The movie with The Little Girl yesterday was a fantastic experience. She sat pleasantly throughout, reacting appropriately to things that happened, chatting afterward about her favorite parts. The movie, itself – Disney’s ‘Frozen’ – was adequate. I didn’t hate it. That’s as far as I can go, given my predisposition to hating all of the new breed of Pixar-type Disney movies. I actually chuckled a couple times, in spite of myself (the snowman guy is the type of character that usually grates on me, but he was actually funny). The Wife really liked it, The Little Girl loved it, and I’m sure the average father would find it plenty enjoyable. Saying I didn’t hate it is actually high praise for that type of movie.
- The vast majority of you reading this are Chicago Cubs fans. A small chunk of you are also Chicago Bears fans, but, for those of you who aren’t, I thought it worth contextualizing what happened to Chicago’s football team yesterday. Imagine that the Cubs and Cardinals head into the last series of the year atop the NL Central standings (but neither with a chance to claim a Wild Card spot). Having split the first two games of the series, it is all coming down to the final game of the year. It’s a back-and-forth affair, with the Cubs taking a one-run lead into the top of the 9th. The Cubs’ closer comes on – choose your avatar – and gives up a seeing-eye single, and then walks the next batter. He strikes out the next two, and the Cubs are on the precipice of the playoffs. That’s when Matt Holliday cracks a three-run homer to give the Cardinals a two-run lead. In the bottom of the 9th, the Cubs put a runner on base, but that’s it. Cubs lose. Cardinals head to the playoffs. That’s what happened to the Bears yesterday. Treat the Bears fans among you gently today.
- Another day, and another prospecting pundit hints at the Cubs dominating upcoming top XX lists: Baseball America’s Ben Badler says that the Cubs, who have “one of the strongest systems in baseball,” will have five members of the top 50 when BA’s list comes out. Baseball America has already released its top ten list for the Cubs’ system, so we know that the five will be Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, C.J. Edwards, Albert Almora, and Jorge Soler, in that order. BA is obviously much higher on Edwards than Baseball Prospectus, though he’s going to be a top 100 type on every list.
- Speaking of the system, John Sickels will soon be doing his top 20 list for the Cubs, and he’s putting out the call for folks to discuss their thoughts.
- The Chicago Tribune looks at the top 13 “finest” from 2013, which includes just one Cubs mention: the successful negotiation of the Wrigley Field renovation deal with the City of Chicago. If you’ve followed that story at all throughout 2013, you know that the fact that it is the sole “finest” thing for the Cubs this year pretty much sums things up. With no deal yet announced between the Cubs and the rooftops that are threatening to sue to shut down the Cubs’ efforts to erect outfield signage, the renovation hasn’t actually started yet. There’s always next year …
- Mark Simon looks at the defensive moves in the NL this offseason, and, as you already know, there’s not much to say about the Cubs. They’ve added Justin Ruggiano to the outfield mix. Full stop.
- Dan Shaughnessy really wants our attention for writing things like this (and I hate myself for giving him that attention): “[Frank] Thomas had a Popeye body, but was never suspected of being a ’roids guy. Lucky him. This is where we go off the rails. Like Thomas, guys such as [Mike] Piazza and [Jeff] Bagwell have Hall of Fame numbers and never tested positive for PEDs. But they look dirty. Something doesn’t make sense. Thomas makes sense.” That’s it. That’s his entire reason for excluding Piazza and Bagwell from his ballot.
- Can someone explain to me the insight – hell, the point – of this New York Times piece on the Cubs’ recent losing? The internal confusion exists even within single sentences: “Players who might have kept the Cubs reliably mediocre — Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano, Paul Maholm, David DeJesus — have been exchanged for the quicksilver of minor league prospects.” So … keeping the players would have been bad … but trading them for prospects is also worthy of derision?