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jeff samardzija gatorade showerI was flipping through my Amazon Prime last night, looking for something to watch before bed, and I noticed ‘The Sopranos.’ I thought to myself, but that’s an HBO show … what’s it doing on Prime, for free? Dug into it, and it turns out that HBO and Amazon just worked a deal where Amazon Prime is getting a whole bunch of HBO shows in its collection. Since I am an ardent supporter of all things Amazon Prime, and I also have each of ‘The Sopranos,’ ‘Six Feet Under,’ and ‘The Wire’ in my list of top five shows all-time (all of which are now free on Prime), this presented a perfect opportunity for me to tell you to sign up for a free trial of Prime. Yes, I get a referral fee if you sign up, but I would totally tell you do it anyway, if for no other reason than to watch those three shows immediately (don’t start with ‘The Wire’ – it’s the “toughest” of the three to “get,” but easily the most rewarding … save it). You also get the other main Prime benefit: free two-day shipping on pretty much everything you order. We use that *a lot.*

And while I’m reminding you about BN’s promotional relationship with Amazon, I’ll also remind you that you can support BN by shopping at Amazon via this link (or just by remembering bleachernation.com/amazon). That link takes you to Amazon.com, but it tells Amazon that you came from BN because I told you of its awesomeness. Use it whenever you shop at Amazon, which should be all the time, because of the aforementioned awesomeness. Thank you for your time. /solicitation

  • As you well know by now, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series Jeff Samardzija got his first “win” yesterday, a moment for which he got a beer shower from teammates (that’s actually pretty swell). Here’s Samardzija’s quote on the whole thing, now that he finally has a win (Cubs.com): “People try to downplay the record thing, but as a starting pitcher, I think it’s important. I care, I want to keep working hard and come out every day and try to get a win. That’s all you can do.” I’ve got no problem with Samardzija feeling that way, but – obviously – I do still very much have a problem with the statistic, and I went off a bit on Twitter yesterday after seeing that quote. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, so I’ll just share my string of tweets on the subject:

  • I don’t want to under-emphasize that last one. By continuously ridiculing the pitcher W/L stat, I believe I’m doing the right thing by the fans, which is to say: improving their overall baseball-enjoying experience by expanding their understanding of what they’re seeing (just as others have done, and continue to do, for me). What I am not doing is ridiculing the pitchers or players who care about the pitcher W/L stat. In the most sincere way, I say: whatever floats their boat. I understand that the stat “matters” to players, and, so it’s OK for them to care about it. I don’t want to see it impacting in-game decisions or the health of a player, obviously, but, other than that, go for it.
  • … but in 10 years, I want to see this stat go the way of the dodo. And I’ll continue to do my part.
  • It’s not that uncommon for guys to say the right things upon being demoted, but I’m not sure I’ve seen someone have quite the attitude that Ryan Kalish has about his diminished playing time, and his option to Iowa yesterday: “I just know I need to play,” Kalish told Cubs.com. “I haven’t played in so long, and playing time now has been a little sparse. It makes sense. I didn’t expect to be here at this point. I’m ready to go get my playing time, work on my game and get back [as soon as possible] …. I’m at a point where it’s almost redevelopment that I have to do. I’m going to go work on my game, and we’ll see what happens. I’m confident I’ll be back at some point.” Kalish is clearly a great makeup guy, and he’s already worked so hard just to get back to playing at all, so maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s got a great attitude about this. I hope he works out the kinks, and plays his way into a long-term – albeit probably complementary – role with the Cubs.
  • Ricky Renteria tells CSN that Kalish will be back at some point.
  • Arizona Phil reports at TCR that reliever Kyuji Fujikawa has thrown three times in the last week in extended Spring Training games. You may recall that Fujikawa was very close to returning to the bigs (June 2013 Tommy John surgery) several weeks ago, way ahead of schedule, when he had something of a setback. If he’s throwing three times in a week now, though, he could be getting close to a rehab assignment. Because he was injured most of last year, and has been rehabbing since his surgery, we’ve still never really gotten a good look at what he has to offer. If he’s healthy, odds are, he’s probably pretty darn good (which would make the Cubs’ bullpen borderline excellent).

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