On Saturday, Cubs outfielder Ian Happ slid into Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz, attempting to break up an inning-ending double play in the fifth. Two years ago, Happ would have successfully broken up the double play, helping his team score in the process. But after the “Chase Utley rule” was implemented after the 2015 playoffs, Happ was in violation. Batter Anthony Rizzo was correctly called out as a result of Happ’s slide.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon isn’t a fan of the slide rule. As ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports, Maddon said, “I have no idea why these rules are part of our game. There was an out created there. That was just one out they did not have to earn. I totally, absolutely disagree with that. It has nothing to do with safety and protecting the middle infielder.”
Starter Jon Lester is also not a fan. The lefty said, “Baseball has been played for over 100 years the exact same way, and now we’re trying to change everything and make it soft. That’s baseball, man. We’re out there playing with a bunch of pansies right now. I’m over this damn slide rule and replaying if it’s too far and all this other B.S. We’re grown men out there.”
One wonders if Maddon and Lester will protest just as loudly when the slide rule benefits the Cubs as it will almost certainly do at some point during the season.
The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.
O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.
I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.
Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.
They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.
As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.
Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.