Cubs

How Cubs’ Jose Quintana learned to speak English and more unique notes

How Cubs’ Jose Quintana learned to speak English and more unique notes

José Quintana is one of the more divisive players on the Cubs. The club acquired him from the White Sox in July 2017, sending top prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease to the South Side.

In the long run, that trade will be viewed as one-sided. But no matter how you feel about it, Jimenez and Cease were the price for a durable starting pitcher with a solid track record and team-friendly contract.

We all remember the trade. Let’s get into some lesser-known facts about the Cubs left-hander.

1. Quintana is the only pitcher to make 10 or more starts for both the Cubs and White Sox in the same season. In fact, he made nearly a clean split between the Sox (18) and Cubs (14) in 2017.

Bonus: the Quintana trade was the first Cubs-Sox deal since November 2006. The Cubs acquired Neal Cotts in exchange for David Aardsma and Carlos Vasquez.

2. Quintana is one of 24 Colombian born players in MLB history. Others include shortstops Orlando Cabrera and Edgar Renteria, and starter Julio Teheran.

RELATED: Brush up on your Cubs trivia with these Anthony Rizzo facts

3. On the last note, Quintana pitched for Colombia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic — the country's first appearance in the tournament.  He made one start, allowing an earned run in 5 2/3 innings in an extra-innings loss to the U.S.

4. As a prospect with the Yankees, Quintana learned to speak English by watching Jimmy Fallon’s late-night talk show on NBC.

Come on, that’s pretty cool.

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Union's counter to MLB allows players to opt out of proposed 114-game season

Union's counter to MLB allows players to opt out of proposed 114-game season

The MLB players union sent its proposal for the 2020 season to MLB on Sunday, five days after receiving what they deemed to be an “extremely disappointing” financial proposal from the league.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the union’s proposal includes starting a 114-game regular season on June 30, an uptick from the 82 games the league has proposed. Players would be allowed to opt out of the season, with those considered to be “high risk” (or live with someone who is) for severe coronavirus symptoms getting paid and service time. Those not considered high risk wouldn’t be paid if they opt out but would receive service time.

The league's Tuesday proposal included a sliding scale where the top-earning players would take the biggest pay cuts, while the lowest earners would make close to prorated salaries. That was met with disapproval from the players, who agreed to take prorated salaries in March based on games played and believe that should stand as the lone pay cut for 2020.

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The owners have cited a provision where that agreement can be nullified if games are played without fans this season — meaning significant revenue losses. Fans aren't expected to be in attendance for most, if not all of this season. With the players seeking prorated salaries, playing more games means taking less of a pay cut. 

Under the union's proposal, the regular season would end on Halloween, with an expanded postseason following. MLB proposed adding four playoff teams in 2020 due to the unique nature of the season. The MLBPA, however, is also calling for an expanded postseason in 2021 — the last season of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.  

Financially speaking, MLB’s biggest incentive for the 2020 season is the national TV money brought in during the playoffs. Scheduling the postseason into mid or late November is risky, then, due to a potential second wave of the coronavirus.

The players are also asking for a $100 million advance during the second “spring training,” as well as an offer to receive a $100 million salary deferral if the postseason is cancelled. The deferral would be for players making $10 million or more before salary proration.

Players will need three or four weeks to ramp up before any regular season can begin. As Passan notes, the two sides need to come to an agreement this week for a June 30 Opening Day to be realistic.

RELATED: Why Scott Boras' comments on Cubs suggest optimism MLB, union can make deal

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Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts: 'We all need to step up to end' racial injustice

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USA TODAY

Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts: 'We all need to step up to end' racial injustice

Thursday, former Cub and current Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler posted a powerful statement on his Instagram addressing racial inequality in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

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Here’s the thing. I know it’s hard to fully grasp why black people are outraged. It’s hard to grasp unless you’ve seen people hold their purses tighter when you walk by, when you have people refer to you as “not black” when you’re not “ghetto”. When your parents have to give you a talk when you’re just a kid. “you can’t act like your white friends. you’ll get killed. they won’t” This is a generational discussion EVERY black family has. It terrifies you as a kid, and as an adult. You don’t understand why we know, those officers didn’t flinch at murdering that man, because he is black. The race card. We hold it. You tell us “it’s not about race” if we ever hold you to it. You don’t want us to have even that 1 bone chilling “privilege” of defense. You don’t want us to hold any privilege. We don’t hold the privilege of being a criminal, making a mistake, or simply taking a jog, the same as a white man, and being treated the same. He couldn’t breathe. He was murdered. They were gently fired from their jobs. This isn’t right. This can’t go on. (if you assume “you”, is you, and you’re upset about the generalization...... just think about that for a second)

A post shared by Dexter Fowler (@dexterfowler) on

RELATED: Chicago athletes react to nationwide unrest over George Floyd killing

Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts responded to Fowler, who also posted the statement on Twitter, expressing support with a heartfelt, strong message.

The Cubs haven't released an official statement; the Bulls released a statement on Sunday, the first major league sports team in Chicago to do so.

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