Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, it is, for most people, a day off from work. The question here is whether Christmas falling on a Wednesday is gumming up folks’ work week. I’m guessing that a lot of folks are getting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, but are supposed to be in the ole’ office today. And then maybe back on Thursday and Friday. Were Christmas any other day of the week, I bet the time off would have been attached to a weekend on one side or the other. If that’s all correct, for those of you in the office today, I’ll hazard a guess that you’re not going to be all that productive today. Well, BN is here to serve …
- CSN Chicago is going through the top 13 stories of 2013, and offers a thoughtful write-up on Dale Sveum’s arc as manager of the Cubs this year. There were successes and failures, though Sveum’s tenure will almost certainly be most remembered for the historic number of losses piled up in his two seasons. That, of course, is an unfair legacy given the organizational rebuild, but history tends to remember only the wins and losses where managers are concerned. What will I remember? I’m a nerd, so the defensive shifts will be high on the list. Relatively solid lineups and platoon usage. Bringing Chris Bosio into the organization. And, of course, the Bunt Tournament.
- Speaking of 13 for 13, the Chicago Tribune reviews the 13 worst sports-related decisions in Chicago this year, and Dale Sveum’s remark about sending Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo to AAA to work out their early-season issues made the list. I still don’t think he was exactly saying what folks thought he was saying, and, at the time, even Jed Hoyer said he understood and agreed with the point Sveum was trying to make.
- FanGraphs writes up the Detroit Tigers’ seemingly bizarre offseason, and, although it doesn’t quite go as far as saying it makes perfect sense, there is a discussion of how the Tigers are trying to lengthen their competitive window. It’s rare to see a dominant team take affirmative steps to pull back the reins in an offseason, but that’s what the Tigers have done. Will they pay for it next year since they probably gave up a marginal win or two?
- Just how good were the new Cubs relievers last year? Mike takes a look over at the Message Board (and remember: “new” includes guys who arrived midseason by way of trade or promotion like Pedro Strop or Blake Parker).