First it was David Ross showing the young Cubs how to get things done and then it seemed like John Lackey, the Cubs newest ace wanted in on all the fun. The Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 as Lackey pitched three innings of solid work.
“I think he’s actually in better shape right now. The one thing also is the delivery is better, the repetition of his arm. I went up to him on the first day here and said, ‘God, Johnny, I’ve been watching you the last couple years, and you’re getting better.'” said Joe Maddon.
What John Lackey provides in the Cubs rotation is stability. As much as everyone including myself, got excited about Jon Lester getting signed last year, it’s really Lackey that people should be cheering about. The rotation has an anchor now and it looks strong.
Yesterday, I touched upon Jon Lester’s inconsistencies amid his pretty great pitching, but I believe those issues will get solved this year.
“Yes, we have to work on it,” Maddon said. “I love that he’s conceding that point, and it’s something we’ll work on, but more than that, last year, we had to work through the same issues and he did not have the same delivery and the ball coming out of his hand, and ended up pretty darn strong. I’m not going to make any predictions right here, but I see this guy off to a good start going into the season.”
But with the addition of Lackey, it’ll push the other Jon in the right direction.
Ok, there’s way too many J’s on the Cubs.
Switching subjects a bit, what’s up with Hall of Famer Goose Gossage? I think he’s wrong to criticize Jose Bautista’s bat flip last fall and then go on a rant about Bryce Harper?
“Bautista is a disgrace to the game,” Gossage told ESPN. “He’s embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him. Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. [Yoenis] Cespedes, same thing.”
I thought the bat flip was cool. Frustrations rise up and I believe it lends a higher level to the game. He also called out those folks who spend hours with Sabermetrics.
“The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it. I’ll tell you what has happened, these guys played Rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever they went and they thought they figured the game out. They don’t know anything.”
By the way, I took out some profanity just in case there are kids reading the blog. As for Joe Maddon’s take on the subject?
“We — industry-wide, all the major sports, and what the kids are looking for this day — it’s all about style over substance sometimes,” Joe Maddon said. “I understand the time we’re living in. I’ve always prided myself in remaining contemporary. I’m not going to battle it, but I’d prefer we do something else.”
I’d have to agree with Joe on this one. Although I thought it was cool what Jose did and a little showboating afterward is fine, but get the hit, score the run and get back to the dugout.