Resuming the Rivalry, Trout Claps Back(?), Alzolay's Recovery, and Other Bullets

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Resuming the Rivalry, Trout Claps Back(?), Alzolay’s Recovery, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Cubs baseball is back. Other fans have to wait another day for their teams to get back into action, but MLB started a spotlight game this year, and the Cubs and Cardinals are it. The game is tonight at Wrigley Field, kicking off a five-game set against the Cardinals (in four days).

Can the Cardinals salvage their season and turn course, starting today? Or will this be their last gasp? Given that they’re already 7.5 games back of the Cubs and behind so many other teams in the Wild Card race, this series really could turn their season … in one direction or the other.

And these will be the freshly Matheny-less Cardinals, too. Who knows what kind of psychological boost that could offer a club, especially right after the break, and especially heading out to face a rival at their place. I reckon the Cardinals will be ready to play.

  • After the Angels swiped at the Commissioner for his comments on Mike Trout’s interest – or lack thereof – in marketing himself to the public, Trout himself offered a statement that was EXTREMELY on-brand for Trout:

  • The reality is, no matter how good Trout is at baseball, that’s just what he wants to be: a good baseball player. As much as I might wish he were interested in doing more to expand his personal celebrity (because I think that’s very good for the sport), I also can’t get down on a guy for primarily wanting to (1) do his job well, and (2) have a normal life otherwise. And, like I said yesterday, we can’t act like the issue here falls on individual players entirely, especially when the culture of the sport frequently stamps out individuality.
  • There’s also this:

  • If you were among the contingent of Cubs fans taking the Home Run Derby result and allegations of “cheating” way too seriously, Sheryl Ring has the thorough legal breakdown of whether there actually was cheating and whether it impacted Bryce Harper’s win. You could read it. Or you could just know that it was a really fun event, and it really isn’t the kind of thing that merits Bryceghazi treatment.
  • Top Cubs pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay was shut down after a lat injury early this season, and, although the Cubs have said he won’t be pitching competitively again this minor league season, it does sound like he’s close to getting back on the mound at least:

  • The nice thing about the minor league system is that, even if he can’t get back in time before the minor league seasons end in the first week of September, he could make up some innings later in instructional ball in the fall or in one of the winter leagues.
  • Lounging Javy:

  • Congrats, Carl!

  • Remember this guy? Catching up with him three years later – he’s a Cardinals fan, by the way:

  • Fun, indeed:

  • A Three-Finger birth place:

  • The Orioles offered up a tribute to Manny Machado, who was traded to the Dodgers yesterday:

  • Nothing but respect for MY quarterback:

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.