“I don’t know if anybody cares but I wanna go stand on the top step.” – David Ross
I’m still super busy with work so today’s version is somewhat truncated (what Evan calls The Rundown Lite), and I’ll resume my all-decades feature on Sunday or Monday. Sorry folks.
Cubs News & Notes
- Second baseman Jason Kipnis has set up a unique fundraiser for COVID-19 relief via Cameo.
- Kris Bryant was the salutatorian of his graduating class, but passed the honor to a classmate with a similar GPA because he wanted her to have the recognition.
- In case you’ve lost track, here is a complete list of the current 40-man roster, along with this year’s non-roster invitees, in case spring training ever resumes.
- Anthony Rizzo is this generation’s Mr. Cub and the best first baseman in the history of the franchise.
- Who is your choice for the most underrated Cubs player in team history? Kyle Hendricks should top most lists, but I’m shocked my choice, Rick Monday, did not make this one.
- He doesn’t play that much, but Hendricks is a scratch golfer. His dad, John, qualified for the PGA Championship in 1991 and previously served as a golf instructor.
- I guess we can always refer to the 2020 home opener as Opening Stay.
- The David Bote Game, featuring the infielder’s 2018 walk-off grand slam against the Nationals, will air as part of Major League Baseball’s “#MLBatHome” series. The game will be streamed at 6 p.m. CT through MLB’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, giving Cubs fans a chance to interact while the baseball season remains on hold. Lost in the theatrics of Bote’s incredible feat was an outstanding pitcher’s duel between Max Scherzer and Cole Hamels.
- That slam by Bote was far more improbable than one might think.
- If you’d just rather to skip ahead to the incredible moment, CI has you covered.
Tougher Than the Rest
This is truly beyond amazing. 104-year-old World War II veteran William Lapschies of Lebanon, OR has now survived two global pandemics in his lifetime.
Survived 1918 pandemic,
Soldier in World War 2,
And now fully recovered from Coronavirus!!
Happy 104th birthday, William Lapschies!
— Louis Stedman-Bryce (@Lstedmanbryce) April 3, 2020
Odds & Sods
I know you are all probably a little tired of being sequestered and I get it it, I’m on Day 24 of self-isolation. In that light, I thought I’d give you a list of my favorite road trip movies so you can navigate the weekend without falling into COVID-19 Depressive Disorder. Given the Cubs’ away record last year, I hope the words “road trip” don’t trigger you.
- Zombieland – Better to fight zombies than a virus. At least it looks more fun.
- O Brother Where Art Thou? – That’s not really George Clooney singing, before you ask. His mother is not singer Rosemary Clooney, either, though she is his aunt.
- Almost Famous – I still think playing Lester Bangs is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s best role, though he was great in Twister, too. “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.”
- Smokey & the Bandit – Eastbound and down Bandit. “Got your ears on, son?” Full disclosure: I had a huge crush on Sally Field after seeing this move for the first time. Who didn’t?
- Planes, Trains & Automobiles – It’s a shame Steve Martin and John Candy didn’t work together more often. They were the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby of our generation, especially in this flick.
- The Sure Thing – An underrated John Cusack vehicle that features Anthony Edwards sporting a full head of hair. Sorta like me in 1985.
- The Motorcycle Diaries – “Let the world change you, and you can change the world.”
- Easy Rider – There was a time, a good 20-year run in fact, when everything Jack Nicholson did was five stars. Put this up with The Shining and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as my Nicholson favorites.
- Queen & Slim – A great message and a sad ending. The acting is beyond fantastic.
- National Lampoon’s Vacation – This quote machine is fun to watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it. “Sorry folks, the
parkcountry is closed. The moose out front should have told you.”
MLB News & Notes
Evan Gattis is feeling a little more than remorseful for his role in Houston’s sign stealing scandal. “We did it, that’s a fact. And that’s on the wall. Part of me is really glad that it’s out there – it’s public knowledge and it’s accurate.”
Starting the MLB season by playing games without fans may not make good financial sense for the game. If I’m being honest, I might have a tough time watching those games. It will be novel at first, and a long-awaited welcome back to near normalcy. But after one or two games, I’d probably just rather read the recaps and box scores the next day.
Properly preparing big league pitchers for a season in flux could be a confounding problem for managers and pitching coaches across baseball.
Japan has delayed their baseball season once again because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper announced a $500,000 donation to help those in immediate need in Las Vegas and Philadelphia during the coronavirus pandemic.
Godspeed, Ed Farmer, an underrated baseball announcer, product of Evergreen Park and St. Rita High School, and radio voice of the White Sox for three decades.
— John Kass (@John_Kass) April 3, 2020
I consider it beyond amazing that I’ve made so many new connections while writing The Rundown. I’ve also reconnected with old friends thanks to this column, and through my GoFundMe campaign, which the folks here at Cubs Insider have shared so many times on my behalf.
I got a letter in the post yesterday from a friend I haven’t seen in almost 20 years, and it turns out he lives in Arizona now and is a regular reader. I’d like to quote a little of his letter, if I may.
“Long time no see. [I’ve] been meaning to send you a note letting you know how much I’ve enjoyed [The Rundown] for some time now, but ‘life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.’ Your blog is a welcome respite to the madness/stress of the outside world. Sorry to hear about your liver and wishing you peace, comfort and joy through these trying times.” – Chris L.
They Said It
- “I don’t know how to feel yet. We didn’t look at our moral compass and say, ‘Yeah, this is right.’ It was almost like paranoia warfare or something. What we did was wrong. Don’t get it twisted. It was wrong for the nature of competition — not even just baseball. Yeah, that was wrong. I will say that. … We cheated baseball. We cheated fans. Fans felt duped. I feel bad for fans because I really wish everyone was there. I wish everyone could experience what it’s like to break spring training and break for the big-league club and be in a big-league clubhouse, part of a big-league team. I wish everyone knew what that was like.” – Evan Gattis
Friday Walk Up Song
Holiday Road by Lindsey Buckingham – But of course.