I’m still trying to chill out after the trainwreck at Lambeau last night, so forgive me if I’m less-than-cheery this morning. Know who else is in a bad mood? Manage Dale Sveum, who is still trying to figure out what Dave Sappelt thought he was doing on Tuesday night:
HOUSTON — Dale Sveum has been the Cubs manager for 143 games, which still isn’t long enough to understand things like Dave Sappelt’s mental gaffe on Tuesday night.
“Those ones baffle you,” Sveum said.
In a game the Cubs trailed 1-0, Sappelt tagged up at second with one out and headed to third on a Darwin Barney fly to medium center, just as Starlin Castro tagged and went home on an apparent sacrifice fly with one out. But Castro’s run didn’t count because Sappelt was thrown out at third before Castro’s foot hit the plate.
Sveum said he was “not sure what that category is” for Sappelt’s gaffe.
“Some things aren’t acceptable,” he said. “That’s something that’s not. … I’m not sure what it was, to tell you the truth. I’m still amazed at it.”
Other things have been deemed “not acceptable” by the Cubs include patience at the plate, having a decent pitching rotation the last month of the season, having someone other than Carlos Marmol close, and the first pick in the amateur draft.
Starlin Castro, on the other hand, is in a GREAT mood, and wants you to know that garbage bags full of money won’t change him:
Last week in Pittsburgh, Castro became the 28th player in history to accumulate 500 hits before turning 23, joining an elite group that includes Alex Rodriguez, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Hanks Aaron, Al Kaline, Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle. He’s the youngest player to accomplish the feat since Robin Yount did it at 21 years, 297 days in 1977.
The difference is none of those players, except Rodriguez, were able to cash in at 22. They never had to worry about losing their hunger because they were set for life, a problem that has befallen many pro athletes.
Castro doesn’t fret about that, and credits Soriano for keeping him grounded.
“He has helped me big-time,” he said. “He’s one of the guys I say thank you to for everything. He taught me how to be a big leaguer, how to be the same when the team is good or if the team is bad. He’s always saying something to keep me positive.”
This afternoon the hapless Pittsburgh Pirates roll into Wrigley, their season having been basically destroyed by the Cubs last week. Heh. That was fun. “Where do you think you’re going, Pittsburgh? Stay down! ”
This afternoon Chris Rusin (Really? Still?) will face James McDonald (12-7, 3.93). That sounds like a hoot. If you feel like watching said hoot, you’re in luck. The game will be broadcast on WGN.
Don’t forget to tune into Wrigley Talk Friday this afternoon at 1:00 pm CT.
Lineups to come.