I did not crack open a couple beers and watch ‘The Bachelor’ – the freaking preview show – last night with The Wife. If someone tells you otherwise, he’s a dirty liar.
- Although it probably won’t be met with quite as much fanfare as the Ted Lilly retirement, another Cub from that era has hung ‘em up, and it’s the guy whose time with the Cubs ended via the same trade that ended Lilly’s time with the club: Ryan Theriot. That comes via Chris Cotillo, who notes that Theriot didn’t actually play in 2013. Once the kind of gritty, scrappy guy that sets Cubs fans’ hearts atwitter, Theriot lost a chunk of those fans when he made some ill-advised remarks upon joining the Cardinals for the 2011 season (something about finally being on the “right side” of the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry), where he ended up winning a World Series. He won another one with the Giants the next year, proving that the Cubs truly are cursed. I don’t bear Theriot any ill-will, the Cardinals comments notwithstanding. Theriot was living proof that guys can blossom late, and the prospecting game can be wildly wrong about certain players. He was the primary shortstop on the two best Cubs teams in recent memory – 2007 and 2008 – and he should get appropriate love for that, if nothing else (plus his .387 OBP in 2008 was just fantastic – was worth 3.3 wins that year).
- The question is: will Theriot be invited to, and then participate in, next week’s Cubs Convention?
- Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times annually projects vote totals for the Hall of Fame ballot, and he’s gotten pretty good at it. This year, he’s got Greg Maddux at 99% (as we discussed, he almost certainly won’t be unanimous, even though he should be), Tom Glavine at 94%, Frank Thomas at 85%, and Craig Biggio at 76%. From there, the narrow misses are Mike Piazza (71%), Jack Morris (70%), and Jeff Bagwell (62%). Tim Raines is next at an even 50%, before you get down into the PED guys.
- Speaking of the continued Hall of Fame debate, Jack Morris – the pitcher of the ’80s to some people who weren’t paying attention – is something of a flashpoint for “traditional” baseball voters and modern, statistically-inclined voters. The memories say he was a Hall of Famer, but the numbers say he wasn’t even close. Know what else says Morris wasn’t a Hall of Famer? His former teammate, Lou Whitaker. Well, at least he’s saying that if he and Alan Trammell aren’t in, Morris shouldn’t be either.
- Bryan Cole at Beyond the Boxscore does some MIT-level shit to determine whether the concept of “saving the bullpen” actually holds any water. Conclusion? Not really. Leaving a starter out there to try and rest up the bullpen for future games does not appear to have an appreciable impact on the team’s success in those future games.
- The calendar has turned, and there are lots of opening days to start looking forward to – like Iowa’s.
- Your prospect porn moment of the day:
Cubs prospect Javier Baez: a guy who could hit like Giancarlo Stanton, while playing shortstop.
— johnsickels (@MinorLeagueBall) January 5, 2014
- Jay looks at some of the playoff action from the NFL this weekend, among other Bears Bullets.
- On the comments: I would just like to say that, in the first week since the move to requiring registration for commenting, I have been deeply pleased with the markedly improved discourse around here. It’s probably a combination of the intent of the change (to reduce drive-by jerks), the time of the year, and some kind of variation of the Hawthorne Effect, but I just wanted to commend folks. Tons of great discussions in the comments over the past week, and very little pissing.