Cubs

Cubs: How would Joe Maddon handle Pablo Sandoval’s Instagram problem?

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Cubs: How would Joe Maddon handle Pablo Sandoval’s Instagram problem?

CLEVELAND – Joe Maddon’s social-media policy can be summed up in less than 140 characters: “Just don’t get caught.”

The Cubs manager has an anti-rules philosophy, more than 236,000 followers on Twitter and a laissez-faire attitude in the clubhouse.

Maddon hadn’t heard about the Pablo Sandoval Instagram incident until a reporter explained it to him during Thursday’s pregame media session at Progressive Field. As an ideas guy, he sounded interested in the story.

[MORE: Why Joe Maddon ordered Tsuyoshi Wada to say 'I am a badass']

The Boston Red Sox benched Sandoval for “liking” an attractive woman’s pictures during Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. This became the perfect storm for a last-place team, an aggressive media market and the new guy with a five-year, $95 million contract. 

Barstool Sports, a Boston-centric website, noticed the interaction between “kfp48” and “diva_legacy” on the photo/video-sharing application. Sandoval admitted to checking his cellphone while using the bathroom in the middle of the game.

“Seriously, what are you going to do?” Maddon said. “When I was in the minor leagues – a rookie-league manager – there was a rule that you had to monitor (the) one inch of red on my socks…back here with the stirrups. You’d come out every day worrying more about that than what you’re supposed to be worrying about.

“I don’t want to worry about things like this more than the things I’m supposed to be worrying about. I want them to exercise good judgment. I would believe that everybody in there would tell you that’s not the right thing to do.

“It really is harmless, but it sends out all the wrong messages, especially when you’re not playing well. Then it becomes amplified even more. Just don’t do it.”

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Unlike the Red Sox, the Cubs don’t have a formal team rule against using cellphones during games. Or a mobile-device shutdown 30 minutes before first pitch – something Hall of Famer Paul Molitor instituted during his first year managing the Minnesota Twins as a way to sharpen concentration.

“That’s a situation where I really like to believe that the guys will police one another,” Maddon said. “And if they feel like somebody’s not getting ready, call ‘em on it. I’d much prefer that method as opposed to something written on a piece of paper and me telling them how to act.

“You should know how to act. Act properly. And if you’re not, the guy sitting next to you who’s professional is going to say: Listen, man, put it down.”

Cubs optimistic Javy Baez avoided serious injury on hit-by-pitch

Cubs optimistic Javy Baez avoided serious injury on hit-by-pitch

ST. LOUIS — Cubs nation can breathe a sigh of relief for now.

The team announced Javy Baez has a left elbow contusion after taking a 90 mph fastball off it in the third inning of Sunday night's game. Baez will still undergo X-rays to be sure there is nothing more sinister at play, but for now, it looks as if he has avoided serious injury.

Still, this is not what the Cubs wanted to see.

The Cubs entered play Sunday night having gone 24-12 since getting swept out of St. Louis in the first weekend of May. They were feeling good about themselves, starting to get their mojo back and playing more like the team everybody expected.

And then Baez took a fastball off the left elbow.

After a couple minute delay, Baez was led off the field and Addison Russell came in off the bench to replace him at first base.

The 25-year-old was in the midst of a breakout season for the Cubs, sitting 5th in the National League with 46 RBI and on pace for a near 30-30 seaosn (33 homers, 29 stolen bases). 

He had slowed a bit (.175 average, .502 OPS in June) but still gives the Cubs so much energy and versatility on a daily basis with his ability to move around the infield and lineup.

If the Cubs are going to be without Baez for any length of time, it could be a huge blow to a team that was just hitting its stride.

Yadier Molina is sad and Cubs fans have a new favorite GIF

Yadier Molina is sad and Cubs fans have a new favorite GIF

ST. LOUIS — The game was over and Yadier Molina knew it.

As Ian Happ turned on Sam Tuivailala's two-strike pitch in the 7th inning, Molina crumbled to the ground in defeat.

Happ's two-out double gave the Cubs a 4-3 lead they did not relinquish in a 6-3 victory Saturday night at Busch Stadium.

The Cubs had to claw back all night against the Cardinals, fighting to tie the game at two separate spots before Happ's breakthrough off Tuivailala.

Molina couldn't contain his disappointment:

Molina is a common target of ire from Cubs fans in the heated rivalry with the Cardinals, so you can bet his #SadFace led to some glee in the Chicago fanbase (just look at the comments on that Tweet):

The 35-year-old catcher just returned recently from a nearly month-long stint on the disabled list when he took a foul tip off a Kris Bryant swing to the groin on Jordan Hicks' 102 mph pitch the last time the Cubs were in town.

Molina has drawn 3 walks and has a single in this weekend's series with the Cubs, but he also committed a miscue in Friday's game, when he threw wild to first base on Jon Lester's squeeze bunt.

The Cubs are now 24-12 since they were swept in St. Louis on the first weekend of May.