The Rundown: Bad Is the New Good, June Is the New May, (Very Little) More on Bryant Extension

Pretty much everything that’s wrong with the Cubs is also right with them, depending on who you ask or how you approach the topic. The box score stats of several different players suck out loud, but the peripherals that feed into them quietly tell us that things may not be as bad as they seem. I think.

And then you’ve got this whole six-game losing streak thing, which is bad. But being only 2.5 games back in the Central is good, particularly when you consider how poorly the Cubs have played to this point in the season. If and when water does find its level, they should be positioned to push back to the top of the division and stay there.

Having a crowded roster means difficulty finding playing time for all the position players, but it also means plenty of surplus talent with which to go after a pitcher. If, that is, the Cubs still feel they need to do that.

Removing all the advanced stats and the speculation and the theoretical mumbo-jumbo, however, we get to the truth that this team has not played up to its potential. That could persist, I suppose, leaving us wondering what the hell happened. Or things could explode in all kinds of good ways and we’ll be left wondering why the hell we ever doubted anything.

Then there’s the third option, which is that things proceed like the stock market and go through a bunch of ups and downs while increasing at a relatively steady aggregate rate.

Because the first third of the season has really brought out the Eeyore in a lot of you, I simply wanted to point out that not everything that looks bad on the surface is the same all the way through. Unless you prefer it that way.

Mayday, mayday…wait, it’s no longer May

The Cubs finished last month with a 12-16 record that was capped by an awful SoCal roadie. Now they’ve got a chance to right the ship as they open June on a 10-game homestand. While turning a new page on the calendar won’t change either attitude or aptitude, having a day off and then starting over could be just what the Cubs need.

Theo Epstein flat-out acknowledged that Kyle Schwarber has been battling himself at the plate and perhaps overdoing it in terms of prep, and he’s not alone. Heck, neither Epstein nor Schwarber are alone. Now that we’ve seen this team for two months, we know what they are, or at least what they’ve been. They know it too, and they know they can’t continue to be that same team moving forward.

If nothing else, I think they’ll deliver your fourth-favorite Cubs blog writer/editor a nice birthday present today.

More news and notes

  • Anthony Rizzo got engaged last night

  • There are several unknowns here, but Jon Heyman reports that Kris Bryant didn’t care to counter with anything if the Cubs offered an extension at all
    • You already knew that though, so Heyman’s info is a little stale
    • Bryant would be silly to consider anything prior to the next couple free agency periods
    • There is some additional info on the differences in philosophies of Scott Boras and the Cubs, though this is again stuff you probably already understand
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is freakishly good and is only 18
  • Blue Jays have released Mat Latos
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