SportsTalk Live Podcast: Ben Zobrist ready for robot umps?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Ben Zobrist ready for robot umps?

Nick Friedell, Jordan Bernfield and Jay Cohen join Chuck Garfien on the panel.  Jose Quintana gets rocked early by the Brewers while Yu Darvish throws a successful sim game. Meanwhile, Ben Zobrist makes a pitch for robot umps… right in the home plate umpire’s face.

Plus Roquan Smith is finally at Bears practice.  Will his 29-day holdout put more pressure on the first round pick?  

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: 

Quintana's script against Brewers flipped


Quintana's script against Brewers flipped

Before this afternoon's game against the Brewers, Jose Quintana had a 0.95 ERA against them, but thanks to some first-inning longballs, that changed quickly. Milwaukee, on their way to a 7-0 win at Wrigley Field, had sort of stumbled in to this two game series thanks to shaky bullpen performances against the Padres and Braves in their previous two series, and given Quintana's past success against them, it didn't appear likely going into the game that things would change.
It took all of two pitches for Lorenzo Cain to homer to left, and then later in the first inning, for Ryan Braun to do the same with a two-run shot that gave the Brewers a quick 3-0 lead. Braun, who before today's game was hitting .143 without even an extra base hit against Quintana, ultimately homered twice.
"Everything he’s thrown me, he’s had success with," Braun said of Quintana. "Everything he’s shown me had worked for him."
As a team, the Brewers were hitting just .202 against Quintana, so they knew scoring opportunities would be at a premium.
"A guy as good as him isn’t going to make many mistakes, so any mistakes he does make you have to take advantage of," Braun said. "He’s had so much success against us, the odds were we were going to find a way to score a couple runs, we were able to do that against him today."
In the first inning, Cain homered in the first on a fastball left too far in the zone, and Braun on a curveball that didn't break away from the sweet spot. Braun's second homer came on a 75 mph curveball after Quintana fell behind in the count 2-0.
Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin said that going into the game, he was thinking about how much his offense has struggled against Quintana, but seeing them score so early eased the pressure on him and allowed him to work with his slider and fastball a little more aggressively.
"A couple of big-time players stepped up in the first inning, and I mean, yea, we've really struggled against this guy," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of the first-inning success against Quintana. "You put up three runs in the first inning with two homers, it flips the script pretty fast."
With the onus off of Chacin, he was better able to throw seven scoreless innings on the way to his sixth decision in his last seven starts. Today's was an especially important win for Milwaukee, who entered this week's short series three games behind the Cubs. Brewers players differed on whether or not they'd call it a must-win, however.
"We have six more after these against the Cubs, but I feel like any game is must-win right now," Chacin said.
Braun, who has seen firsthand how much games in August and September can change the course of what had been a successful season, called it a little differently.
"It’s pretty close to a must-win. If we want to stay in the division race, I think we had to win one of two, ideally you gotta win both," Braun said. "These guys are really good, you obviously didn’t want to leave here down five games."
Against the packed crowd of 40,441 Tuesday, Braun said that he enjoys the atmosphere at Wrigley as the opponent.
"I’ve always enjoyed playing here. As a competitor, there’s no more enjoyable atmosphere to play in than this. The more hostile the environment is, the more enjoyable it is as a competitor. This place is always packed, it’s always loud. It’s a very challenging place to win," Braun said.
Even with another win tomorrow, the Brewers will still remain a game behind the Cubs, but Braun said that he is thankful to be playing in meaningful games at this point in the season regardless. After tomorrow, the Cubs and Brewers play two series in the first half at September, one at Miller Park and one at Wrigley Field.

Speedpass, Yu-san, Hollywood: Cubs Players' Weekend nicknames are out


Speedpass, Yu-san, Hollywood: Cubs Players' Weekend nicknames are out

The unique nicknames and uniforms of Players' Weekend are here.

The three-day baseball festivity will take place Aug. 24-26, according to, and players will showcase nicknames of their choice on the back of special edition jerseys for this year. The Cincinnati Reds will come to Wrigley Field for the series. 

This season, the Cubs will be sporting strikingly similar threads to the ones they wore last year. The uniforms are royal blue with lightly colored sleeves and white lettering. The numbers are a brighter shade of blue and the Cubs logo will sit on the left side of the chest.

Like last summer, the North Siders will be wearing vivid blue hats with the bear emblem embroidered on the front and a darker blue bill.

In 2017, the jersey’s design was the exact same. 

Cubs players will have the chance to write the name of someone who has influenced them in their lives on a patch stuck on the right sleeve, per The caps and uniforms will have a logo on them that illustrates the evolution of players from Little League to the pros.

But what is Players' Weekend and why do players choose the creative names that go on their backs?

According to, this weekend gives players the chance to have fun, show off their personalities and pay tribute to those who have guided them to the major leagues. Players can also put on special cleats, wristbands, sleeves, and batting gloves. They can even use new catcher’s masks and bats.

Here is the complete list of Cubs player jersey nicknames:

Albert Almora Jr.: "TICO"

Anthony Bass: "FISH"

Javier Baez: "EL MAGO"

David Bote: "BOAT"

Kris Bryant: "KB"

Victor Caratini: "VIC"

Tyler Chatwood: "CHATTY"

Jesse Chavez: "DADO"

Steve Cishek: "SPEEDPASS"

Willson Contreras: "WILLY THE BEAST"

Yu Darvish: "YU-SAN"

Brian Duensing: "DEUCE"


Cole Hamels: "HOLLYWOOD"

Justin Hancock: "HERBIE"

Ian Happ: "HAPPER"

Kyle Hendricks: "HENDO"

Jason Heyward: "J-HEY"

Brandon Kintzler: "SALT"

Tommy La Stella: "LA STELLA"

Jon Lester: "LEFTHANDER"

Brandon Morrow: "B MO"

Mike Montgomery: "MONTY"

Jose Quintana: "LELO"

Anthony Rizzo: "TONY"

Randy Rosario: "PELO FINO"

Addison Russell: "ADDY"

Kyle Schwarber: "SCHWARBS"

Drew Smyly: "SMILES"

Pedro Strop: "STROPY"

Justin Wilson: "J WILLY"

Ben Zobrist: "ZORILLA"