More Pitching Jealousy, Acuña Gets Beef, I Create My Own Beer Shower, and Other Cubs Bullets

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More Pitching Jealousy, Acuña Gets Beef, I Create My Own Beer Shower, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I have finally started watching the third season of ‘True Detective’ (NO SPOILERS), and I am loving it so far. Quite a rebound from the lows of Season Two.

  • The Cardinals held on to win Game 1 of their NLDS match-up with the Braves, and the Dodgers owned the Nationals in Game 1 of their match-up, with Walker Buehler pitching like an absolute ace, continuing the trend of making Cubs fans deeply jealous watching other pitchers this postseason. Note that the Dodgers got Buehler with the 24th overall pick in 2015, and within two years he’d reached the big leagues. He’s now a true ace. Sigh. Must be nice.
  • Note that the Cubs have pulled off that kind of feat repeatedly with position players, but they haven’t all turned into whatever the positional equivalent is of an “ace,” and the Cubs have failed to do anything even remotely close to that on the pitching side. Indeed, the Cubs took two college pitchers in the first round in the 2017 draft (27 and 30), and one only just barely reached High-A at the end of the year (Brendon Little), and the other was one piece of the rental trade for Nick Castellanos after stalling a bit at AA (Alex Lange). That’s right about the time the Cubs started taking much bigger swings in the draft on the pitching side, so hopefully that bears fruit in the coming years. Perhaps 2019 first rounder Ryan Jensen (27th overall), with his huge fastball and huge stuff (but risky low floor) will be that kind of fast breakout guy. All we can do is hope.
  • Ronald Acuña, Jr. is a 21-year-old superstar growing up in the bright spotlight of MLB, so he’s gonna make some mistakes (though ticking off the Cardinals was not one of them). In the 7th inning yesterday, he didn’t run out a deep ball to right that he thought was leaving the park, thus only got a single, and was later doubled off second base when he should have been at third.
  • His teammates were not pleased. Freddie Freeman ( “It’s frustrating. You have that conversation once. You’re beating a dead horse when you keep having that conversation over and over again. You’ve got to know that was a mistake. That can’t happen in the playoffs. It can’t happen in the regular season. Unfortunately, that happened tonight.” Dallas Keuchel: “It’s the playoffs. If you’re not giving everything you have, you’re not only selling yourself short, but you’re selling the team short. You’ve got to live and die with the youth in baseball.” Ozzie Albies: “It’s a big deal. He knows he needs to do better there.”
  • If this all sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been through this kind of conversation before with Javy Baez and Willson Contreras, who have admired balls that didn’t get out, only to leave the team a base shorter than it should have been, and then became the subject of a whole lot of discussion. It was kind of overdone. My take has always been: if you rip a ball, do whatever you want at the plate. But if a deep shot doesn’t get out and you’re not on second base, then it’s fair game for folks to give you crap, and your teammates will probably be ticked (as the Braves were).
  • Tour the tats:

  • There are about three ways this isn’t flattering:

  • #AtRockies kept the receipts and it makes me chuckle:

  • Speaking of things that hopefully elicit a chuckle: Jeff Passan was covering the Rays’ Wild Card win, and I did a little Twitter joking with him about the post-game celebration (the typo is part of the meme):

Well, Passan is not above having some fun himself, so he called me out:

  • As Passan already knew, it is not in my nature to pass on such “opportunities.” I just can’t help myself. So I did it, donning my BEST SUIT for the celebration, and live-streaming the party:

  • Although he was not a fan of my stellar jacket, Passan did ultimately sum up my life’s quest in response to the shenanigans: “Brett Taylor is a complete idiot and I love him for it.”
  • Having done the thing, I wrote that leadoff hitter post outside (90 degrees), soaking of beer and White Claw, and I’ll absolutely admit that part sucked. The suit was uncomfortable, but the shirt underneath was worse. I smelled bad. I was sticky everywhere no matter how well I wiped my hands – I can still feel it on my keyboard as I type this very sentence – and the bugs were all over me. I made our house smell when I went in to finally get cleaned up a few hours later. Were I on the road to cover the postseason, and that was my only suit (I’d be a baller in that case), I suppose I can understand not wanting it to get wrecked for the first of many celebrations in the clubhouse.
  • … but it was mostly fun.
  • Be very careful or you might start to develop some Bulls optimism:

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.