The Cubs defend their grounds crew

32 Comments

While Major League Baseball officially faulted the Cubs grounds crew for how the tarp was wound before the game the other night, the Cubs, not surprisingly, have their guys’ backs. Paul Sullivan of the Tribune reports the comments of the team spokesman:

“We have the best ground crew in the business. These guys make a living exercising precision, and there should be no thought or any question these guys fumbled the ball. They step up to the plate and do this with a guy who’s led our crew for decades. Even after last night’s game, I would put my money on Roger Baird every time.”

Additional comments from the team explain that the crew was short-staffed as well, and why that was. I presume the staffing policy is something the team will quietly reevaluate.

I think that’s good form from the team. While I was critical of the grounds crew and stand by that criticism — and while Major League Baseball was critical as well — replaying the game makes up for the damage done. And it’d be silly to expect the team to beat on its own guys, even if the resumption of the game — which the Cubs wanted to happen as well — had to, by the rules, be premised on the crew’s mistakes.

So play ball in Wrigley. And hope for clear skies.

Report: Rangers sign Joely Rodríguez to two-year, $5.5 million contract

Rich Schultz/Getty Images
1 Comment

Jon Morosi reports that the Rangers and reliever Joely Rodríguez have agreed to a two-year contract worth $5.5 million.

Rodríguez, 28, pitched briefly for the Phillies in 2016-17, posting a disappointing 5.40 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 19 walks over 36 2/3 innings. He pitched in the Rangers’ and Orioles’ minor league systems in ’17-18 before traveling to Japan to play for the Chunichi Dragons. Rodríguez had much more success there. In 87 2/3 innings with the Dragons, he posted a 1.85 ERA with 103 strikeouts and 28 walks.

The Rangers’ bullpen was among the worst in the league last season, so the addition of Rodríguez behind closer José Leclerc should help.