Well, it was a slow news day in Cubville. And, I’m blacked out tonight because, well, the only reason I can think of is that I’ve HEARD of Cincinnati. It sure as hell isn’t close. Rob Manfred has a birthday coming up – maybe I’ll send him a map.
The LLWS has been outstanding – I love watching the unbridled enthusiasm of the kids. Except for the occasional Mendoza sighting and the stand roving soccer mom (literally – don’t get on me for that. She’s literally a soccer mom. She played professional soccer, and she’s a mom, so shut it) it’s not that hard to watch. Actually? Foudy is pretty good – can’t blame her for ESPN’s stupidity. She’s personable and does a nice job of both talking and knowing when not to…which is the most important part of broadcasting, in my opinion. I don’t have a favorite team in the LLWS. EVERY kid that comes up is my new favorite. I do think they should move the fences back as these kids have outgrown the field in that respect (and don’t get me started on the bats they use.) I love watching them play defense, too. I like watching the team introductions, but don’t care at ALL about anyone’s favorite emoji.
Defense. Let’s use that as a segue. So, because the Cubs were not playing, and the stupid eclipse was over, I was flipping through games and trying to decide if any were worth watching…and ran into the Mets/Dbacks. I happened to get there a half minute before the snakes scored a run (which would be the only run until late in the game. The Mets are worse than the Cubs with RISP.) Anyway – ground single to left with a runner on second. Wilmer Flores is playing third. He heads to third on the ground ball (in case the shortstop can come up with the ball – which makes sense) and then stands on the bag and pretty much watches Cespedes throw home and NOT get the runner out. Ron Darling calls him out. Says that is an inexcusable mistake for a major league ballplayer. Once he recognized that the ball was through and no play was to be made at third, his job is to SPRINT to the point where he is between the ball and home plate. For two reasons – 1.) arms up – he’s a target. 2.) Cut-off. He didn’t. Darling said I hate to rag on the guy, but that is a bad play. Other broadcaster asks, is that why the throw was too high? Cespedes didn’t see the cut off man and had to try to make the throw all the way? Darling says “nope – that’s just a bad throw. That’s on Yoenis. And furthermore, a good first base coach should have sent the runner to second immediately when he noticed that Flores wasn’t in position. If it can’t be cut, he can’t get caught at second.” But this AZ coach didn’t notice. Then, they showed the entire play from a bird’s eye view, and he pointed out what he’d just said, and it was brilliant. It was a great baseball moment. And then I remembered Len and JD, and I wept. I’ll repeat what Raker has said numerous times: Cub Nation deserves better.
I don’t have a preview of today’s game, other than to say that John Lackey faces a guy named Homer. Let’s hope THAT’S not prophetic.
Stuff probably happened in the minor leagues, but I don’t care. Adbert got hit hard a couple of days ago, but they let him go ten days between starts so it’s probably management’s fault.