Hello again, everybody. The weather is warming, the flowers are blooming, but unlike spring times of the past, the Cubs are not swooning. No, this year’s team is starting to show what fans have patiently waited for since 2008. It is May 22, and folks, the Chicago Cubs have a winning record.
If this is not something to celebrate on this fine Friday, well, I do not really know what is. So, let’s get down to it and have some fun rambling away on this great day.
• We are officially one-quarter of the way into baseball season and Anthony Rizzo is making a strong case for the MVP thus far.
• And that is funny because I believe that Rizzo winning the MVP was once of my preseason predictions. And all of this means Rizzo will collapse in the second half.
• Think about this … Rizzo is on pace for 32 homers, 90 RBI and 35 stolen bases. And he is still getting on base 46% of the time. Sick, just absolutely sick.
• Arrieta is 4-4 with a 2.77 ERA. That is just not fair. 6-2, fine, but 4-4. Come on, boys, pick it up. I have a Cy Young prediction on the line here. And yes, all I care about are my predictions.
• And as I am typing this Kris Bryant goes yard! He has really adjusted nicely in the last two weeks. That is now five homers in less than 15 games. This is a great trend to get on and stick with … ya know, for like an entire career. I mean if he hits five home runs for every 15 games, and does that for entire 15-year career, that is about 800 homers. I would say that is not too shabby. But that’s just me.
• I know I sound like a broken record here, but it truly is enjoyable to watch Joe Maddon manage baseball games. It is fun, entertaining, and unpredictable. Rizzo had 16 career stolen bases coming into this season and he already has nine this season.
• Also, in regards to Mr. Maddon, the Cubs record in one-run games can be directly correlated to his managerial style and decisions. The man in the dugout really can make a difference at times.
• This courtesy of Best Pal Stats Inc., the Cubs are 26th in sacrifice hits this year, and the three of the four teams behind them are in the AL. I believe Len tweeted that Cubs pitchers have zero sacrifice bunts this season.
• Also from BSPI, the Cubs pinch-hitting is pretty bad. As of this publishing, they are 9-for-65, or batting .138. It will be nice to get the likes of La Stella and Denorfia back.
• I do not believe the Cubs should be in any rush to get Javy Baez back to the Bigs anytime soon.
• It is great that this is the most comfortable he has felt at the plate in long time. Let that comfort sink in. And while it does, let that confidence rise. Baez has always been the player that fed off of his confidence, and he needs it back. I think getting humbled was great for him.
• As BSPI points out, the Cubs have 31 more strikeouts in May than any other team in baseball. How can you really add Baez to the lineup right now? I don’t think you can. But that’s just me.
• Also, Kyle Hendricks just attempted a sacrifice bunt. I love timing. And Len just confirmed that the Cubs and the Padres are the only two NL teams lacking a pitcher with a sacrifice bunt this season. However, the Cubs, as a team, do have six sacrifice bunts total.
• Okay, I am done with sacrifice bunts. With all of this talk about bunting, I feel like I am covering a 2012 Spring Training practice for the Cubs.
• I will admit, it is really nice that at the end of May, we are not already discussing who or what prospects we can acquire in July.
• Speaking of the trade deadline, even though I am a card-carrying-member of the Chris Coghlan fan club, left field is the only everyday position I can really see the Cubs trying to fill at the trade deadline. Am I wrong? Is there another position, regardless of pitching, the Cubs should pursue?
• Good teams have good chemistry. Whether the chemistry or the winning comes first, the average fan will never know. However, the camaraderie on this team appears to be solid. The “rubbing of the helmet and pointing to the dugout” after getting a hit is something I very much enjoy seeing. Relationship building is never a bad thing, and these types of rituals among teammates are never a bad thing.
• It is really nice to see Lester settling in and pitching well. He is a leader, and good outings will only help his leadership. Performance breeds confidence, and confidence breeds leadership. Also, it is very good when he pitches and the Cubs win.
• EJax is barely holding on, but those two innings last Friday were great. What a game and what an ending. The Cubs normally lose games in that fashion. To win a game in that manner was just pure fun. I watched the first six innings in an airport, and then boarded my flight. When I landed, I had a bunch of messages. Too much fun.
• I will leave you with this thought: It is never a good thing to trade away a player and replace him with someone you hope will become as good one day. So let’s not be too quick to get rid of Castro. After all, Hee-Seop Choi never turned into Derrek Lee.
And there you have it for this week. What do you think? Don’t be shy.
I hope everyone enjoys this wonderful holiday weekend. Happy Memorial Day! Be safe and have fun.
And before I close, I would like to thank everyone who has given his or her life for this great country.
Also, a huge thank you to all who have served. Thank you for our way of life.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!