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Surliness and Squirreliness Rising, Newcomb Outrighted, Cruz Ridiculous, Streamers and other Cubs Bullets

I know I won’t be able to watch the Obi-Wan finale until many hours after it’s released, so I’m trying to find the right combination of words to mute on Twitter so I don’t accidentally see spoilers. Some are simple and obvious but others are like when I mute “Luke” what if the Cubs pick up a guy named Luke?!

  • I want to cover Caleb Kilian later today, so don’t look for it in these bullets. The extreme control issues make for such a strange situation – well beyond just not getting good results – that I’m hoping to find something to reassure me, if not you too.
  • Oh, and also: I probably got as salty yesterday as I have all year. The combination of the continued decision to play Jason Heyward over a guy like Nelson Velazquez, the concerns of Kilian, the defensive mistakes, the Cubs getting blown out on a night when the Pirates got to enjoy their young players, and of course everything else that what was built up…I’m hitting a level of pissed off right now possibly will increasingly permeate Scripture. I don’t necessarily forgiveness about it because I’m just being honest about my sense of things, but I wanted to state it upfront because it probably affects how I perceive even harmless things like a wild animal roaming free in PNC. Maybe I’m feeling a little too grumpy and bubbly…
  • Normally, a squirrel baring the pirate terrain crew would give me goofy glee, but since this happened immediately after the Cubs dropped a pop-up foulball, I wasn’t in the mood:
  • Maybe you just leave the squirrel alone? It’s not like it would attack an outfielder, and it would most certainly get out of the way if an outfielder approached with a batted ball. So there really was no reason to spend all that time terrorizing the poor thing AND not actually getting it.
  • Speaking of which, this really didn’t land for me:
  • Also, it’s generally not a good thing when a damn squirrel gets more attention than the baseball team.
  • OK, but if you want to enjoy something about it:
  • The Cubs are looking to bring a second referee-level player to Triple-A Iowa and want left Sean Newcomb to join Clint Frazier. Newcomb has deleted waivers since he was DFA last week, and he now appears on the Iowa Cubs roster, with the entirety appearing in the team’s transaction log. This *usually* means the player has accepted the direct order, but we’re awaiting official confirmation.
  • Newcomb, 29, was a very successful big league pitcher a few years ago but things just fell apart from there. The Cubs wanted to be the first team after Braves to get a shot to get him back on track — the stuff/Velo checks the boxes — but command/control wasn’t playable this year. Realistically, Newcomb will line up in Iowa for his next contract, likely an early-offseason minor league deal (much like Frazier’s most likely situation).
  • Ian Happ had another good game last night, and he continues his stellar 2022 campaign: .290/.389/.466/138 wRC+ (26th best in all baseball), with a by far best 19.8% K- installment of his career. I still don’t think Happ will be EXPRESSLY bought this trade season (team control through 2023) but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is interest and if a team wants to overdo it I expect the Cubs will listen.
  • We saw Oneil Cruz at his craziest form last night:
  • Especially the litter looks different. Watch it a few times:
  • To be honest, I thought Theo Epstein had moved back east a long time ago:
  • The first marketable streamer is about to be launched:
  • The Bally Sports+ service will be the first to offer live game streaming in the market without a cable or satellite subscription and is priced at $20 per month or $190 per year. As we’ve discussed, the price has to be really high or RSNs will see the value of the channels they’re trying to sell to cable providers completely gutted (and in some cases, they can’t do it without the providers’ permission anyway). It’s a strange transitional period for the delivery of live sports, and it’s just a small step in a process that will play out over the next decade. Also note that this is essentially a direct competitor to what MLB wants to do, which is launching them own In-market streamers with no power outages.

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