Zobrist's Hollywood Moment, Important Russell Stories, and Other Bullets

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Zobrist’s Hollywood Moment, Important Russell Stories, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I don’t need “name” characters to die just for the sake of it. Killing off a main character, without context or meaning or dramatic involvement, is just as hacky as not killing off anyone. But what I don’t need is the show constantly putting those characters in the kind of peril that you cannot reasonably believe they could survive … and then constantly making them survive in completely asinine ways. Either make the peril realistically survivable within the context of the show, or don’t let them survive.

  • How freaking incredible is it that Ben Zobrist went to the manager to tell him, Rudy-style, that David Bote should get the start yesterday? As Zobrist explained after the game (Cubs.com): “It was the right call. It was the right team call. The way we are structuring things now, we are making lineups ahead of time, and after Bote hit two home runs and how good he has looked, you can’t have that guy sitting the day after he looks that good …. I just asked [Joe Maddon], ‘Hey is there a reason why he’s not going to be in there? Is there a numbers reason? Is there something else that I don’t know about? Because he looks awfully good. I want to win, and we want to win …. It wasn’t premeditated. I would never ask anyone else to do that, and frankly there was a little tension in my competitive heart, but it was the right thing to do and it ended up working out anyway.”
  • Stud:

  • AND THEN, it was Zobrist who hit the go-ahead double in the 15th – his first extra-base hit of the year – and scored what was ultimately the winning run, AND caught the final out near the wall in left. That is some seriously Hollywood stuff.
(Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
  • Oh, and that catch, by the way, was a poop-your-pants scary situation off the bat:

  • In mild defense of Allen Webster, though, that wasn’t a terrible pitch, and Nick Ahmed actually didn’t hit it quite as hard as it looked – 93.8 mph off the bat – and it just kinda seemed to really fly there in Arizona.
  • After another decent day, Kyle Schwarber has his line up to .238/.299/.400 (84 wRC+). Still quite poor for a left fielder who needs to generate most of his value from his bat, but hey, he was in a very deep hole.
  • This is one of the best reads on the Addison Russell situation that I’ve seen, and I’d encourage everyone to read and consider. There is a great deal of balance in the piece, which I wasn’t even sure was possible to do in a positive and useful way:

  • Speaking of which, yes, I did see the report about the Cubs “threatening” writers for negative coverage of Russell, and although it struck me as implausible when put in those precise terms, I did reach out to the Cubs for comment. From VP of Communications and Community Affairs Julian Green: “This is totally absurd. We have faced many difficult and tough issues in arguably the toughest media market in this country and never shied away from criticism or steered the press away from covering sensitive or critical issues. On the issue of Domestic Violence, our organization has been proactively available, accessible and out front with the media on this issue, even in the face of criticism. To all of a sudden suggest we are running and hiding and shielding a player, who has also made himself available and answered questions about his suspension and journey without conditions, is simply an attempt to spread false rumors and the source should be questioned.”
  • You are reminded that the Cubs made the choice to retain Russell when they didn’t have to. While there were potential positive reasons to do so – they are endeavoring to be an example for how to help the domestic violence cause in these situations – it was also a decision that necessarily brought with it intense scrutiny. I don’t especially have sympathy for the organization having to deal with the fallout of their decision, but I do think it is important to fair and responsible in the coverage of the team. I think there are better ways to be critical of the organization, and circumspect about Russell’s process, than by what I read in that particular report.
  • The one and only:

  • Throwback:


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.