More reporters surrounded Lou Piniella than did Bobby Cox. His competition — Dave Trembley — was basically talking to the wall. Sad, really.
- Lou didn’t have much interesting to say, really. He said Carlos Zambrano has been in Chicago all winter and has lost 15 pounds so far. He thinks Zambrano should win 20 games every year. Not to put any pressure on him or anything.
- When asked about how long he was going to manage he said he’d sign a fifteen year extension right now. When asked, in all seriousness Lou, how long, he said “I just said I’d sign a fifteen year extension.” You get the sense that Piniella is rather amused by this whole event and kind of views it like performance art or something.
- He thinks having the new ownership in place will be a great thing, and that the Ricketts can provide the sort of “tender loving care” that corporate ownership can’t provide.
I feel the same way. I can’t wait for Mr. and Mrs. Comcast to take over. I hope they invite me to dinner one night.
Ozzie Guillen is up next. There are stenographers next to each manager for these interviews. I feel sorry for the woman who has to keep up with Guillen.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.