Sveum weighs in on Mariano Rivera


Sveum weighs in on Mariano Rivera

While the Cubs are making a move with their closer's role, the Yankees were dealt a severe blow Thursday when stopper Mariano Rivera went down for the season with a torn ACL.

The 42-year-old right-hander caught his foot in the grass in Kansas City while shagging balls during batting practice.

Dale Sveum played with Rivera in 1998. The Cubs manager only appeared in 30 games for the Yankees that season and was released in August, but stayed on as a bullpen catcher as the team went on to win the World Series.

"He's the ultimate professional and teammate that anybody could ever have," Sveum said.

The injury could very well be the final chapter on Rivera's storied career, though the intense competitor vows he will return.

Rivera has more saves than anybody else in Major League Baseball history (608) and boasts a career 2.21 ERA and near-unreal 0.99 WHIP. As if that wasn't good enough, he carries a 0.70 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in postseason play with 42 saves.

"His stats talk for themselves," Sveum said. "He's the best closer and relief pitcher that's ever put on a uniform. In postseason play, regular season play. There's never been somebody that dominant for such a long period of time, even at the age he's been at."

Fans, players and coaches around the country were saddened by Rivera's freak injury, but Sveum said this one instance shouldn't shape the way Cubs pitchers shag balls in batting practice.

"You don't want to see people going crazy or jumping over walls or doing those things. But I don't think you worry about injuries like that," Sveum said. "The game's been going on for 100 years. Every once in a while, you do see something happen like that, but part of some of the pitchers' condititiong is shagging fly balls and doing things like that.

"Sometimes, those things are unfortunate, but people could get hurt walking to the ballpark, too."

Cubs fans collective rage measured in one word


Cubs fans collective rage measured in one word

Baseball is an emotional game, both for those on the field and those merely spectating. Cubs fans are no exception to this notion.

TickPick looked into how often fans used expletives on Reddit during the 2018 MLB Postseason. According to the study, Cubs fans used the f-bomb on Reddit more than any other team.

Despite playing in just one postseason game, Cubs fans ranked first in frequency of using f-bombs per postseason game played at 432 occassions. Of course, the Cubs' playoff run ended quickly with a 2-1 loss to the Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game.

There were 1,911 f-bombs used on Reddit during the Wild Card Game, including 48 when Javier Báez hit an RBI-double in the eighth inning to tie the score at 1-1.

Red Sox fans "placed" second in f-bomb frequency/game with 342, an interesting note considering a) the Red Sox played in 13 more playoff games than the Cubs and b) they won the World Series. 

Reddit users directed the fourth-most "f _ _ _ you's" at the Cubs as a team, trailing just the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox. Individually, no Cubs ranked in the top 5 in "f-you's" directed at players, for what it's worth. 

Playoff baseball! You've got to love it, right? The full study is available can be found here.

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ESPN forgot about the White Sox again, and the Big Hurt let 'em hear about it


ESPN forgot about the White Sox again, and the Big Hurt let 'em hear about it

ESPN forgot about the White Sox again.

The Worldwide Leader in Sports has made a habit of failing to remember the South Siders in recent years, most notably forgetting (on multiple occasions) that the White Sox did in fact win the 2005 World Series.

It happened enough times that A.J. Pierzynski had some opinions about it.

This time, the omission came in an effort to illustrate how good Mike Trout is, with ESPN researcher Paul Hembekides listing baseball players who appeared in the top four in MVP voting three or more times. Trout, the Los Angeles Angels superstar, has already done it seven times, and boy that is terrific.

But Hembekides left someone out. And that someone let him hear about it.

You tell 'em, Frank.

Yes, the Big Hurt finished in the top four of the AL MVP vote on six separate occasions: 1991 (third), 1993 (first), 1994 (first), 1997 (third), 2000 (second) and 2006 (fourth, while playing for the Oakland Athletics).

ESPN's blind spot for the White Sox doesn't end up meaning much of anything, though it's amusing that they've now managed to leave out a relatively recent World Series champion and a relatively recent first-ballot Hall of Famer.

We all make mistakes. But it's a little funny that ESPN's are, repeatedly, White Sox related.