The Red Sox poured it on early against Adam Wainwright last night, winning Game One of the World Series 8-1 (partly thanks to a correctly overturned call (Pete Kozma clearly dropped a throw at second base, just before a bases-clearing double), which Mike Matheny still found occasion to argue and then complain about after the game). Moreover for the Cardinals, Carlos Beltran severely bruised his ribs on a grand slam-robbing catch in the second inning last night, and was then removed from the game. His status going forward is unclear, and it would be a serious blow to the Cardinals to lose a guy who is among the best postseason hitters in baseball history. I guess, more importantly, he’s just a very good hitter.
- Your 2014 Cubs tickets won’t be increasing dramatically in price, either because of a Cubs increase or a tax increase. The latter was a concern, given discussions about a bump-up in the amusement tax levied on large venue tickets (already 9%, one of the highest ticket taxes in the country), but Greg Hinz reports that, for 2014, the amusement tax will remain unchanged. Likely helping the case to leave the amusement tax where it is? A surprising surplus in City revenues tied to the ticket tax, likely thanks to the Blackhawks and Bulls. If the Cubs were good again, that would be another huge boon. Hey, there’s another reason for the City to want to help the Cubs become good long-term!
- Carrie Muskat with a great profile on Kris Bryant. Tons of information, quotes, compliments. Bryant also further explained his draft day comments about playing for the Cubs right away. He was simply saying that you’ve got to have confidence in yourself if you’re going to succeed in baseball.
- Jesse Rogers profiles Bryant together with Albert Almora, and hears a huge volume of praise for the Cubs’ prospects. It sounds like everyone – scouts, executives – loves what they’re seeing from Bryant, in particular. How could you not, given the absurd numbers he’s putting up in the AFL? Rogers also interviewed Almora and Bryant in video form.
- In yesterday’s AFL action, Bryant went 1-5 with a double, and Wes Darvill went 1-4. It was a low-scoring 2-1 loss by Mesa (after starting unable to lose, they are suddenly unable to win), and no Cubs pitchers were in action.
- Although Bryant and Almora are getting the Arizona love, while Jorge Soler seems to get nothing but grief, at least one pundit is still plenty high on Soler – Jim Callis says he’d take Soler for the future over big-time Cuban signee Jose Abreu, who just got $68 million from the White Sox. There are a dozen legitimate excuses for Soler’s slow AFL start with the bat (hasn’t played much the last three years, getting over a long-term injury, first time facing upper-level pitchers, hilariously small sample size, etc.), but, in the apologizing, it’s easy to forget: this is a guy who is expected to be a quality defensive outfielder, too. That has value, and that part is harder to see in the numbers.
- While C.J. Edwards won the MiLB.com staff-selected pitcher of the year award, fellow Cubs pitching prospect Kyle Hendricks finished second – behind Giants prospect Ty Blach – in the fan voting for the same award.
- If you were into the salary escalation piece I wrote yesterday in the wake of the Tim Lincecum deal, you will be very into a FanGraphs piece on a related topic: how front offices are valuing starting pitchers.