First up is Jeffrey Loria and his ridiculous meddling in to the on the field product in Miami. Miami had a double header up in Minnesota, with 20 year old rookie Jose Fernandez and highest paid Marlin and veteran Ricky Nolasco scheduled to start the two games. Standard procedure around the league is to allow the more veteran pitcher to choose which game he would like to start. However, because he wanted his young star to pitch in warmer temperatures, Loria instructed manager Mike Redmond to start Fernandez in game 1 during the day and Nolasco in the nightcap. This did not sit well with Nolasco, the team, or really the entire league. Yes, Loria signs everyone's checks, but owners that meddle in the on the field product have no place in the game. Loria just continues to prove that he is one of the most hated men in baseball. Seriously, does his family even like him??
Alfredo Aceves was designated for assignment. He has really struggled for the last year + but he has definitely shown in the past that he can pitch. He has some off the field issues, but a couple teams should look to acquire the veteran swingman. Will it be the Cubs? Astros? Padres? I sure don't know, but I definitely expect the bottom rung teams to inquire about the fiery right hander.
Hawk Harrelson was on MLB Network with Brian Kenny and Harold Reynolds yesterday to discuss sabermetrics and all of the statistics in baseball. Being the oldest of old school guys, Hawk has consistently spoken out about how sabermetrics are hogwash. This has nothing to do with me being a Cubs fan, but to me, Hawk is the most annoying man in baseball. I can't watch White Sox games solely because listening to Hawk is insufferable. Hawk even created his own stat, TWTW, or the will to win. Check out the whole video HERE
I know Chris brought this up yesterday, but Joe Maddon is one of the best managers in baseball. Not only is he a good in game manager, but he also knows how to keep his team relaxed throughout a long season. Maddon invented the theme road trip, where the entire team dressed according to different themes on their road trips and now he is bringing penguins into the clubhouse. Check out this VINE of the penguin wandering around
Lastly, I have to touch on the Cubs. While the bullpen, defense, and hitting have struggled, the starting pitching has been PHENOMENAL. The starters rank 2nd in baseball in ERA and Carlos Villanueva, Travis Wood, and Jeff Samardzija have been outstanding. Villanueva is quickly becoming my favorite player to watch pitch. He commands 4 pitches, can throw them in any count, and does this while topping out around 88 MPH. Plus, you know, the whole awesome facial hair thing. The Cubs have 3 more against the Marlins and another 3 against the Padres coming up, so don't be surprised if the Cubs make a little run here. I can easily see the Cubs taking 5 of their next 6. O, and Carlos Marmol is the closer again, just don't tell him that, as he pitches better when that's the case according to manager Dale Sveum.
Lastly, I just want to show you all one of my new favorite sites, CUT4. This takes a ton of GIFs and short video clips from around the league and compiles them, giving us hours of entertainment. Perhaps the best of the bunch is THIS ONE, which has an overlay of 5 different pitches by Yu Darvish. Notice how the release point is almost the same on every one, yet all 5 go in different directions. That is pretty much impossible to hit.