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It is the best of times for Chicago baseball. It is the worst of times for Baseball.
It was the best of times for Blackhawk hockey on Saturday. And it wasn't the worst that the team lost late last night to the Oilers (6-3), but it obviously wasn't good, as the best-of-five NHL play-in series evened up at one win apiece. Next game is Wednesday at 9:30.
I'll have a little more about the Hawks later but I'm going to mostly talk about baseball while I still can as the season teeters on the edge of cancellation.
I say cancel the Marlins first. And while you're at it, cancel the idiot Cardinals too. Or at least a lifetime ban for the players and staff who took a trip to a casino recently? A strip club? Some combination of the two? Wow is that some kind of stupid. A total of seven Cardinal players and six staffers had tested positive as of late Monday.
Do you love baseball or not? It is a simple question. If you don't, opt out. If you do, get your shit together. Yesterday. At the very least if I were in charge I would tell both those teams that if one more member of their standard traveling party gets the virus, they are relegated to AAA ball next year.
Or you could just shut them down and flip coins to decide who wins the rest of the Marlins' games. Do it for the Cardinals too and then put all those geniuses into three-month quarantine. If the Marlins and/or Cardinals seemingly qualify for the playoffs with their coin flip games they forfeit their first post-season series'. Get on it baseball commissioner Rob Manfred!
The Marlins haven't played since their opening series after an utterly bad ridiculous 18 of their players and several assistant coaches/staff members tested positive for COVID-19. The last of those infections happened after the team decided to play its third game despite multiple positive tests in the previous 24 hours. Manager Don Mattingly later said it didn't even occur to him to not play the game. If the overall season ends up canceled, Mattingly gets a six-month quarantine.
Meanwhile, heading into Tuesday's action the Cubs are riding the crest of one of their best winning streaks in recent memory, pandemic or no pandemic, to the best record in the National League (8-2). Sure they are beating up on bad teams but that's the way you at least qualify for the playoffs this year. Win a few against good teams and you are in the running for a top seed.
And the White Sox essentially stopped a bad start before it started with five wins in a row to give them six in their first 10 games.
Way to go Go Go White Sox! Now be quiet over there while I talk about the Cubs. OK, OK, I'll acknowledge that this Luis Robert character might actually be a true, five-tool superstar and that 10 games into his Major League career he is already establishing himself as must-see TV. Are you happy White Sox fans? No? Shocker.
Best of all last night we had some Javy gloriousness. The young man did what he does routinely and yet so extraordinarily with a magical tag on speedster Adelberto Mondesi trying to steal.
Javy Baez is the all time tag champion pic.twitter.com/KfeQofgqx2— Lima Charlie🗣 (@Meta_Faction) August 4, 2020
Mr. Baez executed this tag with his gloved left hand while giving Willson Contreras the OK sign with his right hand. Go back and look at it again.
I mean, seriously, how can a tag play at second be this awesome? It more than earns the tag (as in label) of Good ridiculousness! And as we always do around here at times like this, we pay homage to Devin Hester, the crown prince of good ridiculousness.
With Contreras throwing and Javy catching (at least some of the time), will any player successfully swipe second against the Cubs this season? (Yes, some goofy young Royal stole second on Contreras in the ninth inning when his run meant nothing. In this space I am officially scoring that defensive indifference.)
Contreras made some noise early last season about his primary goal being to be better than Yadier Molina, the longtime Cardinals catcher who, it seems clear to me, should be a first ballot Hall of Famer five years after he hangs up his spikes.
The Cubs catcher still has plenty to work on but he has improved so much from last year to this year. He drives me crazy at times when he doesn't run the bases his hardest and it almost costs his team outs, or when his pitch-blocking fundamentals break down. But he has been so good that you start to believe that he could be in a Most Valuable Player conversation at some point - at least if he can continue to improve like he has. Oh, and he also needs to avoid being a dim-witted hothead.
Oh, and the Hawks. Well, Chicago might have the better team in their series with Edmonton but the Oilers definitely have the best player.
Connor McDavid scored all of two minutes, 30 seconds into Game 1. But they the Hawks responded with a flurry of offensive greatness to take a 4-1 lead midway through the first and held on for a 6-4 victory over the weekend.
So what did McDavid do? He scored 19 seconds into Game 2 last night on his way to a hat trick of the sorts of stellar goals that make the young Edmonton forward just about the most exciting player in the game.
Still, Alex DeBrincat was great last night with a couple of sweet first assists and the game was closer than the final score indicated. Hang in there Hawks!
Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.
A diminished Pegasus opens the new horse racing season amidst a giant orange background.Continue reading "TrackNotes: The Phantom Zone" »
Posted on Jan 22, 2021