He’s here for a reason.” Sveum understands what this point in the season is about, and it’s not about *only* trying to win games.
  • Tom Ricketts is doing his annual pilgrimage among the Cubs’ minor league affiliates, and last night visited with the Iowa Cubs. While there he spoke to the media, and met with fans throughout the stadium (including BN’er Hawkeye, who got the chance to chat up the Cubs’ owner for a solid 15 minutes).
  • Jim Callis talks about Javier Baez’s prospect status, and gives him a whole lot of love.

Meanwhile, on a beach in South Africa …

Wait. What is that mysterious message written in the sand with the beautiful Indian Ocean in the background?

We’re everywhere. (Thanks to an anonymous (and awesome) BN’er for the pictures.)

Author: Brett Taylor

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