Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

javier baez aflTaking the kiddos to an aquarium today, which is the kind of self-contained wonder that seems easiest for a couple of on-the-go youngsters these days.

  • Andy MacPhail was Theo Epstein with the Cubs before Theo Epstein was Theo Epstein with the Cubs, or so the narrative goes. A good read from Patrick Mooney on MacPhail, and his thoughts about the Cubs’ gig. In the piece, there are more quotes still from Epstein on the unrealistic nature of counting solely on a core of prospects to come up and turn your team into a winner. That’s a great point, but, this time around, it wasn’t really offered in tandem with thoughts on why that makes it so important for the Cubs to add some quality veteran players to help ease the transition of the youngsters (and to help hide their struggles in the early years). Instead, it was mostly offered as a reminder to fans to be patient when the youngsters come up and struggle (if they make it at all). I’ve got no problem with that point, and it’s quite right, but there’s a tenuous balance right now between the marketing machine of the Cubs that is all about selling us on the prospect core – since there obviously isn’t going to be significant spending at the big league level right now (which is still arguably the right approach) – and the reality that you don’t want your fans expecting that prospects will be a panacea (as Epstein puts it). Which is it? Are we supposed to focus on the prospects with all our vigor and dollars, or are we supposed to understand that they’re fun to dream on, but success is not guaranteed? This offseason might not be the right one to bring in the veteran talent, for any number of reasons. But, next year? Even if just to help the prospect transition and increase the likelihood of general success, it should be.
  • Gammons Daily has a short blurb on Kris Bryant, though it’s mostly just a “hey, did you notice that this kid had a ridiculous time in the Arizona Fall League?” kind of thing. Yes, we did notice. Guaranteed success! Er, I mean ….

  • Mark Grace is back in baseball, having accepted a job as the hitting coach for the Diamondbacks’ A-ball team. I guess he was technically involved in player development last year, too.
  • Fergie Jenkins is Canadian, so of course he’s awesome at hockey.
  • The Renterias and their offseason/holidays.

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