The Cubs are scheduled to resume play tonight in Cincinnati at 6:10pm CT at the start of a four-game series spread over three days (doubleheader tomorrow). It’s not clear whether there will be an additional demonstration from the Cubs, who played on Wednesday night without Jason Heyward, who alone sat out in protest. It’s also not clear how cooperative the weather is going to be tonight – there are storms forecast as something of a 50/50 proposition tonight.
Today, incidentally, is Jackie Robinson Day in MLB. I hope the moment is not lost on anyone.
“What do you want the future to say about the moment we lived, the chance we had to move the world forward? A game like baseball can play a part in that progress.”
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) August 28, 2020
• The Pirates have become the Cubs’ best friend over the past week, having swept the Brewers last weekend and now just swept the Cardinals in a doubleheader. The Pirates are now 7-4 against the Brewers and Cardinals this year, and 2-15 against everyone else. We have no choice now but to honor and respect the Pirates. Raise the Jolly Roger and some such thing.
• Also, and somewhat related: as of this moment, the NL Central is now the only division in baseball with just one team above .500 (the Cubs (at 18-12 (which is a good record))). Clearly, the Cubs have areas where they need to perform much, much better than they have in the last two weeks, but the division has sorted itself such that it would be very difficult for the Cubs to fall out of the top two spots, which are guaranteed to hit up the playoffs. In fact, their odds to win the division climbed 10 PERCENTAGE POINTS yesterday thanks to that Pirates-Cardinals sweep, and now stand at 67.8%. Their odds to finish second in the division are 21.8%. So that’s just about a 90% chance to finish either first or second in the division.
• It has long been the case that, in the pantheon of MLB team laughing-from-the-outside eff ups, the New York Mets reign supreme. But, I don’t know, man. Yesterday MAY have taken the cake. Here we go: a video was leaked of Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen telling a couple people that what he was about to say stays between them. He proceeds to tell them that Commissioner Rob Manfred had an idea that the Mets should have their players come out to the field, leave the field, and then come back an hour later to play their game last night. A faux, contrived demonstration that no person with even a remote connection to reality would think for a second would fly with the players, who had already decided to sit the game out. Van Wagenen goes on to point out precisely that, and indicates that Manfred just doesn’t get it, and suggests there is a disconnect with reality. Shortly thereafter, Van Wagenen apologizes publicly and says he shouldn’t have said anything AND he misunderstood, it was actually his own boss, Mets owner Jeff Wilpon who had suggested the terrible idea. After that, Rob Manfred issued his own statement denying that he’d suggested anything like that. After THAT, the Mets owners – Fred and Jeff Wilpon – each offered up statements chastising Van Wagenen for what he said, and BOTH misspelled their own GM’s first name in their statements.
• The best part? The “leaked” video that started the whole thing? It wasn’t leaked at all. Some college kid found it just sitting there on the Mets.com home page. You cannot top the Mets. You can try. But you cannot top the Mets.
• Meanwhile, the focus should have always remained on the demonstration the Mets and Marlins made, and the message they and other athletes are sending:
42 seconds of silence.
42 seconds to honor Jackie Robinson.
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 27, 2020
• To that end:
The Players Alliance, a nonprofit of 100+ current & former Black players, said its players are donating salaries from Aug 27-28 to support efforts “to combat racial inequality & aid Black families & communities deeply affected in the wake of recent events” https://t.co/owjLHHQRfe
— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) August 27, 2020
• If you missed it late last night, Pedro Strop is in Chicago right now for reasons not yet known.
And don’t miss out on the freebie from our partners at DraftKings for the NFL’s Opening Game. A huge deal that lasts only through the weekend.