Myles Monday Meltdown: All-Stars, Votto's Uh Oh, and Winning

I've been trying to really hone my golf game this summer. My goal is to be able to have confidence in any shot I take. I've been playing since I was a kid, but I never really took practice seriously. I decided to change that. Typically I'll be on the range 3-4 times during the week and then I'll get in at least 18 on the weekend. Two weeks ago I was feeling really good about how I was playing. I was striking the ball well, making putts, and scoring low (for me). This weekend, however, I forgot how to play the game of golf completely. It was a complete collapse of epic proportions.

I suppose "that's just golf." But man... golf is so dumb.

But also I love it.

All-Stars:
Yesterday, both NL and AL players were named to the MLB All-Star game. The Cubs ended up having two players crack the starting lineup in the infield: Willson Contreras and Javier Baez. Our own Jon Lester was selected for the pitching rotation. I couldn't be happier for all three of those guys. The Cubs production team put together a short video on Twitter shortly after the announcement. In it, Willy gets emotional at finding out he'd made the squad. I'd recommend watching. (I'm not crying, you're crying.)

Anytime I see good things coming Contreras' way, I always think about our fearless leader, John. He had the drop on everyone when it came to Willson Contreras. The passion that he has the game is so appealing as a fan. It's infectious. Congrats to all these guys!

Votto's Uh oh:
For whatever reason, the Cubs have had trouble at times when they've faced Cincinnati this year. The last time these two teams played in late June, the Reds swept the Cubs in a four game series. It wasn't awesome. But it seems that since firing their manager Bryan Price on April 19th, the Reds are a completely different team. At any rate, each of the games this weekend were close and competitive. It was pretty fun. And it was even more fun when you consider that the Cubs completed a stellar comeback Saturday and a walk-off win on Sunday.

The game on Sunday, however, included one of the more bizarre plays that I've ever seen in professional baseball. In the 10th inning, with runners at 1st and 2nd, Addison Russell hit a grounder to Joey Votto at first. The former Gold Glove winner picked the ball clean and jogged to first for the out...or at least that's what was called initially. As Votto was stepping on first, he looked to be taking the ball out of the glove to prepare for a possible throw to third. And then he dropped the ball.

After the umpires gathered for a review, the play was overturned. The Cubs then had bases loaded with 1 out to setup the eventual game-winning walk from Cubs Superstar: David Bote. What a world.

Winning:
The Cubs have now won three series in a row and sit 1.5 games back of the first place Beer Makers. It's been a really fun little run considering the Cubs are short-handed both in the pitching rotation and at the plate. Kris Bryant, it sounds, could be back soon which should help even more to get over that hump. I'll be in San Diego this weekend for all three games so I'll do my best to cheer extra loud.

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  • Slumps happen in golf, too! Hope you regain your stroke soon. It's great to see a couple of Cubs make the starting ASG lineup and I hope they make us proud. I really, REALLY like Bote's AB where he took two high & inside pitches for balls, after a swinging strike on the same pitch. It was a great example of what happens when you make the pitcher throw strikes.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Golf is more rhythm than it is mechanics. You have to clear your head and just take the shot. I finished my career in 1994 with a 4 handicap, riddled knees that needed replacement in 2001, having qualified for the US Amateur among other competitive ventures.

    Find a thought or better a repeatable almost silent song or tune once you approach the ball. I used to do a stupid dee tee dee deee tee dee. When putting your want to activate the back hand on putts longer than 12-15 feet so do a small math equation, 3 + 1 = 4 (par) shorter putts again sing a song, (everyone gets what they need, a birdie....) The idea is once you make a decision as to what you want to do, let the body and mind do it.

    If that doesn't work toss the clubs in the lake and start over. ;>j

    As for the Cubs, they are in rhythm and other teams are not comfortable when they have men on base and momentum .

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    I've taken to the Laverne & Shirley theme song while walking on the tee. Out loud. Softly. But out loud. Not a clue as to why that was in my head.
    But it's working.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    I discovered early the truth in the statement that they named it "golf" because all the other 4-letter words were taken. I've probably used all of them on the course at one time or another...

  • Read dodgers and brewers are the frontrunners for machado or it could be posturing to get better offers from other team who knows. That being said whoever acquires machado better move him off ss, he's dead last in mlb with -18 drs at ss. He is best at 3b, and said he wants to remain a ss.

  • In reply to bolla:

    What do you do with a very good hitter who insists on playing a position he can't play well defensively. I am content with Addison at SS.

  • In reply to John57:

    I'm content with russell at ss too, especially now that he's hitting better.Russell is also tied #1 for most drs at ss with 11.

  • In reply to John57:

    Well, I'd hope in November the Cubs (for example) tell him "we think you're Brooks Robinson at 3B and we'll pay you something that reflects that. We aren't paying you as a SS though."
    Machado and Russell on the left side would make me salivate.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    I prefer Bryant and Russell. I would keep my powder dry for a need and not a want. I will watch whatever team signs him for 300 to 400 million and see if it works out. They usually do not.

  • In reply to John57:

    I'd prefer to move Bryant to RF. Machado and Russell has a chance to be an all-time great defensive duo. But I agree, it's definitely a "want." Heyward being a useful hitter again make it even more so.

  • In reply to Kramerica20:

    Just not a "good fit". Bryant doesn't want to go to RF. Machado doesn't want to go to 3B. Heyward likes where he is at. IMO it won't happen.

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    In reply to Kramerica20:

    No, go ahead and tell him he is the SS. But explain that we do a "really wild shift" where our SS (Machado) actually stands closer to 3B, our 2B (Russell) slides over to the place normally occupied by a SS, our 3B (Bryant) swings around into RF, our LF (Almora) plays closer to up the middle, our C (Schwarber) plays up the line, and technically out of the catcher's box--SSSHHHHH don't tell the umpire--and we slid our 1B (Contreras behind the plate) where he dons catcher's gear and the umpire doesn't seem to notice, and, finally, our RF, Rizzo, charges every play and even wears a 1B mitt to complete the subterfuge of putting our RF closer to 1B. We have found this 'shift' works really well." If he asks more questions tell him that he is being paid handsomely to keep quiet. LOL.

    I was reading on a website (probably either ESPN or fangraphs) that adding Machado to a lot of teams doesn't do a great deal to improve their chances this year. Like moving the percentage <10%. To me donig this at considerable cost is just plain not worth it. As someone else pointed out, it will likely cost the Brewers quite a bit to acquire Machado.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    "As someone else pointed out, it will likely cost the Brewers quite a bit to acquire Machado."

    While that transaction could, potentially, increase the difficulty of the Cubs catching them, it might actually HELP the Cubs in future years...

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Theo has already stated , he won't empty the farm system for a rental player !

  • In reply to John57:

    Never thought Machado was a match for the Cubs

  • In reply to bolla:

    Manny has already said whoever trades for him has to put him at short stop ! At this point I don't think he would constitute a trade for Addison Russell.

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    I always like Riggleman hope he keeps the Cincy job and does well besides when playing us.

  • In reply to Nick Johnson:

    Me, too. In fact, I hope the Reds finish in 4th place, 10 games ahead of the Cardinals.

  • In reply to Nick Johnson:

    Hey Nationals, got Riggleman ! Mike Rizzo, second thoughts about letting him walk ?

  • Man, if the Brewers pick up Machado, that would be a huge boost for them.

    The Dodgers don't really need him, but they could be a dangerous team with him in the lineup too.

    Whoever gets him, I hope they pay a steep price for him (like their top-rated minor leaguer + others). We paid top dollar for Chapman and Quintana the last two years, setting the bar very high for top-rated talent.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Machado would certainly cost them Hader. The departure of Hader would weaken them more than Machado would strengthen them IMO.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Not gonna cost them hader. Teams aren’t gonna overpay for rentals like the cubs did for Chapman

  • In reply to bolla:

    And your candidates to trade for Chapman were?

  • In reply to stix:

    I wouldn't of traded for chapman at all, If I was in charge I would of traded schwarber for andrew miller like the yankees asked. Equal impact bullpen arm that wouldn't of cost a stud like torres. Cubs would of won the world series and miller would still be on the roster right now.

  • In reply to bolla:

    .....but who would have Ross hit that Game 7 home run off of then?

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    And who else would have hit .412, .500 obp against indian pitching?

  • In reply to bolla:

    Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Theo brings a WS win and there's always someone who thinks they could do better.

  • In reply to TC154:

    that would be funny if Hader lands back in Baltimore after they traded him as part of the package to the Astros for Bud Norris a few years back.

  • Did anyone else see that the Cubs put Bass on the dl and recalled James Norwood from AAA

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    I thought Norwood was up yesterday. JD was joking that he would be the closer, and it almost came to be.

  • Birch said blue jays were scouting bote,tseng and Zagunis. Toronto reporter said cubs have interest in Ja Happ

  • In reply to bolla:

    I would do that trade but why would Blue Jays do that trade? Bote is not a everyday player.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    The Jays aren't going to catch NY and Boston this year and probably not for a few years. I don't know what J. Happ's contract situation is, but a those 3 prospects could help them build.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I DO know what Happ's contract is - it's up after 2018. I can certainly see the Jays trading him (& his salary) for 3 prospects, but I'm not sure I see the Cubs making that deal.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    The Blue Jays may ask, the Cubs might oblige or vice versa. How many starting lefties are too many? I've never liked more than 2 out of 5. thoughts?

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Generally, I agree, but if Happ replaced Darvish, the # L vs. R SPs wouldn't change. If he replaces Chatwood, I wouldn't care if he launches the ball from his left nostril!

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Jays are in wrong division but those 3 names will not help them catch Yankees or Red Sox.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    And a half-year of J.A. Happ will?

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Do we know that it would be all three of them? Or is it a case of they are all being scouted and maybe 1-2 of them are actually included in the deal. 3-for-1 on a rental seems kind of steep. Especially since they all have MLB experience. While none of them are impact players IMO all three could become useful MLB players.

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