The family and I went to a pumpkin farm/apple orchard yesterday, the personal mission of which was to get one of these caramel apples they make with mini M&Ms. Unfortunately, the apple fell victim to the hype monster. After a year of waiting for the apples to come back, they’d been so built up in my mind that, when I finally got a bite, I wasn’t as blown away as I’d remembered.
- Edwin Jackson left yesterday’s start with some lat discomfort, which would be more concerning if (1) it wasn’t the last start of the year, and/or (2) he didn’t say it was basically nothing. Jackson was getting slapped around – which could have been due to the discomfort – so pulling him made sense anyway. He’ll rest up, and I doubt it’s any kind of lingering issue going into next year.
- Jackson summed up his own season (and inadvertently the Cubs’ season as a whole) thusly: “It was a shitty year.” It isn’t quite “we stinks,” but it’ll do. For Jackson, he had a bit of bad luck, both in BABIP and sequencing, but it wasn’t his best performance, either. Without anything to back it up other than probably biased memory, I feel like a lot of guys come to a new city on a big new contract and underperform the first year. Maybe it’s the combination of complacency that comes with the first big score combined with the desire to perform well for a new team (i.e., so you come into the season a little less prepared than usual, and then you put a bunch of pressure on yourself throughout the year). To be clear, I’m not saying this is Jackson, specifically, it’s just something I wonder about situations like this. I could see Jackson rebounding nicely next year for a variety of reasons.
- Jesse Rogers takes a look at the coaching staff to break down who might be coming back and who might not be. It’s a worthwhile read for background on the coaches (and Rogers’ take pretty much aligns with my own, in terms of who has ostensibly succeeded – pitching coach Chris Bosio and first base/outfield coach Dave McKay are the two most obvious), but it’s a tough game to play when we don’t know what’s happening with the manager. As we saw with Rudy Jaramillo, sometimes an organization wants to retain a well-thought-of coach, but he just didn’t end up clicking with the new manager. Sometimes, you’ve just got to let a manager bring in the staff he wants, even if it means losing quality coaches. Heck, sometimes that’s part of the negotiations.
- If you want to get a sense (if you didn’t have it already) of what a class guy Theo Epstein is as a boss, read this Mark Gonzales piece with an eye toward his explanation of why he answered questions about Dale Sveum a little over a week ago the way he did. Epstein simply decided he had to be honest, and there wasn’t an easy answer to questions about the evaluation of Sveum, and what happens next.
- Theo Epstein offers compliments to Mariano Rivera, a man he apparently once tried to poach from the Yankees (in part to see the reaction in New York).