Nelson Cruz passes David Ortiz in the DH All-Star vote

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The latest update in the American League All-Star balloting is in and there are a couple of changes. Robinson Cano has passed Ian Kinsler at second base. And, in a development which is sure to cause some to clutch for their pearls and grope for their fainting couches, Nelson Cruz has passed David Ortiz at DH.

Note: anyone who portrays this as a shameful development without noting that Mr. Ortiz’s record is not exactly spotless when it comes to PEDs is disqualified from our game. If you are worried about being able to navigate that thicket you can do the simplest thing and simply not care one iota. Plus, it has more going for it than mere simplicity: it’s hypocrisy free!

Either way, both Ortiz and Cruz paid the price for their PED transgressions. In Ortiz’s case it was nothing because the survey testing in 2003 did not have punishment attached per the rules. In Cruz’s case it was 50 games, which he served. Both should be allowed to go on with this crap in their rear-view mirror.

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Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.