dave martinez raysMy showers just got a lot longer.

That sounds bad.

What I mean is, The Wife bought bluetooth shower speaker from Amazon (I can’t seem to find the exact model on there, but there are tons of good, cheap ones, apparently), and I’m in heaven. I feel pretty dopey for not considering this thing’s existence before now, but I can listen to podcasts or watch video (by propping my iPhone up just outside the shower) while showering instead of just standing there and washing myself like an idiot. I can only imagine that, in time, I will become permanently pruned, living most of my life in the shower, not unlike Kramer.

  • The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Brad Ausmus will be fired by the Tigers at the end of the season, which makes sense given the disappointing season, some questionable decisions, and the organizational turnover. It doesn’t make sense that they’d make him manage out the rest of the year before firing him if they already know their decision, but that’s only a few weeks, I guess. I mention this up front because it reminded me, together with Michael’s post yesterday on executive-level rumors from around the league, that there is potentially going to be a large number of managerial openings this offseason. And the reason I mentionĀ that is because this Jon Greenberg article about bench coach Dave Martinez reminded me that the Cubs have one of the most rock-star-y managerial candidate coaches on staff.
  • Martinez, the long-time number two to Joe Maddon and a well-respected thinker and coach, has long been one of the first guys without managerial experience you hear mentioned for various managerial openings. Indeed, he was one of the Cubs’ candidates back in late 2013 (incidentally, together with Brad Ausmus) when the team hired Rick Renteria (himself then a rock-star-y managerial candidate without previous managerial experience). Greenberg’s article is a fantastic view into Martinez’s role with the Cubs, and, previously, the Rays, and just how important he is to the club’s success. You also get a great view into why he’s considered a top candidate every year, and scratch your head a bit as to why he hasn’t been given the reins by any organization yet. Get ready for an offseason of rumors and possibly interviews by not only Martinez, but by up-and-comers in the Cubs’ front office, too. This is what happens when you build a stable of incredible talented individuals.
  • We’re starting to get close to the time to discuss the 25-man playoff roster – for me, there are still several weeks before the Wild Card Game, and so much can happen in the interim that I’m not quite there yet (the roster is re-set at each round of the playoffs) – and Joe Maddon discusses Javier Baez and Jorge Soler here at CSN. The implications there are that Baez, because of his defensive value, alone, will probably make the cut when the time comes. Soler, on the other hand, would need to show that he’s healthy and effective by then in games, otherwise it’s too risky to throw him right out there into such a huge game (or games, if the Cubs are fortunate to continue on). Soler is able to hit now, but his simulated game got bumped by yesterday’s rain.
  • Speaking of Baez – his increasing presence in the infield has pushed Kris Bryant increasingly to the outfield, where the Cubs are closely monitoring his throws because they don’t want to see his mechanics get out of whack vis a vis his infield throws (it’s a different, shorter stroke, essentially), per CSN.
  • The Cubs’ rotation has been shuffled for the next five days.
  • Great read from Jeff Sullivan on J.A. Happ’s dominance with the Pirates since the Trade Deadline – there are some very real changes to his game, but there’s also a whole lot of small sample bad opponents in there, skewing his numbers.
  • And a great read from Sahadev Sharma on Welington Castillo’s resurgence with the Diamondbacks.
  • Scoreboard Watching earlier, with a discussion about what makes for the best Wild Card Game scenario.
  • This is pretty awesome:

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