Cubs vow to learn from game-deciding miscue

Cubs vow to learn from game-deciding miscue

LOS ANGELES -- Ben Zobrist took responsibility, but it was Javier Baez who misread a play, and the miscue cost the Cubs in a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday. Manager Joe Maddon doesn't anticipate the same thing to happen in October.

The Cubs and Dodgers were scoreless with one out in the eighth, and Los Angeles loaded the bases as reliever Trevor Cahill hit a batter, then fielded Howie Kendrick's grounder and overthrew first for an error. Corey Seager was intentionally walked, and Maddon called on rookie Carl Edwards Jr. , who struck out Justin Turner on a 97 mph fastball.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lester delivers another gem but LA strikes late

Lester delivers another gem but LA strikes late

LOS ANGELES -- A grounder from Adrian Gonzalez, a foot race won by Corey Seager and a run scored by Andrew Toles were the difference in a 1-0 victory for the Dodgers over the Cubs on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

With the game in a scoreless tie going into the bottom of the eighth inning, Toles got aboard on a hit-by-pitch from Trevor Cahill, then advanced to third when Howie Kendrick reached base on Cahill's throwing error.

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Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ross bids Los Angeles farewell -- for now?

Cubs catcher, retiring after season, was drafted by Dodgers

Ross bids Los Angeles farewell -- for now?

LOS ANGELES -- Maybe David Ross will get another at-bat at Dodger Stadium. He hopes so.

The veteran catcher, who was the Dodgers' seventh-round pick in 1988 and is retiring after this season, said goodbye on Sunday. Ross started for the Cubs, who lost, 1-0. Ross struck out to end the game.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lackey 'doing well,' has return in sight

Veteran on disabled list with right shoulder strain

Lackey 'doing well,' has return in sight

LOS ANGELES -- John Lackey will throw a bullpen session on Monday and will need at least one more side session before he will be inserted back into the Cubs' rotation. Lackey is on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain, and could be ready by the end of the next homestand or the start of the club's next road trip on Sept. 5 against the Brewers.

"He's doing well," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the right-hander.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ross, Maddon enjoy Scully's company in LA

'He was really kind and gracious,' Cubs manager says of Dodgers broadcaster

Ross, Maddon enjoy Scully's company in LA

LOS ANGELES -- David Ross got his brownies and joined Cubs manager Joe Maddon for a private audience with legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully before Friday's 6-4 win.

Ross and Maddon presented Scully with a No. 67 from the Wrigley Field scoreboard as well as a Dodgers flag that flew at the Cubs' home ballpark. Maddon also included some T-shirts that the Cubs players are wearing this season with some of the manager's sayings, including "Respect 90," "Do Simple Better," and "The Process is Fearless" in Japanese.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zobrist not surprised by call for bunt in cleanup

LOS ANGELES -- The Cubs had runners at first and second in the first inning on Saturday and had just taken a 1-0 lead against the Dodgers' Julio Urias on Anthony Rizzo's RBI single. Cleanup batter Ben Zobrist was up, but, as Zobrist says, he's just one of many cleanup hitters in the Cubs' lineup. And Zobrist bunted, hoping for a hit, which is not something most cleanup batters would do.

With men on first and second, Zobrist didn't expect to see many pitches from Urias, and hadn't faced the young lefty before. Zobrist was given the option to bunt on the first pitch, and chose to do so again on the second.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs kick off homestand with ace Arrieta

Cubs kick off homestand with ace Arrieta

The series opener between the Cubs and Pirates was supposed to feature two of the National League's aces.

But with Gerrit Cole scratched from Monday's scheduled start to seek a second opinion on his right elbow, the Pirates will turn to rookie Steven Brault against Jake Arrieta and the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hammel not happy with early hook

Coming off 10-run outing, veteran removed by Maddon with 1 out in 3rd

Hammel not happy with early hook

LOS ANGELES -- Jason Hammel was not happy about being pulled after 39 pitches over 2 1/3 innings on Saturday. It didn't even count as a start, the Cubs right-hander said. And after the game, which the Cubs lost, 3-2, to the Dodgers, he met with manager Joe Maddon.

"He was not happy with me taking him out that early, and I can understand why," Maddon said. "I just didn't see the game straightening out. Watching him one time through [the order], it looked like they were on him a little bit. I thought it was a great lineup for Rob [Zastryzny]. One of the things with arms, I want to put them in meaningful spots.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LA rookie, Hammel's short start hamper Cubs

LA rookie, Hammel's short start hamper Cubs

LOS ANGELES -- Starter Julio Urias recovered from a shaky beginning and fellow rookie Corey Seager slugged a record-setting home run Saturday as the Dodgers held on to edge the Cubs, 3-2, in a battle of first-place teams.

"To go to Chicago [May 30-June 2] and lose three of four, then to perform well and go toe-to-toe with a team that has been very good all year, I think sends a message to our guys, as well as those guys in that clubhouse," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Montgomery takes pride in keeping Cubs in game

Montgomery takes pride in keeping Cubs in game

LOS ANGELES -- When the Dodgers' Josh Reddick lined a ball off Mike Montgomery's right leg on Friday night, it definitely hurt. But the Cubs left-hander wasn't going to show it.

"I wasn't coming out unless it was broken," Montgomery said on Saturday.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Set for onesie trip, Arrieta has no-no flashbacks

Set for onesie trip, Arrieta has no-no flashbacks

LOS ANGELES -- Sunday will be the Cubs' second "onesie" trip, in which players will be allowed to wear their pajamas on the flight from Los Angeles to Chicago. Last year's pajama party followed Jake Arrieta's first career no-hitter, but that was a night game.

"It'll be slightly warm in my onesie," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Saturday. "It'll be a warm onesie departure."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant's 2nd blast lifts Cubs past LA in 10th

Bryant's 2nd blast lifts Cubs past LA in 10th

LOS ANGELES -- Kris Bryant made yet another addition to his MVP case as he hit home runs in the eighth and 10th innings to power a 6-4, comeback win for the Cubs over the Dodgers on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

To force extra innings, Jason Heyward tied the game against Kenley Jansen when he doubled to lead off the ninth, then advanced on a Jorge Soler strikeout and scored on Jansen's first wild pitch of the season.

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Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant inspired by 'great teammate' Heyward

Cubs' pair key in comeback win over Dodgers

Bryant inspired by 'great teammate' Heyward

LOS ANGELES -- If it weren't for Kris Bryant's first homer, Jason Heyward's extra effort in the ninth wouldn't have meant as much. And if it weren't for Heyward's extra effort, Bryant wouldn't have gotten a chance to hit a second home run that lifted Cubs in the the series opener Friday night against the Dodgers.

Bryant belted two home runs, including a solo shot in the eighth and a two-run, tiebreaking blast in the 10th to power the Cubs to a 6-4 victory over the Dodgers. It was Bryant's fourth multi-homer game this season, and he took over the National League lead with 35, passing the Rockies' Nolan Arenado (34).

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With big lead, Maddon emphasizes extra rest

With big lead, Maddon emphasizes extra rest

LOS ANGELES -- What does a double-digit lead in the standings do for the Cubs? It gives the players a chance to sleep in.

The emphasis in August for manager Joe Maddon is to give the players enough rest, and the Cubs' large lead in the National League Central is a luxury that allows him to do so.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Candelario among top prospect performers Friday

Indians' No. 7 outduels Blue Jays' No. 17 in impressive matchup

Candelario among top prospect performers Friday

Fans in attendance for Friday's matchup between Class A Lake County and Lansing were treated to a pitchers' duel between starters Triston McKenzie and Ryan Borucki, who combined for 11 scoreless innings and 18 strikeouts. Ultimately, it was McKenzie, the Indians' No. 7 prospect, who recorded the win as the Captains shut out Lansing, 3-0.

Making his fifth start for Lake County, McKenzie surrendered just two hits and a walk over six scoreless innings. He struck out nine, throwing 57 of his 84 pitches for strikes.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Confidence, consistency key to Russell's success

Maddon: Shortstop 'in the conversation' for NL Gold Glove Award

Confidence, consistency key to Russell's success

LOS ANGELES -- The Cubs did not take batting practice on Tuesday at Petco Park -- they rarely do, because manager Joe Maddon feels it's overrated -- but Addison Russell was on the field prior to the game to do his early work. His extra effort is one of the reasons the shortstop is a leading candidate for a 2016 National League Gold Glove Award.

"He wants to be good, and he is good," Cubs third-base and infield coach Gary Jones said. "He wants to be better. He's one of those guys who comes every day and wants to get better every day."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Big bats back Hendricks, bring brooms to SD

Big bats back Hendricks, bring brooms to SD

SAN DIEGO -- Remember Ray Prim? The left-hander won 13 games for the Cubs in 1945, the last time they played in the World Series. Prim was the last Cubs pitcher to lead the National League in ERA. Kyle Hendricks could change that.

Hendricks got a big boost from the offense before he took the mound, thanks to a three-run first, as the Cubs beat the Padres, 6-3, on Wednesday at Petco Park to sweep the series and improve to 36 games over .500 for the first time since 1945, when they finished that season at 98-56.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Contreras keeps stepping up to big league challenges

Rookie behind plate for day game after catching night game, belts homer

Contreras keeps stepping up to big league challenges

SAN DIEGO -- Willson Contreras passed another test on Wednesday. The Cubs' rookie catcher was behind the plate for the daytime series finale against the Padres after catching the night game on Tuesday.

Before the game, manager Joe Maddon said he wanted Contreras to start in an attempt to slow down the Padres' running game. The rookie showed off his arm on Tuesday with a key pickoff at third in the first inning to get Travis Jankowski. The Padres, who rank third in the National League in stolen bases, did not attempt to run on Contreras on Wednesday.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hendricks battles in 3rd to extend dominance

Righty owns league's best ERA, has allowed 3 ER or fewer in past 17 starts

Hendricks battles in 3rd to extend dominance

SAN DIEGO -- The key inning on Wednesday was the third for the Cubs' Kyle Hendricks. The Padres had pulled within one after Wil Myers' RBI triple. There was nobody out, and Hendricks had to face San Diego's 3-4-5 hitters.

But Hendricks didn't blink. The right-hander got both Yangervis Solarte and Alex Dickerson to pop up to third baseman Javier Baez, and then he struck out Ryan Schimpf to end the inning. That helped Hendricks notch his 12th win in the Cubs' 6-3 victory at Petco Park.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maddon: Versatility on field helping Baez's bat

23-year-old has played all four infield positions this season

Maddon: Versatility on field helping Baez's bat

SAN DIEGO -- Javier Baez has played all four infield positions for the Cubs this season, and he has definitely shined at second base. Shouldn't he be settling down at one spot?

"It depends on how we morph as a group over the next couple of years," manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday. "I like the way it's working out."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ross set to bid Los Angeles farewell

Veteran catcher began career with Dodgers, will play there for final time this weekend

Ross set to bid Los Angeles farewell

SAN DIEGO -- David Ross will say goodbye to where he started his professional baseball career this weekend.

The farewell tour for the 39-year-old catcher, who is retiring after this season, will be in Los Angeles this weekend when the Cubs play the Dodgers in a three-game series, starting Friday. Ross was the Dodgers' seventh-round pick in the 1998 Draft, and he made his Major League debut on June 29, 2002.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs soar to 80th win on HRs, Arrieta's gem

Cubs soar to 80th win on HRs, Arrieta's gem

SAN DIEGO -- Kris Bryant and Addison Russell each homered to help Jake Arrieta become the National League's first and lead the Cubs to a 5-3 victory Tuesday night over the Padres for their 21st win in the last 26 games.

Now 80-45, Chicago is the first team in the Majors to win 80 games, and is 35 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 25, 2008 (96-61). This is the quickest the Cubs have reached 80 wins since 1929, and that team won an NL pennant.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arrieta comes up gold again in Golden State

Cubs ace fires 8 scoreless with help from defense

Arrieta comes up gold again in Golden State

SAN DIEGO -- Jake Arrieta won't get a chance to pitch at Dodger Stadium in the Cubs' upcoming series but on Tuesday night, he showed once again how much he likes the West Coast.

Arrieta picked up his National League-leading 16th win in a 5-3 victory over the Padres, giving up two hits over eight scoreless innings. In four starts in California this year against the Angels, Giants, Athletics and Padres, Arrieta has given up one run on 11 hits over 30 innings combined. And he's won all four of those games.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant's big night makes USD crowd proud

Bryant's big night makes USD crowd proud

SAN DIEGO -- University of San Diego baseball coach Rich Hill was in the right place at the right time to watch one of his star pupils, Kris Bryant.

Hill was a guest in the Padres' television booth on Tuesday night when Bryant launched his 33rd home run with one out in the third inning of the Cubs' 5-3 win over the Padres.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Russell a Gold Glove SS? Maddon thinks so

Cubs manager rewards stellar play with bottle of wine

Russell a Gold Glove SS? Maddon thinks so

SAN DIEGO -- Cubs manager Joe Maddon presented Addison Russell with a bottle of wine on Tuesday as a token of appreciation for his play in the series opener. Maddon hopes to give the shortstop a gift later this season if Russell wins a Gold Glove for his defensive play.

"He's definitely got to be in the conversation, legitimate conversation," Maddon said of Russell. "This guy on defense, it's getting to the point where there's no one else like that right now."

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs fans lose it after catching Bryant HR ball

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Cubs fans lose it after catching Bryant HR ball

For those who have been living under a particularly thick rock for the last few months, Kris Bryant is having himself a year: Entering play against the Padres on Tuesday, he'd slashed .299/.390/.568 with 32 dingers and at least one heart grown three sizes. He's got talent, he's got fashion, he might very well be the National League MVP.

Now, imagine getting your very own piece of that history in the making. Imagine being one of the lucky few fans to take home a souvenir blessed by Bryant's bat. Now take all that excitement, multiply it by at least 100, and enjoy the following GIF.

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MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Heyward's defense has made Cubs even stronger

Heyward's defense has made Cubs even stronger

Jason Heyward's first season with the Cubs has been a challenge, as his batting average shows. But don't label it a disappointment before it's over.

While Heyward is hitting .225 with only six home runs, his play in right field has contributed greatly to the Cubs being the best defensive team in the Major Leagues, as measured by Baseball Prospectus' defensive efficiency rankings. His avoidance of pouting and other forms of self-indulgence in the clubhouse has kept the air clean, not polluted, for a team that is on pace to win 103 games.

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Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Russell stays hot, but glovework steals show

Cubs SS reaches 80 RBIs, flashes stellar defense in win

Russell stays hot, but glovework steals show

SAN DIEGO -- Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is joining an elite group, and he's just getting started.

Russell hit a solo homer and a sacrifice fly to help power the Cubs to a 5-1 victory on Monday night over the Padres. It was the shortstop's 18th homer this year, and the sac fly in the third raised his RBI total to 80. Hall of Famer Ernie Banks and Roy Smalley are the only Cubs shortstops to drive in 80 runs in a single season, with Banks totaling a career high 143 in 1959.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.