The Little Boy is home with me this morning awaiting a doctor’s appointment, so I’ll be in and out a bit early on today. To the extent he’s letting me get a little work done, however, I say this: I’m all about enrichment and development and what-have-you, but thank heavens this kid finally started to appreciate the sometimes-necessary babysitter that is television.
- You may dislike the Yankees (I do). You may think the Derek Jeter farewell has been overdone (I do). But what happened last night in Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium was baseball magic. With a three-run lead in the 9th, David Robertson gave up two homers to allow the Orioles to tie it, even as everyone was eagerly anticipating that final Jeter farewell. That moment felt spoiled for only a brief second, though, as folks realized Jeter would bat third in the bottom of the 9th, with a chance to do something special. But would that really happen? How often do scripts play out like that? Well, as I said, it was baseball magic.
- Hector Rondon is unquestionably the Cubs’ closer going forward, and there’s a great piece at Cubs.com about his year and some mentorship he received from Carlos Villanueva.
- Tony Andracki with more from the South Bend Cubs press conference yesterday over at CSN. One thing I noticed Theo Epstein say while I was watching: Manny Ramirez does want to stay in the Cubs’ organization long-term, but the timing of that and the role are still unclear.
- Thanks to an incredibly ill-timed rain delay, Twins starter Phil Hughes missed out on a $500,000 innings pitched bonus by 1/3 of an inning. The Twins then offered to let him pitch out of the bullpen this weekend so he could reach the mark, but Hughes declined, not wanting to throw a token frame just to get a bonus. It was an incredible year for the pitcher the Twins signed for a song: 6.1 WAR and 2.65 FIP over 209.2 innings, and a record-setting 11.63 K/BB ratio (his career mark: 3.23). In one season, Hughes outpitched the value of his three-year, $24 million contract by more than $12 million.
- Jeff Passan offers 25 interesting things about baseball this year.
- The Goose Island on Clark just south of Wrigley Field is closing after the landlord there would not offer a guarantee of a lease through the next baseball season (Tribune). It sounds like the owner of the property was looking to redevelop anyway, and Goose Island was going to be out for next year regardless of whether they stayed this offseason (which is not profitable, for obvious reasons). I’ll be more intrigued to learn what will happen with the new development than sad about losing Goose Island, whose beer is still readily available elsewhere. My instinct? With the Wrigley development coming soon (which could feature food and drink), property in the area will not only become more valuable generally, but also for commercial uses that work in tandem with the Wrigley development, rather than compete with it.
- Ten years ago this week was the best of times and the worst of times: while the Cubs were in the midst of choking away a playoff nod (LaTroy Hawkins and Victor Diaz will forever burn like a tire fire in my memory), the greatest network show of all-time premiered. That would be ‘LOST,’ and Grantland’s Andy Greenwald perfectly sums up what was so special about that show and the place in time where it happened to emerge, shepherding the collective from a place where we experienced things together only with those people who happened to be in our geographic bubble to a place where we felt like we were experiencing things together with virtually everyone. ‘LOST’ presaged the Twitter viewing experience – like watching a Cubs game “together” with folks across the web – among many, many other pioneering things. Even if you never liked ‘LOST,’ it’s cultural importance is undeniable – just as the amount of success, both commercial and critical, it was able to achieve despite network limitations is undeniable. Greenwald’s piece is fantastic, and you must read it if you liked ‘LOST’ at all. But, hey, Andy: the finale wasn’t that bad.