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Frills, please. Plus: Whine Sox; Scrubs Sequel; LOL OL; Sky Hook; Red Whine; OK, Swiss; and more!
1:00: Help Still Wanted.
* Frills, please.
2:48: Whine Sox.
Near the tail end of May, White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer was explaining how a weighted ball exercise designed to make him keep his glove arm up higher in his delivery had keyed a hot streak, after an April spent dealing with career-worst control problems. How often, at this level, is the difference between being a shutdown reliever and a liability some imperceptibly small mechanical tweak?
"Way too often," Bummer responded with a pained grin.
And so as Liam Hendriks mimed out the slight loop in his arm path that he felt was responsible for not only tipping his fastball off to Yankees hitters, but also diminishing some of its typically devastating vertical ride, he had a similar sense of pained relief - albeit for a different reason.
"I actually got on the phone with my wife on the way home after the Yankees game here and she was like, 'Yeah, you are tipping,'" Hendriks said in a video conference with reporters. "Turns out she was right, which pisses me off to no end. She's always right."
"I think the correction with my eyes helped me a lot," López said through Russo. "Because before sometimes I didn't have the conviction to throw a pitch because I wasn't sure that that was the pitch that the catcher was calling. I had a lot of doubt in my mind, because I couldn't see clearly. Now that I got that fixed, I feel better. I can see the signs. I can see what is going on and I can throw my pitches with conviction."
The first half of the season doubled as a test of his conviction in the White Sox's prescribed changes for López. While he was taken aback by video pitching coach Ethan Katz showed him of how long and inconsistent his arm stroke had become in his delivery, and readily installed changes, shortening the motion brought meager initial rewards. López would rediscover his feel for his curveball and hit his spots at times in bullpens, but his velocity initially dipped as he adjusted to the smaller loading motion, and hard contact was plentiful. Meanwhile, López had to watch Rodón quickly become overpowering once Katz showed him how to stop leaking velocity through his ground force, and run away with the fifth starter job they were competing for against one another.
The adjustment he ultimately made came in a different uniform. Originally in the Chicago White Sox organization, Yurchak was dealt to the Dodgers in November of 2018 in exchange for Manny Bañuelos. Shortly thereafter he traveled to Arizona for a hitting camp, and it was there that he "learned a lot about swings" - particularly his own. The level of instruction differed from what he'd experienced with Chicago.
"They're definitely two different orgs," acknowledged Yurchak, who takes his cuts from the left side. "The White Sox do it well, but the Dodgers are a little bit more analytical. I've had a little more video and technology to help me progress, to go through the progressions needed to improve."
24:38: Scrubs Sequel.
Chicago Cubs vs. Iowa Cubs. pic.twitter.com/HZhDw1Q8pR— Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) August 18, 2021
* Mooney, Sharma, The Athletic: There Is No Next Core; Rethinking How The Cubs Should Rebuild For The Future.
* Montemurro, Tribune: Cubs Struggles Will Continue Through Season.
* Misener, Cubbies Crib: Kris Bryant Makes It Clear: The Chicago Cubs Front Office Cannot Be Trusted.
* Montero, KNBR: Kris Bryant Explains Why He Didn't Sign Extension With Cubs.
* Mooney, The Athletic: The Cubs Are Really Bad And Their Future Is Very Bright: Can Both Of These Ideas Be True?
* No, it doesn't. Sports builds toxicity and entitlement.
49:11: LOL OL.
Bears' HC Matt Nagy said OT Teven Jenkins is undergoing back surgery today but "the goal is to get him back this season."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 18, 2021
55:34: Bulls, Blackhawks Blackout.
55:45: Sky Hook.
56:06: Red Whine.
* Campbell, Hot Time in Old Town: Missed Calls, Mistakes And Mentality: Red Stars Fight Back For 1-1 Draw.
59:25: OK, Swiss.
* Butler, MLS Soccer: Chicago Fire FC Owner Purchases Swiss Super League Club.
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