Be advised: Cubs brass will be in South Bend this morning to participate in a press conference about their new Low-A affiliate there. There will be a new team name, logo, etc., and maybe some additional interesting bits. I’ll be listening in, and you can, too, right here. Things start at 8am CT, 9am ET.
- The New York Yankees were eliminated from playoff contention yesterday for the second straight season. In 2013, the team had a payroll around $230 million, and this year, it was around $210 million (though they made a bunch of midseason additions that might have increased that). The 2014 iteration came after a spending splurge in which the Yankees added Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran, among others.
- I won’t ask you to take away a lesson too grand from just one team, but the Yankees’ situation does seem to underscore something about the new era of baseball. To be sure, spending huge in free agency and having a massive payroll can help prop up the competitiveness of a given team, and you should regard suspiciously anyone who tells you payroll doesn’t matter at all. But going that external big-spending route, alone, as the Yankees have for the last several years, seems not to be a particularly attractive path for consistent regular season success (the only kind of success you can really shoot for). And as you look ahead into the Yankees’ future, there isn’t a lot to love … other than the ability to keep trying to paper over the mistakes with more money. That kind of cycle builds upon itself, and maybe the Yankees will simply sport a $300 million payroll by 2018 (with a $120 million luxury tax hit, to boot).
- As a contrast to the Cubs, we recently talked about these very Yankees, and the possible problems in their future.
- Patrick Mooney spoke with Anthony Rizzo about the changes at Wrigley and the positive steps forward for the Cubs. Good stuff is coming, man. It just is.
- John Baker is becoming the latest cult hero among Cubs fans (rightly so), and Sahadev Sharma speaks with him about a possible future in coaching.
- Cubs closer Hector Rondon was hitting 99 mph in the 9th inning last night. That is all.
- Jon Greenberg writes about the immediate future for the Cubs and Wrigley Field, and the necessity of showing additional progress next year.
- A really fun, interesting read from Eno Sarris, interviewing Brandon Moss (with Adam Dunn jumping in) about advanced metrics and plate approach.