The Rundown: Hot Dogs and Mustard, All-Star Picks, Cubs Trade Targets, Could Nats Trade Harper?

Yes it’s true, I am a Milwaukee resident now, though I still keep a place in Chicago three nights a week. Trying to get back into the swing of things here. Brewers fans sure love their team up here, and I was fortunate enough to run into Gorman Thomas last night at Summerfest. He expects Milwaukee to win the Central Division easily.

His reasoning: The Brewers have the resources to acquire the assets necessary to put them over the top while the Cubs lack financial wiggle room. And, more importantly, the Cubs lack prospects other teams will want in return.

Overall we had an interesting conversation about baseball in general, music, Klements vs. Usinger sausages, and of course his very own brand of mustards. Yes, that is what it is like living in Wisconsin, and I love it. The Cubs and the Brew Crew play seven more times this season and it is not unfathomable to think that the team that wins the rest of the season series will win the division. It’s going to be exciting, and I love the rivalry, especially now that I live in both cities. Oh what a time to be alive!

Meanwhile, how about Javy Baez? He is loudly making that which is unexpected seem almost commonplace and he reigns as the most exciting thing in baseball right now. I offer no apologies to Ozzie Albies or Scooter Gennett, but Javy deserves to start for the NL All-Star team.

My rest of my NL Starting lineup would look something like this:

  • C – Willson Contreras
  • 1B – Freddie Freeman
  • SS – Trea Turner
  • 3B – Nolan Arenado
  • LF – Christian Yelich
  • CF – Charlie Blackmon
  • RF – Jason Heyward

There are outfielders more deserving to be an All-Star starter than Heyward, but there is not a better right fielder in the National League right now, though you could make a strong case for Nick Markakis.

I think we should recognize what a great signing Brandon Morrow has been. Aside from pulling a muscle while de-pantsing himself, his only blown save was in a May 5 contest against the Cardinals.

Cubs News & Notes

Potential trade targets at this year’s deadline: Aaron Loup, Luis Avilan, Zach Britton, and A.J. Ellis. Nothing sexy there, but each of those players fill needs.

Strange but true: The Cubs find themselves in the middle of a monthlong stretch with no night games scheduled at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs are off today, but remain hopeful that Kris Bryant can return to the team tomorrow. Bryant has been out since June 23 with left shoulder inflammation.

Yesterday’s win was the team’s sixth straight. The Cubs have come from behind to earn each victory.

Chris Gimenez was designated for assignment Wednesday and Victor Caratini was recalled from Iowa.

How About That!

The Nationals were swept by the Red Sox this week and were outscored 18-7 in the process. Yesterday’s shutout loss was the eighth time since June 1 Washington failed to score any runs.

The Yankees placed SS Gleyber Torres on the 10-Day DL with a right hip strain. Torres is hitting .294/.350/.555 with 15 homers and 42 RBI over his first 63 major league games.

The Rangers are sitting on 10-12 trade chips, led by Cole Hamels and Adrian Beltre.

R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports looks at the best available position players ahead of this year’s trade deadline.

Cody Allen of the Indians set a franchise record for saves yesterday.

For the second straight season, Orioles OF Colby Rasmus has been placed on the restricted list with intent to retire. Last year, Rasmus left the Rays after 37 games with the team.

Rafael Palmeiro’s return to baseball has been underwhelming so far.

Wednesday’s Three Stars

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – The Rangers DH was able to keep his on-base streak alive, reaching 44 games. He finished 2-for-4 with a solo home run, his 16th of the season. The last time Choo failed to reach base was may 12 against the Astros.
  2. Aaron Nola – The Phillies’ starter allowed one earned run, seven hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over seven innings against the lowly Orioles to run his record to 11-2 while lowering his ERA to 2.41.
  3. Tyler Anderson – The Rockies’ starter allowed just two hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over eight scoreless frames in shutting out the Giants 1-0.

Hot Takes & Syrup

They Said It

  • “[Baez is] in that top 10, kind of part of the Rat Pack from back in the day,. You had to go to Vegas to see him. He’s one of those guys — he sashayed in with Sinatra and the boys. That’s how he plays baseball.” – Joe Maddon
  • “I should be an All-Star. I’d imagine I will be and if I’m not, they didn’t get it right, whoever ‘they’ is. I’m glad I’m pitching well. That’s been my goal. I feel like I should be an All-Star every year. That’s the standard I hold myself to.” – Trevor Bauer
  • “I’m doing it because I love the game, first of all. And because I want to get back to proving to myself that I can do this and maybe for some of those people that think that I cheated, they might think again and say, ‘Well, wait a minute, he’s 53 years old, he’s playing at this level, he’s playing in the big leagues, he’s producing.’ Maybe some of those will say, ‘OK, he did it legitimately.'” – Rafael Palmeiro

Extra Innings

Stormin’ Gorman Thomas prefers Def Leppard over Journey, which should be a given, and Usinger’s over Klement’s, also a given.

For what it’s worth, Journey is not Journey without Steve Perry. It’s like watching a real life version of the movie Rock Star. Guitarist Neal Schon sure makes sure he gets his fair share of screen time on the video boards though. It kind of made me nauseous. Very disappointing concert.

Thursday Walk Up Song

My Church by Maren Morris. I’m not a huge country and western fan but this was playing when I woke up this morning, and all I could say was “wow.”

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