UPDATE: The Cubs have fired the DJ responsible for the playing of that song. They also issued a statement:
“The selection of this track showed a lack of judgment and sensitivity to an important issue. We have terminated our relationship with the employee responsible for making the selection and will be implementing stronger controls to review and approve music before public broadcast during our games.”
11:46 AM: As everyone knows, Aroldis Chapman was suspended for a good chunk of this season pursuant to Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. Last night Chapman pitched for the Cubs and . . .
Yes, the song by The Prodigy. Predictably, that did not go over too terribly well. Today the Cubs are apologizing, saying that the song was “unintentionally” played. Jesse Rogers of ESPN says that the Cubs will have a “strong response” to it this morning. In the meantime they are saying that it was “unfortunate and should not have happened.” Which, um, yes.
Obviously someone thought they were being clever, but there is no way to spin this as anything less than awful taste. Indeed, there’s no imaginable time when that song is appropriate at the ballpark.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.