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Brewers throw major shade at Cubs after Saturday's rainout decision

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USA TODAY

Brewers throw major shade at Cubs after Saturday's rainout decision

Fans in search of a Bryzzo bobblehead weren't the only ones disappointed by the Cubs-Brewers game getting postponed Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

The two teams played through some nasty weather on Friday afternoon, including a two-hour rain delay. A main motivation behind that was the forecast for Saturday did not look to be any more promising and the teams did not want to have to make up two games later in the year.

However, after an incredibly-rainy morning, the Cubs postponed Saturday's game before 11:30 a.m. Shortly after, the precipitation stopped for good.

The Brewers woke up Sunday morning throwing major shade at the Cubs with GM David Stearns and manager Craig Counsell leading the way:

"Clearly the Cubs were looking at a weather forecast that made them think it was going to rain," Stearns said. "I think we were a little surprised that the game was called as early as it was. I'm sure they had their reasons to do it. Obviously it didn't rain. From our standpoint, we would have preferred to play yesterday.

"I talked to some guys over at the Cubs. They know how we felt. They told us that their weather forecast indicated our game was not going to be able to be played. Our weather forecast did not indicate that. There was some other weather forecasts that did not indicate that. Ultimately, it was the Cubs' call.

"From my understanding of the rules, prior to the All-Star Break, the home team has discretion prior to first pitch, then it's on the umpire's hands. So the Cubs had discretion there and did what they thought was best."

Stearns did not have a comment on whether the Cubs gained a competitive advantage on the first-place Brewers by not playing the game.

"I don't know," Stearns said. "All they told us was that their weather forecast indicated we were not going to be able to get the game on, so that's all I really have to go by.

"You'd have to ask them. I'm not privy to their forecasting methods or what service they use. All I know was that they told us at the time they canceled the game. They certainly knew that we would have preferred to play. Ultimately, it's their call.

"That game on Friday was tough for both sides. Those aren't fun conditions for players to play through. Seemed like we had better conditions yesterday, but the Cubs decided it wasn't the right time to play baseball."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon addressed the rainout in his pregame session Sunday morning, saying he enjoyed his afternoon off and took a couple naps.

As for the lack of rain from about noon on, Maddon shrugged it off.

"Everything indicated it was going to be exactly like the day before," he said, "so that's the beauty of weather forecasting and around here, it's very difficult."

The Cubs are currently in a stretch of 16 straight days with a scheduled game before Saturday's rainout.

The Brewers were in a stretch of 24 games in 25 days before Saturday, but they also have an off-day coming up Monday after the series finale at Wrigley.

As far as a possible competitive advantage the Cubs could've gained from postponing Saturday's game, the main thought is letting a worn out bullpen rest. 

But even with the rain delay Friday, the Cubs still never turned to Wade Davis, Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon or Koji Uehara, so all four pitchers would've been available on Saturday with at least one day's rest under their belts.

The Cubs also made a move to send down Pierce Johnson after his MLB debut before - and after - Friday's delay and call up Dylan Floro, who would represent another fresh arm in the bullpen.

Cubs expected to hire Mike Napoli — David Ross' former teammate — as quality assurance coach

Cubs expected to hire Mike Napoli — David Ross' former teammate — as quality assurance coach

David Ross will not only be managing former teammates with the Cubs in 2020, but he'll be coaching alongside one, too.

The Cubs are expected to add former MLB catcher Mike Napoli to Ross' coaching staff, per multiple reports. Napoli will assume the title of quality assurance coach, vacated by Chris Denorfia, who held the position for one season.

Napoli played in parts of 12 big-league seasons from 2006-17 with the Angels, Rangers, Red Sox and Indians. He won the 2013 World Series with Boston — alongside Ross and Cubs starter Jon Lester — and was also a key figure with the 2016 Indians, whom the Cubs defeated in the World Series. He finished his career with a .246/.346/.475 slash line with 267 home runs. 

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the Cubs pursued Napoli last winter, though the 38-year-old wanted to take a short break from baseball before jumping into coaching. He'll join a Cubs coaching staff that is almost finalized, with the exception of one vacant base coach spot. Here's what the group looks like right now:

Manager — David Ross
Bench coach — Andy Green
Pitching coach — Tommy Hottovy
Associate pitching coach, catching and strategy coach — Mike Borzello
Hitting coach — Anthony Iapoce
Assistant hitting coach — Terrmel Sledge
Bullpen coach — Chris Young
Base coach — Will Venable
Base coach — open
Quality assurance coach — Mike Napoli

Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Tuesday the organization hopes to have the coaching staff finalized by the end of the week. With Napoli on board, the Cubs are one step closer to making that goal a reality.

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Fans apologize to Yu Darvish following Astros cheating allegations

Fans apologize to Yu Darvish following Astros cheating allegations

When the Dodgers acquired Yu Darvish at the 2017 trade deadline, he was expected to be one of the final pieces to their championship puzzle.

After a solid nine-start regular season with Los Angeles, Darvish was stellar early in the postseason. In two starts (one in the NLDS, one in the NLCS), he allowed two runs across 11.1 innings, racking up 14 strikeouts compared to a single walk.

Things went downhill for Darvish in the World Series, where he surrendered nine runs in 3.1 innings across two starts. This includes Game 7, when he threw 47 pitches in 1.2 innings, allowing five runs in a 5-1 series-clinching win for the Astros.

Darvish became a scapegoat for the Dodgers' World Series loss and faced heavy backlash from fans. Consequentially, he had concerns about re-signing with the Dodgers when he became a free agent that offseason, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, due to fears of how the city's anger towards him would affect his family.

Two years later, fans are now apologizing for directing their anger at Darvish for his World Series performance. Why?

Tuesday, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported the Astros stole opposing teams' signs electronically during the 2017 season. This conflicts with the notion of Darvish tipping his pitches in the World Series, which an anonymous Astros player told Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci was the case.

The notion of Darvish tipping his pitches is now in question altogether:

As has often been the case this offseason, Darvish had a brilliant reaction to the whole situation on Twitter:

Darvish joined the Cubs in 2018 on a six-year deal. After an injury-riddled debut season with the Cubs, he took off post-All-Star break in 2019 and is expected to be the team's Opening Day starter in 2020. Although what happened in 2017 can't be changed, it's nice to see he's moved forward.

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