Good morning, frents!
And good news! Only 140 short days until Scottie Pippen's book comes out and he can stop doing these interviews.
Last chance for June mailbag questions: Get 'em in.
Brewers 14, Cubs 4
Twins at Sox, PPD to 7/19
Twins at Sox (7:10, NBSCH)
Cubs at Brewers (7:10, Marquee)
The Cubs miss Kyle Schwarber ... but he sure isn't playing like he misses them
In some mirror universe, Kyle Schwarber is still swatting home runs for the Cubs.
But in this dimension, the looking glass is cracked for the Cubs.
There's not a lot that Schwarber could have done to prevent the Cubs' 10-run bullpen implosion in the eighth inning against the Brewers on Monday night. Although... the score was tied when the inning started. Had the Cubs kept Schwarber this past offseason instead of letting him walk to free agency, perhaps one of the two home runs he hit for the Washington Nationals on Monday could have put the Cubs ahead in their game.
Even if their 14-4 loss to the Brewers stayed on the books, the Cubs still could have used Schwarber for any number of the 15 home runs he has hit since June 12. Yes, that's right: Schwarber has gone deep 15 times in the past 17 games. In that span, it's helped to raise his batting line from .220/.312/.419 to .253/.337/.569, with 24 homers overall.
When asked by a reporter if he has put his hot streak into any historical context, Schwarber had a funny, self-deprecating answer that sounds right:
"I think it’s best if I don’t, to be honest with you. I want to play stupid, that’s kind of the best way to describe it."
"Play stupid." Sounds like an Obvious Shirt, or an ethos on how to run some of the sports franchises Chicagoans have rooted for. The Cubs have played stupid regarding their relationship with Kris Bryant, who fans worry about losing in the future rather than already. His batting line in June has been tumbling like Jesse White, but Bryant will bounce back. Like Schwarber, Bryant also has 15 home runs — this season — to go with a .261/.347/.500 slash line.
Cubs fans are considering slashing someone's tires after losing by 10 runs to the Brewers, who have opened a four-game lead on the Cubs in NL Central after beating them for a third straight time and for the seventh time in 10 games overall. It's beginning to look like the Cubs don't have enough firepower to stick with them. In the same span that Schwarber hit 15 homers, all of the Cubs collectively have hit 21, while batting .169/.248/.330 coming into Monday. One-sixty-nine. Not nice at all. It's no wonder how they've gone 6-10.
Schwarber would have helped. Yu Darvish would have helped. Nick Castellanos would have helped, going back two years. But the Cubs ownership has its priorities. It's too late for the Cubs to salvage their relationship with Bryant and it's probably too late to bring back Schwarber, although it might be moot with him helping to get the Nationals back in the playoff hunt anyway.
It might not be too late for the White Sox to get in on Schwarber, if he becomes available in a month at the non-waiver trading deadline. The Sox have hit just eight home runs in the same span that Schwarber hit 15. Yermín Mercedes might have had two homers taken away, it's so bad. It's funny how the Cubs had Schwarber but let him go for Joc Pederson, who has produced OK numbers. But they only got Pederson, and at a discount, because he couldn't agree to terms with the Sox before they ended up with Adam Eaton. If the Sox end up with Schwarber down the stretch and he helps them win something, and the Cubs ended up sinking without him, it would be like a Greek tragedy second only to the one with the billy goat.
Schwarber attended Indiana University. The 1998 Cubs had two Hoosiers in their infield. Can you name them?
News and results
Former federal prosecutor Reid Schar will lead a look at the team's actions during the recent sexual assault allegations.
- Said team CEO Danny Wirtz in an internal memo: "We want to reiterate to you that we take the allegations described in these lawsuits very seriously. They in no way reflect this organization's culture or values."
- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league would base its next steps on the results of Schar's investigation and would not commission its own.
- Martyl Reinsdorf, wife of Jerry, died Monday at age 85. A lover of art, she designed five of the six Bulls championship rings and the White Sox World Series ring. ESPN
- Chris Chelios will be part of ESPN's NHL studio team. NY Post
- Tyler Dunne goes long on Erik Kramer's attempt to recover from a sad and tragic post-playing career. Go Long TD
- Steve Adams on the Cubs' deadline dilemma. MLB Trade Rumors
- Someone is running around DeKalb and putting slices of cheese on vehicles at night. WXRT
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Trivia answer: Mickey Morandini and Kevin Orie