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chicago cubs logo featureToday is Black Friday, the shopping-iest day of the year. I won’t be at the stores, but I will be checking out Amazon throughout the day for their lightning deals. Full disclosure: BN has a promotional relationship with Amazon such that, when you shop at Amazon using this link, it supports BN financially. Additional full disclosure: I may have set an alarm so that I could wake up at 3:20am to take advantage of the lightning deal on the latest season of ‘Mad Men’ on Blu-ray.

So, yeah. Do some shopping today from the comfort of your own home and avoid the crowds. Buy stuff at Amazon and use this link. Consumption!

  • And, on the flip side of consuming for yourself, you can also do some good for others. That’s what the Cubs are doing by inviting fans to donate to a toy drive at the Cubs store across from Wrigley Field, up until December 4 at 5:30pm. That’s when the Cubs will hold a holiday event there at Wrigley – tree lighting and all that – to conclude their 100 Gifts of Service campaign (the Cubs have been doing service-oriented things in the community all year-long). You can read more on the event and the toy drive here.
  • There’s an organizational discussion going on about the Cubs over at Minor League Ball. It’s always interesting to see how fans of other teams are perceiving the Cubs’ system.
  • A crazy and fun post from Chris Kamka over at CSN, where he tells you some anomalous Cubs statistical things from 2014 by setting them up backwards. It’ll make more sense when you read it.
  • Paul Sullivan writes about the potential that some or all of the bleachers will not be available for use by Opening Day (discussed here), and concludes that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal.
  • A cricketer in Australia, Phillip Hughes, was struck by a bouncer – the MLB equivalent of a high-and-tight brushback pitch – and passed away two days later. It’s a sad, tragic story, and serves to reinforce for me why I cringe every time I see a retaliation pitch in baseball.
  • Vine – the six-second video platform that is integrated with Twitter – is now allowing push notifications. Relevance? Well, TechGraphs sees the possibility for sports teams and leagues to send highlights immediately to end users via Vine’s notifications. I think that’s a fantastic idea, but it would require those teams/leagues understanding that it’s more valuable to improve engagement on a social platform than to control the distribution of six-second highlight videos. MLB, for its part, is getting better about that kind of thing, but I’m not sure they would want to do it for a huge number of highlights every day.
  • Baseball Prospectus holds a series of ballpark events each year, and their event at Miller Park in Milwaukee is May 9 when the Brewers play the Cubs. They’re only selling 65 tickets to the event, so I’m assuming it’s going to sell out fairly quickly. I went to the event there last year – wasn’t even a Cubs game – and it was a lot of fun. So, I’m going again this year – this time, it is a Cubs game! – and if you want to join in, here’s more information and how you order.
  • If you missed this morning’s news, Pedro Strop was involved in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Details are spotty, but the earliest information looks encouraging.

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