Frank McCourt is not the master of P.R.

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P.R. professionals like to use the term “optics” to refer to how things look (as opposed to what is really going on). You could have just given $100,000 to an orphanage, but if you are seen berating your assistant for sloppy writing on the big oversized check that will be paraded before the media, those are “bad optics.”

Maybe that’s all superficial stuff. But sometimes the optics of a given situation tell some fundamental truth about that situation.  And while I’m not a P.R. professional, I do wonder if Frank McCourt has thought through the optics of this day.  A day on which (a) he’ll be in New York meeting with MLB executives to plead his case about keeping control of the Dodgers; while (b) the new man in control of the Dodgers, Tom Schieffer, will hold a press conference in Los Angeles where he’ll no doubt talk about how deeply he cares about restoring the Dodgers to financial sanity.

Is there no one in Frank McCourt’s circle of advisors who told him that it may be a good idea for him to be seen showing an equal amount of concern for the Dodgers on this day, at least publicly, and then going to New York next week in order to restore his personal control over the team?

Because when the narrative of his reign in Los Angeles is “the man ran the team into the ground while extracting a hundred million bucks or more from it for his own personal use,” looking like a bit more of a team player seems important.

Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day disabled list with back soreness

Ben Zobrist
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Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.

Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.

With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.