McDonald hurt, fifth starter competition winding down
James Mcdonald threw two pitches in his start yesterday, the second one to the backstop before being pulled from the game. The Cubs are calling it shoulder soreness, which is not great news for McDonald as he only pitched in six games last year because of shoulder problems. It looks like Chris Rusin is going to win the honor of keeping Jake Arrieta's seat warm by default.
Speaking of shoulder problems
Mike Olt was pulled from Monday's game with "shoulder fatigue", related to whatever has been bothering him all spring and keeping him from playing 3b. That said, he might be starting at 3b tonight so I guess they're just taking it easy. I'm still hoping that he wins the 3b job.
Another look back at the greatest* pitching performance of all time
BP's Sam Miller ($) dives through the mlb.tv archives to watch Wood's 20K game. I could watch recaps/gifs of this game half a hundred times and still be blown away by Wood's stuff.
*Wood's is the highest by Game Score, but I'd still put Don Larsen's perfect game in the World Series ahead of it due to the context. But that's it.
BPro is offering a 20% discount on mlb.tv for BP subscribers. Mine auto renewed 3-weeks ago, so I'm hoping I can get this discount retroactively applied. I'm not holding my breath though, it looks like they won't do it.
Rany on the Cubs
Grantland's always eloquent Rany Jazayerli wrote a long piece on the state of the Cubs franchise yesterday, and it's a great read. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that the Cubs offered to hire Rany to a full-time front office job last year, but he didn't want to give up his medical practice. I'm kind of curious what the Cubs would want him for – Rany's a smart guy and a great writer but I don't know how his medical background in dermatology would necessarily be of use, and while he uses advanced stats he doesn't strike me as a guy who is going to squeeze a database or two.
Cubs fire team psychologist
I wonder who in the organization this guy had compromising pictures of. Via the NDB (and the Trib's paywall)
Not only was Strickland available for consultation with players, the specialist in sports psychology had his own locker at home and on the road, dressed in team workout gear and played catch and shagged balls before games during batting practice.
Early in his first year in the majors, Strickland even stood in the dugout tunnel at Wrigley Field after victories, bumping fists with players as though he was part of the team.
Hendry apparently wanted to fire the guy while he was still running the show, and he hung around another 3 years. When asked what Strickland's purpose was, Nate Schierholtz replied "I'm not really sure"
Tedious Grammar moment of the day
The new 538 launched yesterday, and I give them +1 Rec'd LSA applause NAMBLA for making the right decision on this crucial issue.
We finally decided on “data is” on the basis that our writing style would be more approachable if we avoid sentence structures that aren’t often used verbally.
This is an argument I've had half a million times in science. We don't say "the rain are heavy today", there's no need to make a distinction between datum and data if we never use the word datum. The data is the pile of information, much like how an agenda is a list of stuff to do, not a bunch of individual agendum.