The Yu Darvish news is bumming me out this morning, mildly counteracting the happiness I was feeling that (1) I’m feeling almost totally back to normal after Vomitfest 2018 earlier this week, and (2) I’m headed to Chicago tonight so I can take in the next couple days of games.
- Yesterday’s win marked six straight wins, the Cubs’ high mark for the year, and putting them 14 games over .500, also their season-high. Their .583 winning percentage is topped in the NL only by the Brewers, who have a couple more wins than the Cubs but the same number of losses. The Cubs have been doing this without Kris Bryant, Yu Darvish, Carl Edwards Jr., and Brandon Morrow (for much of the recent hot streak, anyway). So it’s quite impressive.
- And yesterday wasn’t just the Cubs’ sixth win in a row – it was their sixth come-from-behind win in a row.
- I will never, ever, EVER get enough El Mago:
Because when @javy23baez is on the field, anything can happen.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 5, 2018
— MBDChicago (@MBDChicago) July 4, 2018
- Joe Maddon summed up Javy Baez’s latest incredible moment on the bases in the way that he does (Cubs.com): “Who’s more exciting to watch than he is? I love [Francisco] Lindor. I think they’re kindred spirits in the way they play the game. There’s others, [Carlos] Correa with Houston and others. [Baez] is in that top 10, kind of part of the Rat Pack from back in the day. You had to go to Vegas to see him. He’s one of those guys – he sashayed in with [Frank] Sinatra and the boys. That’s how he plays baseball.”
- Record books:
Javy Baez first #Cubs since at least 1974 to steal
home twice in one season … his four career steals of home (including postseason) are tied with Ryne Sandberg for the most in Cubs history since at least 1974, per Cubs PR
— Chris De Luca (@ChrisDeLuca) July 4, 2018
- It’s only happened twice in a season a couple times in the last decade, so, yes, it’s quite rare. And now, more than ever, whenever Baez is on third base and there’s a runner at first, everybody is going to be distracted as heck.
- Yes, it was factually nasty:
#Cubs Baez on his first pump reaction after the slide: “After the swim move it was really nasty. I’m sorry, but it was nasty & I just got excited.”
— Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) July 4, 2018
- And from Javy – you’re damn right it’s sexy:
#Cubs Baez says he likes how Maddon told players to be themselves, saying "if you feel sexy, wear it." Is it sexy stealing home plate? Javy: "Yes it is."
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 4, 2018
- Last thing on El Mago – he can levitate:
- Heh, this is fun:
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m in bed watching QuickPitch on MLB Network & I swear David Bote and Willson Contreras have the same follow-through. pic.twitter.com/rXty1W4sX3
— Luis M. (@lcm1986) July 5, 2018
- Kyle Schwarber showed off his spirit yesterday:
Festive. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/MvDzOvDdWZ
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 4, 2018
- Weird blowback in St. Louis about how Chicago media has covered the crummy John Mozeliak comments about Dexter Fowler. Example, a perfectly reasonable and well-executed piece at The Athletic by Sahadev Sharma is met by criticism from his own college in St. Louis:
Our Cubs beat writer @sahadevsharma on the Cardinals: "The bottom line is, the Cardinals were once known as a model organization. But what we’ve seen of late has been a jarring juxtaposition to the St. Louis teams of just a few years ago." https://t.co/ywfSMUdLAS
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticSTL) July 4, 2018
It was an odd piece. First of all, did Fowler bat .170 with the third worst OPS in MLB for the Cubs? No. And if this was such an idyllic relationship, um, why were the Cubs willing to let Fowler walk after ‘15 and ‘16? I know the answer but just making a point. https://t.co/tXvPxD6GLL
— Bernie Miklasz (@miklasz) July 4, 2018
Questions: If Fowler performed in Chicago the way he’s performing in St. Louis in ‘18 … after the Cards showed him more respect financially than the Cubs did … do you think Theo would be happy? If Theo didn’t think a key player was working, would he stay silent? https://t.co/o6IMVkGkdO
— Bernie Miklasz (@miklasz) July 4, 2018
- I don’t think Miklasz is bad at what he does, and he’s far from a dedicated Cardinals homer, so that makes the criticism here all the more strange. When you’ve got a player who recently has played for both rivals, whose experience with each club was wildly different, and who is being criticized publicly by one for things that can be checked in on with the former club (effort, energy, hustle), why wouldn’t that be an article to write and explore? Moreover, why wouldn’t it be partly framed by the perceived decline of one organization at the same time the other is rising? ESPECIALLY when that coincides with one bouncing the other from the playoffs in the only time they met, which was also the last time the Cardinals were in the postseason? It’s just so very obviously set up for a discussion.
- This also all ignores the plain-as-day reality that the Cardinals have floundered around at an organizational level ever since the summer of 2015, when they were busted for HACKING ANOTHER MLB ORGANIZATION AND USING THAT INFORMATION TO ASSIST IN TRADES AND THE DRAFT. Even as MLB’s punishment for that egregious violation was laughably light, it stands out as a line of demarcation about what the Cardinals were tolerating as an organization (I do not buy for a second that it was a lone wolf situation, and I never have, in part because there were open admissions that multiple other personnel knew about the hacking and the ill-gotten information). The fact that they’ve fallen so far since then is, to me, not a coincidence. Maybe there’s a functional relationship, or maybe it was just divine justice.
- And they lost to the Brewers in the process:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) July 5, 2018
- Things you didn’t know you needed until you found out they existed – Cubs branded duct tape! Yup, it exists!
- We’re just a few days into the Blogathon fundraisers, and you’ve already been so generous – let’s keep it going! Here’s where you can donate to Make-A-Wish and lock in some crazy coverage.
Just a few days into the #BNBlogathon fundraiser for @MakeAWish @WishIllinois and you wonderful folks have already put us over $2,000. Support the cause here, lock in crazy trade coverage: https://t.co/mD5D2CoKCE pic.twitter.com/avzbQQ2ef7
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 5, 2018