David Kohl - USA Today Sports
David Kohl - USA Today Sports

Cubs News and Notes: Cubs' roster decisions, Dempster on Ross, World Series, Hot Stove

by - Columnist -

Just one game left in 2019, so let’s give the World Series center-stage in this column. First, the Nationals dominated, then Houston turned up the heat.

With their backs against the wall, Washington has now forced a Game-7. There’ve been a lot of surprises in this series, and I expect nothing less for tonight.

Baseball is almost over.

In the meantime, let’s all meet at Logan’s house…

World Series Schedule & Results

Astros lead the Series 3-2

GAME-1: Nationals -5; Astros -4 (W-Scherzer; L- Cole);

GAME-2: Nationals -12; Astros -3 (W-Strasburg; L- Verlander);

GAME-3: Astros-4; Nationals-1 (W-Greinke; L- Sanchez)

GAME-4: Astros-8; Nationals-1 (W-Urquidy; L- Corbin)

GAME-5: Astros-7; Nationals-1 (W-Cole; L- Ross)

GAME-6: Tuesday, Oct. 29: WSH at HOU; 7 p.m., FOX (W-Strasburg; L-Verlander)

The trend continues, with no wins at all by the home team in this World Series. I didn’t think this had ever happened, but I found out last night that not only has no MLB seven-game series ever had the visiting team win six in a row, but it’s also never happened in either the NHL or NBA.

The Nationals grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the first, but the Astros would answer with two of their own in the first, tilting the game back in their favor. Home runs by Eaton, Soto, and Rendon would blow it open, with the Nats taking this one by a final of 7-2, sending this to a Game-7. Rendon had five RBIs on the night.

Strasburg pitched a gem, going 8.1 innings, but the game was not without controversy.

Just before Rendon’s smash, Trea Turner had this little, swinging bunt. The throw to first hit turner, leaving the ball to roll away while allowing Turner and Gomes to advance to second and third. Turner was ruled out due to interference (questionable), and Davey Martinez lost his mind, charging after the umpires, while the Nats’ bench coach tried futilely to restrain him. The call was upheld after a replay review decided that the play was not reviewable, and Martinez was subsequently ejected.

GAME-7: Wednesday, Oct. 30: WSH at HOU, 7 p.m., FOX. (Scherzer vs. Greinke)

This is it. I thought the Astros would’ve taken the series in six, but I also said if the Nats were to win it, this would be a seven-game series. I never thought for a minute that we’d have seen the inconceivable series with no home wins, but here we are.

Three days ago, Max Scherzer couldn’t even get himself dressed due to neck and trap spasms, but last night Scherzer was ready to work out of the pen. That move didn’t make much sense, unless the Nats wanted to use him while they could, not knowing what tonight may bring for Max’s neck and his ability to pitch.

Just a handful of moments until game time, then that’ll be it for baseball for the next (gasp) almost four months. Free agency and the Hot Stove should be stoked and blazing by next week, but in the meantime, tonight’s game is must-see TV.


Goodbye Morrow/Holland: Reportedly, the Cubs will be paying Brandon Morrow the $3M buyout and Derek Holland will be getting his half-million buyout as well.

Rizzo and Q: While Morrow and Holland may be headed out the door, it looks like the Cubs will be picking up the options of both Anthony Rizzo and Jose Quintana. Rizz was a no-brainer, but the media was split on whether or not the Cubs would keep Q (I predicted he’s he’d stay). The one thing that I did predict about Rizzo, though, was that while the Cubs would pick up his option, they wouldn’t be extending him this year. Not to say that they won’t do so next winter, just not this time around, as they have 100 other (more time-sensitive) priorities.

Schwarber weighs in: With the controversy and ambiguity surrounding the interference call, Kyle Schwarber weighed in. Schwarbs makes an excellent point: The runner’s lane is in foul territory, while the base is in fair territory.

Dempster on Ross: (The following Ryan Dempster quotes are from Patric Mooney’s article in The Athletic, entitled,Ryan Dempster knows Cubs players shouldn’t mistake David Ross’ kindness for weakness).

Former Cubs pitcher (turned broadcaster extraordinaire) Ryan Dempster had some things to say about Theo’s choice to elect David Ross as the Cubs’ 55th manager.

“I just thought it was a matter of time,” Dempster said. “I wondered because you get away and you start broadcasting, and you’re in a job where you don’t have to work every day. It pays well. Sometimes, that’s tough to leave. But I thought of the fire inside him, just because he was always managing games as a player, wondering what would be the right move; {or] why did that move work?’

Dempster went on to say, “It’s not going to be easy, but he’s going to surround himself with good people. He’s already surrounded by really good people. We have an incredible front office, especially the special assistants.”

Dempster also spoke of an incident in Boston when a kid named Ryan Lavarnway made a smart-ass comment to Rossy before a workout during spring training.

Dempster says Ross had always been kind to that kid (and was kind to him after the remark), but turned on him in an instant, saying, “Ryan, don’t ever mistake my kindness for weakness.”

I love that saying and use it (unfortunately) frequently when someone wants to attempt to take advantage of me or my generosity. This is the attitude that Rossy needs to convey:

“I’m 100% here for you. But don’t screw with me.”

Mark Prior: Former Cubs’ pitcher Mark Prior is about to take a big step up in his coaching career. After losing pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to retirement, the Dodgers will be promoting Mark Prior from bullpen coach to pitching coach.

Cubs’ history: Wow. It’s been three years already.

Cubs’ Birthdays: Celebrating today, were ex-Cubs

MLB and the Hot Stove

Robo umps: Not that a robo-ump could have made a call on Turner’s base-running interference last night, but some of the ball and strike calls have been deplorable. MLB insider Jon Heyman is a staunch supporter of the robo-ump, and many players and media members are starting to feel the same.

NCAA’s Major League Controversy: It has been decided that NCAA players may now make money off of their likenesses while in school. This has already led to controversy, as the question has arisen about whether or not scholarships should now be treated as income.

Mariners: The New York Yankees have interviewed Chris Fetter, the University of Michigan pitching coach, for their open pitching coach job.

Phillies: Not that this should come as any surprise, but the Phillies have now officially thrown their hat in the ring for the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes. I can already see now that Cole will become Bryce Harper 2.0 this winter, with one significant difference: Cole should be worth the money he gets paid.

Royals: The Royals have reinstated RHP Trevor Oaks from the 60-Day IL and then immediately designated him for assignment.

Baseball Quotes: “Anybody who's ever had the privilege of seeing me play knows that I am the greatest pitcher in the world.” -Dizzy Dean

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