Monday Fungos: Riggleman, the Iowa Shuttle, and Kris Bryant’s Papa Does Preach

Interesting week and month for the Chicago Cubs. They were officially 4-3 for the week and .500 for May, but have just one win this month against winning teams (1-8). So how appropriate for a Jim Riggleman reunion in Cincinnati. Just hearing that monotone again had those grand Kevin Tapani memories just dripping back.

All that’s left in May is a two-game rematch against the one-game-under-.500 Indians, then three against the surprisingly .500 Giants and another three in Pittsburgh before heading to Queens. With all this completely average excitement awaiting the team this week, let’s at least start the week off with this fun-filled flight of fungos.

    1. Major League Baseball has created an innovative new way around paying minor leaguers anything. They will now all be called “interns.”
    2. The Cubs’ annual Iowa Shuttle is in full swing. Just in time, Tom Ricketts has proudly instituted a great new dynamic pricing model to maximize revenues from the promoted players interns.
    3. But the flights are worth every penny. Upon takeoff, a recorded Pat Hughes intones: “The official shuttle of the Chicago Cubs is now IN THE AIR!” Hughes then details every element of the crew’s uniforms down to the colorful Clark the Cub-themed epaulets.
    4. Recent shuttle passenger Justin Hancock has been awestruck since his promotion. Veteran players complain he’s going around with his autograph book asking everyone for their “Justin Hancock.”
    5. Vegas’s over/under on when a Chicago Cubs starter will surpass 200 innings pitched is now some time in the Mike Pence presidency.
    6. After Jason Heyward returned from the DL going 2-for-5 with four RBI, rumors were that he wasn’t concussed but hypnotized. Then someone said “4-3 ground out,” and he snapped out with a solid oh-for-Sunday.
    7. Since getting promoted, rookie reliever Randy Rosario has more than doubled his 2.6 BB/9 at Iowa. For not showing them up, the rest of the bullpen gave Rosario this salute:

    Chicago Cubs bullpen dance

  1. Poor Mike Montgomery. Joe Maddon basically promised him a start this weekend, but instead gave him two mop-up innings against Cincinnati. What’s next? Maddon making it up with first-class tickets on the Iowa Shuttle?
  2. Last week, the Supreme Court legalized sports betting. Pete Rose is now this close to losing all his savings for the second time in his life.
  3. In a bonus final part of Evan Altman’s excellent series “Mike Bryant Explains Everything,” Kris Bryant’s father will detail the science behind the Christopher Nolan films Interstellar and Inception. (Spoiler alert: Ted Williams foretold everything in his “The Science of Hitting.”)
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