The Cubs apparently think this is Little League

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The scene: Nationals Park, during the fifth inning of the last night’s Cubs-Nats game, Nats up 7-2. The incident: Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk is jawing from the dugout — after he was ejected umpire Jerry Layne referred to it as “screaming out obscenities,” and Nats third-base coach Bo Porter jawed right back at him.  The reason, according to Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger:

“You’re up 7-2, Lendy Castillo’s pitching, it’s 3-0. You don’t swing in that situation”

This referring to Jayson Werth swinging at a 3-0 pitch just prior.  Also agitating the Cubs was the fact that the Nats stole two bases that inning.

The next inning, things got chippier, when Castillo threw at Bryce Harper. Benches cleared.  While everyone later said the requisite “he didn’t mean to do that” stuff, Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com observes that Clevenger didn’t move an inch to catch the ball that Harper had to jump out of the way to avoid, so he knew where that pitch was headed. And then he was in the middle of the scrum that developed. Quirk was ejected, as was Clevenger and Cubs reliever Manny Corpas.

The overall assessment: total amateur hour by the Cubs.  Maybe it’s wrong for 12 year-olds to run up the score on one another, but this is the big leagues. Guys are going to steal bases and swing on 3-0.  They won’t stop trying just because you’re getting your asses kicked all over the park. Don’t like your asses getting kicked all over the park? Play better.

Yankees, Mariners expressing interest in J.A. Happ

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Yankees and Mariners are both expressing interest in Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ.

Happ is posting a 3.48 ERA and a 94/25 K/BB ratio in 82.2 innings across 14 starts and has been stingy with the hits as well. Between that, the Blue Jays’ lack of contention and the fact that Happ is in the walk year of his three-year, $36 million deal, all signs point to the Jays trading them.

In normal circumstances you might not expect the Jays to make a trade with the Yankees, but at this point it sort of doesn’t matter, does it? It’s not like Happ in New York on a couple month rental will impact the 2018 Jays too much. And, given his pending free agency, it’s not extraordinarily likely that he’d haunt the Jays from the Bronx long term either.

There’s not a ton of elite pitching currently available, but as the trade deadline approaches — a little over a month to go on that score — the talk about Happ, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano and others will heat up. Figure the Yankees will be linked with any and all available starters.