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scoreboard standings flagsWe are just one week away from Black Friday, for which I used to do the get-up-at-4-am thing. I wasn’t even always into the deals when I did it, but I just loved the experience. If you’ve ever done it, you know how crazy that sounds, but I thought it was fun being in that sea of humanity, doing ridiculous things to save $2 on an Elmo doll. The Wife, The Brother-In-Law and I would make a whole morning of it, complete with donuts. So much fun.

I’d like to think that someday I’ll do it again, but having the small children has made it trickier. The other thing that’s made it trickier is how much I enjoy Amazon’s various promotions in advance of, and then on, Black Friday. They do a whole deals week thing – going on now – and then they have lightning deals throughout Thanksgiving weekend. You don’t know exactly what it’s going to be until the moment arrives (though there’s usually a clue), and then you usually have to grab it quickly or it’s gone. I got a carseat and a small trampoline last year for absurd prices because I was ready to pounce. Literally by the time I finished checking out (less than a minute), the deals were gone.

So, yes, this is me sharing an anecdote, and also pimping Amazon, which is very convenient for me now, because BN has a promotional relationship with Amazon. I say good things about them, encourage you to shop there, and BN gets a little financial support when you buy things using this link. I would be saying these things about Amazon anyway, as I have to friends and family for years. Lightning deals! How could you not love it?

  • Although it wasn’t in the originally released schedule (which was subject to change/additions), Mark Gonzales hears from an A’s source that the Cubs will be doing their annual Las Vegas trip in Spring Training, where they’ll play the A’s with a split squad on March 13 and 14.
  • David Schoenfield with some interesting, random thoughts on the NL Central. Every time I look at something like that, I’m reminded of just how good the NL Central could be next year … or just how bad. Maybe the Cubs don’t take a step forward. Maybe the Brewers and Reds continue to slide. Maybe the Pirates don’t overcome their free agent losses. Maybe the Cardinals’ rotation is a mess. The reality will probably find a couple teams having a great year, a couple having a middling year, and then a team sunk at the bottom. Until the offseason plays out, however, it’s still really hard to know. I do know this: it’s fun to be in a position where I actually care how the rest of the teams in the Central are shaking out because there’s a chance that the Cubs might actually be competitive next year.
  • Speaking of Schoenfield, here’s a heck of a fun read: if Babe Ruth got a 13-year deal a la Giancarlo Stanton, while at Stanton’s age, how much would Ruth have been worth in today’s dollars? If Stanton is projected to be worth right around the $325 million he’ll get, what does your gut say on Ruth before you look? Do you know, off-hand, just how good Ruth was? How disproportionately good? I’ll spoil the final number for you, but you should read Schoenfield’s piece for the discussion. Ruth, on a 13-year deal at age 25 would have been worth more than $1 billion. Don’t take this kind of calculation as gospel or read it for more than it is. It’s just supposed to be fun. And it is.
  • We know that the rash of pitcher injuries has a great deal to do with things that are happening long before these pitchers become professionals, and MLB is taking steps to help address that problem.
  • Robert Feder reports that 87.7 The Game is being shuttered by the Tribune/WGN, which is a shame. It’s pretty hard to get a foothold in just 9 months (especially at 87.7 FM), and there were a lot of talented, up-and-coming radio types over there. Hopefully they find new gigs without having to leave Chicago.
  • Yesterday was 40-man roster deadline day for Rule 5 purposes (the Cubs added C.J. Edwards), and John Manuel relates a humorous Theo Epstein story:

  • In case you’re wondering, the Red Sox lost Wil Ledezma and Jerome Gamble in the 2002 Rule 5 Draft. Neither came back to haunt the Red Sox. The 19th pick that year, incidentally, was a young Shane Victorino, by the Padres. He lasted with them only a couple months before being sent back whence he came (the Dodgers). He was later selected again in the Rule 5 Draft by the Phillies, who subsequently decided they didn’t want him on the big league roster, offered him back to the Dodgers, and the Dodgers declined. Victorino was then a Phillies minor leaguer free and clear. From there, he finally broke out at age 25. Quite a story.

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