Bote Plays Hero Again, Bryzzo Shows Love, Baez is Honored, and Other Bullets

I’m visiting with some family today because we’re racing go karts – like, the pretty-darn-fast ones. We did it a couple years ago, and, to be quite honest, I kicked butt. So I’m feeling the pressure to repeat this year. It’s a ton of fun, but man, it also beats you up.

  • David Bote, the breakout Cubs hero (multiple times over), was recently in a deep slump, going through what all players go through several times every season. Moreover, it’s something young players especially must deal with: the league adjusts. But, as all good young player must if they’re going to stick around, Bote is trying to adjust back (NBC Sports Chicago): “It’s frustrating at times. You know [the league is adjusting to you]. Every single guy in this game has gone through that. So it’s not any different for me …. I think I’ve pressed at times. Not necessarily mentally, but I think my body’s just kinda taken over some things in certain situations. Actually, big shout-out to Kintzler [Thursday]. He said, ‘Dude, just be you. You belong here. Just be one of the guys. … You’re a good player. Just stick to what you do.’ You know that and people can say that, but for whatever reason, when he said that, it really kinda clicked in.”
  • Keep in mind, it was Bote’s dramatic grand slam against the Nationals that kinda ended their season, and those same Nationals had dumped Kintzler for dubious reasons just a couple weeks earlier. Kintzler may have had some extra incentive to want to help straighten Bote out.
  • The last Cubs rookie to have multiple walk-off home runs? You know this one: it was Kris Bryant in 2015. Hall of Famer Gabby Harnett, back in 1923, is the only other Cubs rookie to do that, so you’re in some good company, David (Cubs.com).
  • Fun fact on Bote’s .276/.366/.486 (127 wRC+) line right now? His BABIP has finally come down to .329, but here’s the crazy thing: based on the quality of his contact, he should be getting so much BETTER results than he’s already getting. According to Statcast’s calculations, Bote’s expected results versus actual results make him the 13th most unlucky hitter in all of baseball this year among guys with at least 100 plate appearances.
  • More Bote:
  • (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

  • The stories behind some of the Players Weekend nicknames here at ESPN. Cole Hamels’ explanation for “Hollywood” made me chuckle: “Ryan Howard gave that to me in Single-A. I showed up in shorts and sandals. I guess you can’t do that in Single-A, so now I’m ‘Hollywood.'”
  • Oh these guys:
  • https://www.instagram.com/p/Bm5rKKTj6BQ/?taken-by=bleachernation

  • Javy Baez received his Heart And Hustle recognition yesterday at Wrigley Field:
  • https://twitter.com/Cubs/status/1033054975620997121

  • What in the what is this call. Is Ben Zobrist being punished for his comment about wanting an electronic strike zone:
  • Love Willson Contreras:
  • Someone sent me the link to an awesome GoFundMe from a Cubs fan who is raising money for Special Olympics in the hopes that he can sing the National Anthem at a Cubs game. This is worth watching:
  • Fanatics’ 25% off sale ends tonight, so if you want to peruse the Cubs gear, go here and use the code SUN25.
  • Fancy sheets, swim goggles, and – The Wife’s favorite (I’m not kidding) – a laminator are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon today.
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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