“If I could snap my fingers; if I could flip a switch…I’d make that last bullet first you son of a bitch.” – Chris Stapleton, Watch You Burn
The tragic events in Uvalde, Texas yesterday are at the front of everyone’s minds, but I will not link an article because I refuse to give space and notoriety to mass murderers. I have a heavy heart this morning and yesterday’s news brought me to tears. Please do not make it political in the comments, this is a time to mourn the unnecessary loss of children’s lives and a time to help their families. Imagine being one of those grieving parents before you open your mouth below. I’m not one to stifle speech, but respectfully, limit yourselves.
No preamble today. Consider it my digital moment of silence in honor of the 19 students who lost their lives yesterday just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. There were also two adult deaths, including the shooter, who took the coward’s way out.
Thanks for understanding.
Cubs News & Notes
- Frank Schwindel led the Cubs to an 11-4 win over the Reds yesterday, their third straight victory, and wouldn’t it be a much nicer baseball world if Chicago could play Cincinnati more often?
- Schwindel had a great week, Happ is displaying increased power, and Rafael Ortega looks to be losing his grip on the leadoff spot. Ryan Thomure has it all covered in this week’s edition of Tuesday Trends.
- Frank the Tank has really found his power stroke of late.
- All signs are pointing to the Monday big league debut of Caleb Kilian. It’s kind of got that Kerry Wood feel to it, doesn’t it?
- The Cubs have the best pitching in the minors according to xERA, and Kilian is a big part of that.
- Yan Gomes was scratched yesterday with an oblique issue and P.J. Higgins got the start in his place.
- Perhaps Jed Hoyer isn’t calling it a rebuild, but another “hard reset” could be coming this August 2 as the Cubs continue their slow-burning retool. Just don’t ask David Ross about it because he’ll have none of it (subscription to The Athletic required).
- Ross did admit that change is the reality right now.
- The Cubs sit at No. 23 in The Ringer’s Q1 power rankings.
- There may have been some shenanigans over at The Marquee Sports Network with regard to an episode of “The Reporters” in which a segment critical of Jed Hoyer and the Cubs wasn’t aired.
- Despite a slow start by the Cubs, the network is off to a stronger start after two years than many anticipated.
- Albert Almora Jr. plays for the Reds now but will always cherish his time in Chicago.
Odds & Sods
I know I am going to spend my morning watching the replay of this game.
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) May 25, 2022
Climbing the Ladder
“I was feeling part of the scenery. I walked right out of the machinery. My heart going ‘Boom-boom-boom.'” – Peter Gabriel, Solsbury Hill
He still has a ways to go but for the record, I never gave up on Frank the Tank. Schwindel was 3-for-5 yesterday with the first multi-homer game of his career to raise his average to .233. Higgins continues to rake and I’m really diggin’ his at-bats. He’s no Willson Contreras, but I could live with Higgins and Gomes if it comes to that. Patrick Wisdom had a stolen base yesterday. Stop the presses!
- Games Played: 42
- Total Plate Appearances: 1,562
- Total Strikeouts: 382
- Strikeout Rate: 24.45%
- Team Batting Average: .236
How About That!
Teams across MLB mourned yesterday’s shooting victims.
One insider predicts the Yankees will acquire a power-hitting catcher before this year’s trade deadline.
The Twins have taught the rest of the league how to avoid a scorched-earth teardown.
For the 14th season in a row, the Diamondbacks and Chase Field have been named the most affordable gameday experience in baseball.
If you haven’t reached your limit of free articles at The NY Times, you can read about baseball’s newest performance enhancer, men’s cologne ($). They’ve done studies, you know, and 60% of the time it works every time.
Tuesday’s Three Stars
- Joc Pederson – Young Joc was 4-for-6 with three taters and eight RsBI* in the wildest game of the year so far.
- William Contreras – Upstaging Bryce Harper isn’t an easy thing to do. Just ask Derek Holland.
- Giants/Mets – Probably the best and craziest game since the Phillies beat the Cubs 23-22 in 1977.
Most Honorable Mention: Include yourself if you donate to help those grief-stricken families.
Pederson or Babe Ruth? You can only choose one.
Today In 1935: Boston #Braves outfielder Babe Ruth hits 3 home runs in an 11-7 loss to the Pittsburgh #Pirates. In the 7th inning, The Babe blasts the 714th and final HR of his amazing career, clearing the right field roof of Forbes Field! #MLB #Baseball #Legend #History pic.twitter.com/gA33XqqDNy
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) May 25, 2022
- Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney have all left Saturday Night Live. Davidson is getting all the attention, but McKinnon is the bigger loss.
- Gas prices continue to climb and they’re driving record inflation.
- If you were unsure before this week’s OTAs, Darnell Mooney is officially the Bears’ No. 1 wide receiver. Look for him to break out the same way Davatnte Adams did for the Packers in 2018.
- During an appearance on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” former U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson said he is “optimistic” that detained WNBA star Brittney Griner will “soon come home” as calls for release from a Russian prison continue to grow.
- It was a great time to be alive in 2021, according to this survey.
- Do you start your day with little chocolate donuts? You may not win a decathlon, but you should fare better than Mario Mendoza, Rusty Lisch, Ali Dia, Bob Timberlake, and Bob Uecker, who were named the five worst athletes of all time. The list is 10 years old, by the way, so maybe Manny Parra and Johnny Manziel work their way into a more modern version. Just out of curiosity, who would you say is the worst Cub of all time? I’d pick Koyie Hill.
They Said It
- “Obviously, we’re well aware of what [Kilian] has been able to accomplish. There’s a lot of excitement, rightfully so, around him. What we’re focused on is kind of polishing up development, knowing that he’s kind of passing every hurdle as we’re putting them in front of him. Now it’s time to kind of see [the results] on the field,” – Craig Breslow
- “You want to talk trade deadline? I can’t think about any of that stuff. My focus is on using the pieces we have to compete on a daily basis. The guys have done a really nice job — we’ve been in a lot of ball games. We just haven’t been able to get a hit or make a pitch or whatever it was. Their job [in the front office] is to assess that big-picture stuff. My job is to try to win today in Cincinnati with the 26 guys we’ve got on the roster right now. I don’t think anybody’s punting. I haven’t in any way given up on a team that I have a ton of confidence in. They’re going to come in, work hard every single day, and give me their best.” – Ross
Wednesday Walk-Up Song
Mr. Blue Sky by ELO – Sue used to greet everybody by saying “Hey you with the pretty face!”