Cubs

Javy Baez forced out of Cubs-Brewers after scary collision but insists he's OK

Javy Baez forced out of Cubs-Brewers after scary collision but insists he's OK

Exactly one year ago Friday, the Cubs were involved in a scary outfield collision in Game 3 when Kyle Schwarber wrecked his knee running into Dexter Fowler.

In 2017, that scary outfield collision came in Game 4 as Javy Baez and Jason Heyward smacked into each other in shallow center field but this time, the Cubs escaped without serious injury.

The two were going for a looping liner off the bat of Brewers centerfielder Hernan Perez in the bottom of the sixth inning. Neither player got a glove on the ball as Heyward's upper body banged into Baez's head/neck area.

The ball just ended up in "no-man's land," Heyward said. "Can't really call that one for either one of us because it's right in between.

"It was the worst possible spot for it to happen."

The Cubs ruled Baez out with a contusion above the left eye, but he insisted after the game he is OK and hopes to be back in Saturday's lineup.

Baez's eye was bloodshot after the game, but he said he has no issues with his vision and knows things could've ended up a lot worse.

"He got me really good, but good thing it wasn't the full elbow or the knee," he said. "It was really scary."

Baez joked he has all of his teeth still and said he and Heyward were laughing after the game about all the eye black that got on Heyward's uniform from Baez's face.

Cubs trainer P.J. Mainville checked out Baez on the field and in the clubhouse but the team didn't need to put him in concussion protocol. Joe Maddon opted for the cautious route and took Baez out despite his pleas to remain in the game.

Heyward stayed in the game and moved to right field. He said he didn't have any lasting effects from the collision but may be feeling it Saturday morning.

Of course, Baez — The Human Highlight — was most upset he or Heyward didn't catch the ball:

"I told [Heyward], 'Next time, make sure someone catches it.'"

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

Report: Giants interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for manager opening

The Giants' search for a successor to now-retired manager Bruce Bochy has led them to the North Side.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, the Giants are interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for their own managerial opening. San Francisco's interest is intriguing, as Venable went to high school just outside San Francisco in nearby San Rafael. His father — Max Venable — played for the Giants from 1979-83. 

Venable also interviewed for the Cubs' manager job earlier this month, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that his interest is in the "organization in general." He is one of several internal candidates for the Cubs' job, along with bench coach Mark Loretta and front office assistant David Ross.

The Cubs also interviewed Joe Girardi and are set to meet with Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

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Former Cub Mark Prior likely to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

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USA TODAY

Former Cub Mark Prior likely to take over as Dodgers pitching coach in 2020

Mark Prior's big-league playing career unfortunately fizzled out due to recurring injury woes, but he's making a name for himself in the coaching realm.

With Dodgers current pitching coach Rick Honeycutt transitioning into a new role, Prior is expected to takeover the position starting next season.

Cubs fans know the story of Prior's playing career all too well. The Cubs drafted him second overall in the 2001, with Prior making his MLB debut just a season later. He went on to dominate in 2003, posting an 18-6 record, 2.43 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 30 starts, a season in which he made the All-Star Game and finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

However, Prior's season ended on a sour note, as he was on the mound during the Steve Bartman incident in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. Prior exited the game with a 3-1 lead, but the Cubs surrendered seven more runs that inning, eventually falling to the Marlins 8-3 before losing Game 7 the next day. 

Prior struggled to stay healthy after 2003, eventually retiring in 2013 after multiple comeback attempts. While many blame his injury-riddled career on former Cubs manager Dusty Baker, Prior does not. 

While we can only wonder what could've been with Prior to the pitcher, it's good to see him still making an impact in baseball in some fashion.

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