In a ruling that pretty much surprises no one, a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by noted Very Bad Ump™ Angel Hernandez:
I certainly like this story for a few reasons. One, as Jomboy says, the judge essentially said what we all knew: that Angel Hernandez is bad at his job. Two, it allows Jon Heyman to get in a zinger of a tweet that we can’t really even make fun of because it is true. And three, this happened and got Angel Hernandez trending even before the start of the regular season. You have to be some kind of special to have people talking about you when your primary job is baseball, but baseball hasn’t even started yet! (Well, in MLB anyway…)
But I digress, I figured I’d make a funny Onion-like headline which is actually a true story, kind of like just about every other news headline before February of this year. And it just so happens (no joke!) that the 2021 MLB regular season starts on April Fool’s Day, which makes that kind of headline all the more appropriate. The Cubs themselves tweeted this on March 31, when it is illegal to pull April Fool’s pranks, so you know it has to be true:
While the Cubs have been kind of jerking Anthony Rizzo, among other core players who helped the team win the World Series in 2016 (you remember that, right?), around this offseason in advance of free agency, they’ve actually performed pretty well this spring in the Cactus League (but those games don’t count and the balls are probably juiced weird anyway), so there’s some hope for the coming games that do count. The best news is that some of these guys are due for bouncebacks, and there is at least some hope that the incentive of lucrative free agent contracts (at least partly dependent on how they negotiate the new collective bargaining agreement) will help them play just a bit better.
- Willson Contreras
- Tony Wolters
The Cubs can get away with having just four outfielders as they could always plant someone like Kris Bryant out there if needed. The roster flexibility also allows them to carry an extra pitcher even with the 26-man roster.
- Jason Adam
- Alec Mills
- Brandon Workman
- Rex Brothers
- Andrew Chafin
- Ryan Tepera
- Dan Winkler
- Dillon Maples
- Craig Kimbrel
There will be many changes between now and the end of the season, particularly whenever Austin Romine gets healthy enough to take over the backup catching job from Wolters, and Nico Hoerner gets enough seasoning to stay in Chicago for good. A few of the relievers have options, so there will be some shuttling going on as well.
Adam Roy and I had ourselves a nerdy fun time on the most recent Dreamcast, and I’d like to remind you that the pandemic is still very real. So real that getting vaccinated is a pretty big deal, even for MLB clubs:
I’m two weeks from my second vaccine to complete the set, hopefully it also protects me from the weird variants that are showing up, but more importantly, I hope it does reduce the chance that I will transmit whatever I contract to someone else. And while it will be fun to see at least some fans (at 25% capacity) in Wrigley, plus however many are allowed into the neighborhood bars, I hope everyone does have fun, but with the proper precautions in place.
Let’s be hopeful that the Cubs can start well and hold on all season long. I’m not ready to say goodbye to this core and what I know they’re capable of just yet.