I’m soon heading out on a family vacation. More on that in a bit.
- So, Dale Sveum set off a bit of a discussion yesterday when he said that Julio Borbon, essentially, was DFA’d for his bone-headed baserunning mistake on Friday (taking off for third from second with no outs in the 9th of a game the Cubs trailed by four runs – yes, it was very bone-headed – and getting thrown out). “That obviously was an unfortunate thing that happened,” Sveum said, per Cubs.com. “But it is a point that, we just can’t keep having those things go on and [Borbon] has had a few of those things himself. So it was just time to make an adjustment to the roster and see if somebody else can do the job.” Are the Cubs making a point here about consistently making the same mental mistakes, and playing the game the right way? Sure. But if Anthony Rizzo makes a series of mental mistakes, is he going to be DFA’d? Of course not. So let’s be very careful to squeeze right into the nuggety, nuanced center here: Borbon was a fringe roster guy whom the Cubs were not going to keep on the 40-man roster all Winter anyway. Whether he was DFA’d Friday or in late September, it was coming. His gaffe probably sped up the process, so Sveum’s thoughts are literally true. But a lot fed into the decision, and it wasn’t solely his mistake on Friday.
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer suggested to Cubs.com that he expects this year’s waiver trade period to be fairly active. That may be true across baseball, but as I wrote on Thursday, it’s going to be tricky for the Cubs to move any notable pieces this month, because of the restrictions that come after the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
- Jeff Samardzija admitted to ESPN that, although he focuses on each start for what it is, he’d be lying if he said thoughts about his contract and an extension don’t cross his mind. We discussed Samardzija’s future with the Cubs on Friday.
- Theo Epstein is a big fan of Arismendy Alcantara’s development.
- I am very glad Matt Garza did not do this while still with the Cubs. After apparently taking umbrage at an Eric Sogard bunt yesterday, Garza had a bit of a beef with Sogard and his wife, and had it out on Twitter. There’s probably more context, but it looks pretty bad right now.
- Among other things, Bruce Miles addresses the increasing issue of looooong games. While baseball has changed in ways that necessarily lengthen the game (focus on seeing more pitches, frequent pitching changes, etc.), I tend to think that this is a legitimate concern for the sport going forward. We hardcore-ers have to acknowledge that, for casual fans, baseball can be a very boring sport to watch. The long-term success of the sport is dependent on continuing to attract new fans, and most fans start out as mere casual fans. Three-plus-hour baseball games do not appeal to casual fans. I don’t know how to meaningfully impact the length of games (gimmicks like “one throw over to first, and your next throw to first is a ball” would only do so much), especially in a television era driven by commercials. But working to keep average game times WELL under three hours should be a high priority for MLB. And yet you almost never hear about it at the league level.