Last night’s was the kind of Game 7 you’re hoping for: close, great plays, stuff to debate, and an enduring performance. That last one belongs to Madison Bumgarner, who pitched the final five innings on two days rest and gave up nothing. For the series, he pitched 21 innings and gave up just one earned run. That’s silly stuff on the biggest stage. Good on him.
Also: Bumgarner just turned 25, and is on a team-friendly deal through 2019. Good on the Giants.
It was a great year for the Royals, and you don’t want that to get lost in the Giants dynasty stuff. I like that the Royals “went for it” before the 2013 season, and it mostly paid off for them.
And now the offseason is here! More on that, and on the possible imminence of a Joe Maddon move, soon. Until then, Bullets …
- While we await the Chicago Cubs’ new TV deal – which could possibly be a mere short-term (five years) deal for the expiring WGN games, or could be a longer term deal involving the full slate after 2019 – there’s another big-time TV deal coming. The Arizona Diamondbacks’ deal with Fox Sports expires after the 2015 season, but Nick Piecoro reports that the Diamondbacks are getting close to a new deal for 15 to 20 years, and worth as much as two or three times their current $31 million deal. Once that new deal kicks in, you can expect the Diamondbacks to join the ranks of the “changed” teams that suddenly can spend in the upper half of the league. No, $90 million per year is not the $200 million per year the Phillies just signed up for or the $300+ million per year the Dodgers got a couple years ago, but it’s a huge amount of money for a market like Phoenix, and is another good sign that the Cubs will eventually be able to get their big bucks. Remember: the Cubs don’t need a crazy $300 million deal to support the kind of payroll we’d like them to have. For me, approaching the luxury tax cap – once the TV deal money starts flowing – is plenty. Right now, that cap sits at $189 million, and the Cubs wouldn’t even need a $200 million TV deal, when combined with other revenues, to support that kind of payroll. None of this is coming quickly, but, with patience, I think you’ll see the Cubs as a top tier spending team at some point in the next decade.
- For now, however, the Cubs have so much payroll flexibility (and young talent already in place) that, as we’ve discussed, they can do a whole lot over the next two years and still not even have a payroll far north of $100 million. I expect it to continue growing organically from there. A sudden, rapid spike is not necessary for the team to be competitive, and is probably not advisable long-term.
- Bijan Rademacher finally had a down game in the AFL, but Dan Vogelbach picked him up by stealing a base.
- I love the Royals fans in the kitty singlets.
- I made a new Saber Shorts video on wRC+ yesterday, which I posted seconds before the Cubs announced some roster moves, and about an hour before the Joe Maddon rumors broke. So you probably missed the video. Watch it here: