I don’t really have any commentary this morning, but I wanted to take time to thank those who continue to read The Rundown and all of the other posts authored by the great writers we have here at Cubs Insider. The world is full of uncertainty right now and things are getting awfully edgy as many are breaking under the strain of self-isolation and a new type of daily life that relies more on social media connections and less on real interaction.
Finding compelling baseball content is not an easy task these days, and most of the stories here and on other blog sites are just rehashed versions or opinionated pieces from baseball’s sparse current-events pipeline. That makes your visits to this site extra special. Personally, I don’t think I’ve written anything groundbreaking or engrossing in months, and I miss doing my Sunday Baseball Notes column, but there just isn’t enough to write about.
But we come to work, so to speak, every day because you continue to support us. At times it feels like screaming into a tornado: We have things to say, we’re just not sure how many of you hear us. If anything, it makes us appreciate each of you more than ever, and I hope the feeling is mutual. We are by no means essential, but at times writing is as much a break (and needed mental therapy, at least for me) from what’s going on outside of our niche ecosystem as reading is for those who stop by.
Please allow me to extend a hearty thank you from all of us to each of you, and if you don’t mind a little site promotion, please check out CI’s new videocast The Rant on YouTube every day at 3:30pm CT. Evan and Jon, co-owners and creators of this site, along with beloved podcaster Danny Rockett, are doing a great job and have lined up a number of intriguing guests. It’s well worth the 30-minute (or more) commitment to appointment viewing. And if you are too busy to watch live, you can catch the taped version in the video content section of this site.
Be healthy, and may you and your families all come out of this wretched pandemic safe and sound.
Cubs News & Notes
- Ian Happ, Zack Short and Dakota Mekkes gave Cubs fans a video tour of their Arizona home, which they call ‘The Compound.’
- Kris Bryant is offering a weekend trip to Las Vegas as part of baseball’s All In Challenge.
- The Cubs gave a shout out to the Bryants’ newborn son, Kyler Lee, on Wrigley Field’s iconic marquee.
- When baseball resumes, Yu Darvish is expected to be named the team’s number one starter.
- The Cubs defeated the Padres 6-5 at home yesterday in the MLB The Show 20 simulated season. A home run by David Bote powered the 14-9 Cubs to victory.
- The Cubs also won 6-5 in the Strat-O-Matic sim-season, improving to 15-8 while increasing their lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central to 2.5 games. Kyle Hendricks earned his third victory of the season. Javier Báez and Steven Souza Jr. were the offensive heroes.
- You can watch the the Cubs 1998 tiebreaker win over the Giants on MLB’s social platforms at 5pm CT tomorrow. The game will stream on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Odds & Sods
That time Michael Jordan threw serious shade at the Cubs.
— Quarantine Bros (@BaseballBros) April 20, 2020
Find Your Inner Hero
Every time Hayley Wickenheiser collects cartons of masks, surgical gowns, face shields or hand sanitizer and brings them to front-line medical personnel battling the COVID-19 pandemic, she earns an assist more momentous than any point she scored during a brilliant career that took her from rural Saskatchewan to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Her efforts were recognized by Ryan Reynolds, which brought global attention to Conquer COVID-19, an initiative that unites Canadian physicians, business leaders and volunteers to get essential supplies to those in need.
Apropos of Nothing
If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend the music documentary Echo in the Canyon, hosted by Jakob Dylan and with guest performances by Jade Castrinos, Beck, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, and the last interview with Tom Petty.
MLB News & Notes
Rob Manfred ‘”fully anticipates” that there will be a 2020 baseball season.
Unresolved issues with pay owed to players could be the monkey wrench in Manfred’s plans, as there is a disconnect between the league and the player’s union regarding games played in empty stadiums.
It was rumored that MLB and MiLB had agreed to affiliate cuts, a plan that eliminates 40 minor league teams and impacts hundreds of prospects while saving millions of dollars in player development expenses. MiLB issued a statement Tuesday afternoon refuting the report that any agreement had been reached. Still, where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire.
While Major League Baseball tries to figure out a way to play this summer, the prospects for anything resembling a normal minor league season are increasingly bleak.
Dr. Anthony Fauci believe that it’s possible baseball could be played in stadiums with a limited number of fans as long as parks enforced social distancing guidelines. Can’t wait to see how the Cubs would manage visitors to the urinal troughs in the men’s bathrooms.
Rodríguez and his fiancee, pop star Jennifer Lopez, are putting a group together to try to buy the Mets. The power couple have retained investment bank J.P Morgan to assist them in their attempt to purchase the Flushing, NY franchise.
Reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger credits Dodgers hitting coaches Robert Van Scoyoc and Brant Brown with tweaking his swing ahead of last season. The two wanted Bellinger’s swing to “flow more easily through the hitting zone,” and the results were obviously stellar.
Before Jordan signed to play in the White Sox organization, he has an offer from A’s GM Sandy Alderson to play at the major league level with Oakland.
Whitey Ford shooting pool against Mickey while Yogi watches. I wonder if Yogi put a dime on the table so he has the next game pic.twitter.com/K4jYA1BWs2
— BaseballHistoryNut (@nut_history) April 21, 2020
They Said It
- “I think [Michael Jordan] loved playing baseball. And again, everybody has their opinions on why he was playing baseball. I’m one of the few who got to see it up close and personal. And I can tell you he was doing it for all the right reasons. He loved the game. And I think he wanted to give it a legit chance. This guy likes to compete, and he wants to find a way to beat you one way or another — whether it’s golf, baseball, basketball, ping-pong. It doesn’t matter. He wants to beat you. And he wants to beat you into oblivion.” – Terry Francona
- “When I heard that was happening — or about to happen — I called the agent right away and said, ‘Hey look, I understand [Jordan] may be going to Double-A. I don’t even know who the 25th man is on our major league team right now. I will sign him and put him on the major league roster. He’ll be part of our 25-man team. Tomorrow.” – Sandy Alderson
Wednesday Walk Up Song
Go Where You Wanna Go by Jakob Dylan and Jade Castrinos – You may know Castrinos from her work with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, but if you don’t, you should. She has one of the finest voices in modern pop/rock music.