The Rundown: Cubs Will Resume Play Tomorrow, Team Remains Healthy, Cardinals Rack Up Postponements, Tatis Jr. Bringing Joy Back to Baseball
I used to play a basketball game called 21 with my friends in my driveway growing up. If you are familiar with the game, you know you get two points for a made basket after which you get a free throw, which is worth one point. If you somehow end up stuck on 13, you have to go back to zero. In full disclosure, our version of the game was called SMOP, which meant no fouls are called unless you actually kill one of your opponents.
The Cubs are stuck at 13 games played after their weekend series with the Cardinals was postponed, something that has St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold more than slightly concerned. Not that he’s worried about the Cubs, it’s that the Redbirds have more games left to play than there are remaining days before the start of the 2020 playoffs.
With #Pirates series about to be officially postponed, next #stlcards scheduled game is doubleheader Thursday in Detroit. There is some concern that team will have gone two weeks between games, so many days without field work, and shouldn't be asked to return to a doubleheader.
— Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) August 9, 2020
Cry me a river, Derrick, the Cubs had to fly into an active hurricane in 2018 because of earlier postponements.
Whether or not you believe the rumors about Cardinals players, the fact of the matter remains that the club did a piss-poor job of containing the spread of the infection within their organization. I’ve heard as many as 17 players and staffers have contracted the disease, and though many are asymptomatic, team president John Mozeliak indicated that a couple players were hospitalized briefly.
Meanwhile, the Cubs have been stripped of the momentum from their fast start, though maybe a mini-vacation will be just what the doctor ordered after getting barbecued by the Royals in Kansas City on Thursday. Chicago will resume play in Cleveland against the Indians tomorrow in a series will kick off with a little bit of COVID-19 controversy as well. Zack Meisel and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that starter Zach Plesac had violated team rules ($) by visiting friends in Chicago over the weekend. Plesac is also in violation of the league’s health and safety protocols.
The Cubs start their series against the Indians at Progressive Field tomorrow night, a stadium that holds fond memories for all Cubs fans.
Cubs News & Notes
- The Cubs are counting their blessings after returning from St. Louis with good health intact,
- The organization has been deploying new and innovative measures to help keep the players safe.
- Chicago continues to trust MLB to do the right thing in handling COVID-19, but the league hasn’t been as responsive or timely as the Cubs would like.
- It appears the Cubs will navigate the upcoming trade deadline ($) with a wait-and-see approach. The ongoing pandemic leaves a world of uncertainty for front offices across baseball, and Theo Epstein said it is nearly impossible to gauge the market.
- Catcher Willson Contreras is displaying dramatically improved pitch framing skills.
- David Ross believes Ian Happ is coming into his own. “He’s the real deal,” the new skipper said yesterday.
- Happ will remain in the lineup on a consistent basis.
- Derek Dietrich asked the Cubs to grant him his release so he could pursue a major league opportunity, and the front office accommodated him.
- Jon Lester gets the start in Cleveland tomorrow as Ross reshuffled his rotation.
- Top prospect Brennen Davis may actually be better than anyone imagined.
- Reliever and 2020 second round draft pick Burl Carraway is someone to keep an eye on, too. He could be “next up.”
Odds & Sods
“I don’t just wish you rain, Beloved – I wish you the beauty of storms…” – John Geddes
Anyway … Our 3rd baseman is thirsty. pic.twitter.com/opDlzZNFUZ
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 10, 2020
Find Your Inner Hero
Podcaster extraordinaire Danny Rockett (aka Son Ranto) is a veritable community leader when it come to raising awareness and money to combat civic and social injustices. If you haven’t had a chance to catch his latest video podcast you should do so immediately. Rockett spoke with former Cubs outfielder Doug Glanville and a studio panel about racial inequality, and in conjunction with his annual John Baker Day event, our resident “ranter” is raising money for Lost Boyz, Inc.
The organization’s mission is to decrease violence, improve the social and emotional conditions, and provide financial opportunities among the youth in Chicago’s South Shore community. LaVonte Stewart, who runs Lost Boyz, was also part of the podcast, as was Baker.
How About That!
The Cardinals’ upcoming series with the Pirates has been postponed. The earliest St. Louis can resume play is Thursday and that’s doubtful, also.
Have you ever seen a four-base error before? Angels outfielder Jo Adell is guaranteed to make every blooper reel in every ballpark for as long as professional baseball remains in existence.
Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is bringing the joy back to baseball. Has anyone seen James Shields lately?
Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner left his start early yesterday and will see a back specialist today.
The Rockies have been excellent this season. They’re 11-4 and lead the NL West.
The Tigers are surprise playoff contenders.
The Athletics will try for their 10th straight win as they start a series on the road against the Angels.
Sunday’s Three Stars
- Ronald Acuña Jr. – The young phenom went 4-for-4 with two taters on the back end of a seven-inning doubleheader, leading the Braves to a sweep over the Phillies. Acuña had a total of three home runs on the day.
- Mitch Moreland – The slugging first baseman hit two home runs yesterday, including a walk-off shot over the Green Monster to give the Red Sox a 5-3 win over the transient Blue Jays. Moreland is off to a very strong start this season.
- Christian Yelich – The Brewers outfielder hit a solo home run, a run-scoring triple, and drew a bases-loaded walk as he quietly raised his batting average to .149.
Sliding Into Home
Today is a big day for me, as I am scheduled to have all my liver labs and a biopsy today at the Milwaukee Transplant Center. In addition to bloodwork and an ultrasound, I will have my first liver density test, which is used to measure the severity of my disease, including scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). Given how I’ve been feeling lately and all of the complications I’ve had, I am not expecting positive news. I don’t want to jump the gun and I’d rather be going in with high hopes, but I’m afraid I’m just not there.
Once the prognosis is revealed to me, likely before I leave the facility later today, I plan on closing my GoFundMe and instead will report all progress updates here in this section. I am hoping to get to $12,500 before ending the campaign, so please share on social media one last time if you do not mind. I have scary amounts of debt and I fear those bills will skyrocket after a transplant, so I am already looking into bankruptcy or some type of financial settlement option post-transplant. If you have already contributed, thank you, and you shouldn’t donate again.
I may take tomorrow off, depending on how I feel and how I handle the results.
Ramón Laureano was involved in a good old-fashioned donnybrook with the entire Astros team yesterday, and Jomboy Media has an excellent, albeit NSFW, breakdown of the (potentially) superspreader fracas. Houston hitting coach Álex Cintrón offered a great impersonation of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz.
Ramón Laureano charges the Astros dugout, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/2XaBn57Jsx
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) August 10, 2020
They Said It
- “In terms of when we’re going to get back on the field and get back to baseball, I just don’t know. I’m not going to guess. Allow a few days to come and go and then we’ll reassess. Not having experience on how to truly isolate it and prevent it from spending we’re learning as we go. I wish I had better answers. I wish I had something firm. But I don’t at this time.” – John Mozeliak
- “I’m not going to start complaining (about) the fairness or unfairness of this season. We’re all happy to be playing baseball and we’ll wait and see what happens at the back end of this thing.” – David Ross
- “I still think there will be trades. But in a season where there’s no guarantee of seeing it all the way through – as much as everyone’s put into this and we have confidence we can do it, there’s no guarantee – it might impact the trade market to a certain extent. How that impacts volume of transactions, we’ll see. Teams would have to sort of like value that factor similarly in order to get something done, which could happen. Or it might represent an obstacle.” – Theo Epstein
Monday Walk Up Song
Cheer Down by George Harrison – It’s all me today, but my courage is boosted by each of you. Please tweet #Strength56 today, and nothing else, to show your support. Don’t forget to tag me.