Cubs Need to Accept the Gift, Free Robel, Contreras So Hot, and Other Bullets

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Cubs Need to Accept the Gift, Free Robel, Contreras So Hot, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I heard ‘Take On Me’ this morning on the radio, and I was reminded of my old Razr phone – they were the coolest, man – where my first order of business was finding a midi audio ringtone of the da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da keyboard part from that song. I did, and I was very proud. It was clearly meant to be a ringtone, man.

  • The Cubs are still in first place by a game, because the other teams in the NL Central are floundering around as much as they are:

  • And it is a gift. Of course we’d prefer the Cubs had not played at a below .500 clip for over a month, but the fact that they have and somehow took over first place in that time? It’s crazy, and it’s a freebie. The Brewers or Cardinals – or heck, the Reds – could have gone off on a hot streak and put the Cubs in a huge hole by now. In the West, the Cubs would be 11.0(!) games behind the Dodgers right now. In the East, the Cubs would trail the Braves by 4.5. Consider this payback for the Cubs winning 95 games last year and barely managing a Wild Card spot, and it’s time to take advantage.
  • Maybe Craig Kimbrel arriving will be a spiritual kick in the ass and the Cubs can get hot. The talent is there. I truly believe it, and I also know that it’s hard to see past that day’s game (much less a month’s worth of games) when evaluating the overall performance and trajectory of a team. But at some point, you do actually have to notch the wins, and if your divisional opponents are leaving a door wide open for you, WALK THROUGH IT.
  • As for last night’s loss, the Cubs failed repeatedly in run-scoring situations again, which is not new, and Robel Garcia homered again at Iowa, so those calls to give him a why-the-heck-not shot are only going to get louder. Accommodating him on the 40-man roster would take a maneuver, but if the Cubs think he can be an offensive spark at second base (he can also play third, and has been working into the outfield a bit), it’s worth it.

  • Joe Maddon is as feisty as he gets, emphasizing that the Cubs need to slow it down a bit when they get in those runners-on-base situations:

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
  • It’s a small sample, and it would be crazy to say there is DEFINITELY CAUSATION here, but it’s notable that this is happening in (I think) his first series using the Axe Bat:

  • After a little slump, Contreras now has his line back up to .300/.395/.586, and his 152 wRC+ is the 8th best in baseball.
  • Kris Bryant is not about that lightning:

  • Obvious Shirts is running a deal for their Twitter followers this week:

  • Ohmygod figure it out:

  • It’s big-time rumor season now in the NBA:

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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.