Pittsburgh Pirates

Bronx-waiter mistakenly receives Bryce Harper news.....from not Bryce Harper

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USA TODAY

Bronx-waiter mistakenly receives Bryce Harper news.....from not Bryce Harper

The Bryce Harper sweepstakes took a hilarious turn on Thursday when a New York waiter thought he had a tip that Harper had decided on the Yankees.

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams was out at a restaurant with his wife Jackie when their waiter mistook him for the 6-time All Star (Harper). Williams--being a good sport--decided to play along, telling the waiter, a Bronx-native, that he was going to sign with the Yankees this offseason.

While the mistake is hilarious, you can’t completely blame the waiter, as you can easily see the resemblance between Williams and Harper.

MLB fans had a blast joking with Williams in the comment section, with “Thicc Bryce Harper” qualifying as one of the funnier nicknames laid on Williams due to the incident. 

But alas, the waiter will be like every other MLB fan, as we cling to every piece of news waiting for some indication of which way Harper and Machado are leaning. 






 

Cubs know NL Central is going to be a dogfight: 'We have our work cut out for us'

Cubs know NL Central is going to be a dogfight: 'We have our work cut out for us'

The last time the St. Louis Cardinals played a postseason game, Jason Heyward and John Lackey were wearing redbird logos and had yet to suit up for the Cubs while Trevor Cahill picked up the win and Hector Rondon notched the save for the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

In other words, it's been a really long time since the Cardinals played in October. 

They're trying hard to change that fact, going all-in for 2019 by acquiring perennial MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt in a trade with the Diamondbacks Wednesday. This comes after they pulled off a big deal with the Marlins last winter by trading for slugging outfielder Marcell Ozuna.

"It was a great division before that trade and even better now," Theo Epstein said Thursday. "To be expected. The Cardinals do a great job of producing young talent and have a lot of depth with young players.

"Last winter, it made a lot of sense to consolidate their young talent and their resources into one really impactful player and they did that with the Ozuna trade. Not having made the playoffs three years in a row and having that depth of young talent, we expected them to make another consolidation-type move for a great player and they certainly got a truly elite player in Paul Goldschmidt.

"It just reinforces that the NL Central is to be earned. We have our work cut out for us."

The Cubs' eyes are wide open about the Brewers as a rival after Milwaukee surged from second place to take the division from the North Siders in Game 163 just two months ago.

The Cardinals have been a legitimate contender in the division the last couple seasons but wound up falling short each year. Now, they just added one of the best players in the game and are ready for more. The only players the Cards lost off their big-league roster this winter were ancillary players — pitcher Luke Weaver (traded away in the Goldschmidt deal) and a trio of free agents in Bud Norris, Matt Adams and Tyson Ross. 

And don't forget about the Pittsburgh Pirates, who featured a pitching staff full of Cy Young canidates if you just watched the games they played against the Cubs last year. They made the big move for Chris Archer at the trade deadline last year and are only losing Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison this winter and have already added outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall on a free-agent deal.

Even the Reds — who lost 95 games last year — have three All-Stars in their everyday lineup (Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Scooter Gennett) and have some young talent coming up through a farm system that ranks No. 6 in baseball by FanGraphs' valuation

As if the Cubs didn't have enough of their own problems to worry about with their "broken" offense and pitcher injuries, now they have to contend with a division that may be the strongest it's been in recent memory.

 

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Shades of Steve Bartman? Fan interferes with Anthony Rizzo in crucial moment, but Cubs win anyway

Shades of Steve Bartman? Fan interferes with Anthony Rizzo in crucial moment, but Cubs win anyway

Oh man. Here we go again...

As the Cubs were trying to put the finishing touches on a much-needed victory over the Pirates Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, a regular Cubbie Occurence took place.

With one out and a runner on first base, Cub Killer Francisco Cervelli popped one foul down the first base line. 

Anthony Rizzo ranged near the stands and attempted to make a tough play, but a fan got in the way and the ball fell harmlessly into the front row. Rizzo initially thought he caught the ball, but when he looked in his glove and didn't see it there, he let out a scream and pounded his fist into his glove.

"I thought I caught it," he said. "It's just one of those weird plays."

When asked if he felt like the fan took the ball out of his glove, Rizzo brought the topic back to his team's 7-6 victory:

"It was a big win for us," he said. "That's all I'm really worried about is us getting the win and coming back after giving up the lead there."

Worth noting: The play was not actually fan interference since the ball was in the stands and Rizzo was reaching out of play to try to make the catch.

Obviously it reminded everybody of a particular infamous moment in Cubs history:

Two pitches later, Cervelli lined a double off the right-field wall (inches from a home run) to put runners on second and third with one out. Two batters after that, Starling Marte lined one off Rizzo's glove and into shallow right field to tie the game with two outs.

The Cubs won the game in the bottom of the 10th when Albert Almora Jr. knocked in Terrance Gore with a two-out single. 

The Cubs remain a half-game up on the Brewers in the NL Central heading into action Thursday.