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Craig Counsell’s response to Cubs-Brewers rivalry talk was perfect

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Earlier, Craig wrote about a potentially inflammatory comment made by relatively new Cubs pitcher Cole Hamels with regard to a potential rivalry between the Cubs and Brewers. Hamels said, “When you have the majority of Cubs fans in the stands, I don’t know if that’s a rivalry. They aren’t going to like me for the comment, but look at the ticket sales.”

Brewers manager Craig Counsell had a terrific, level-headed response to all of the rivalry talk. Via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Counsell said:

I really look at it like we’re spending way too much time trying to classify rivalries. Like, enjoy the baseball games, man. I mean, home, road, I’m happy I’m in the building. Let’s be in the building and enjoy those games. If you’re not enjoying the game last night — sorry, Cubs fans, I know it didn’t turn out the way you wanted — that’s a great baseball game. I mean, the moment with Rizzo, I could be a fan for a minute, too. That’s a great moment. I remember being in New York [during the 2001 World Series] when Tino Martinez hit a home run off Byung-Hyun Kim. I’m standing at second base, and for a second you think, “That’s an incredible moment. I’m happy to be in the building.” Josh Hader hadn’t given up a home run to a left-handed hitter in his big league career. Give Rizzo credit, man, he did a great thing. The building went crazy. It’s a huge moment, it’s a fun moment. It’s why we’re all here right now — we love this sport.

Rivalry? Whatever, man. Put me in the building and let me enjoy the game, I’m good.

Rivalries are great when they’re not manufactured. It feels like this rivalry between the Brewers and Cubs is being forced. Hamels has experience in a natural rivalry between the Phillies and Mets, which started when the Phillies overtook the Mets late in 2007 to win the NL East, then did it again in similar fashion in 2008. Hamels may be trying to drum up a rivalry as a way to help motivate his teammates to finish out the regular season strong and maintain their current four-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central. That, of course, has some merit, but for the rest of us, Counsell’s right: just enjoy the baseball games, man.

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

Chris Sale
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Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.

Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.