It recently came to my attention – thanks, bro – that my wallet situation is a real life George Costanza. It was one of those things you live with, and it expands so slowly that you don’t really notice until someone shines the spotlight on it. My actual wallet really wasn’t far off from the joke version of a bloated wallet on a sitcom. That’s … bad. So I did some cleaning out yesterday, but now I have a new problem: the leather had been so stretched by years of overloading that now stuff just falls out, because it’s all loose.
So, I’m perusing wallets on Amazon, because obviously (obligatory: shop at Amazon using the links on BN, and you support BN!), and I’m a bit overwhelmed. I can’t decide if I want to go minimalistic, or if I want to stick with the tri-fold I’ve always had. I guess I should treat this as an opportunity to reduce how much stuff I’m carrying around. Do I really still need my Best Buy Rewards Zone card when I haven’t been inside a Best Buy in a decade?
- Starlin Castro figures to be a significant subject of conversation this offseason, though I suspect Cubs fans will find it less obnoxious this time around. Last year, coming off a great season, and without anyone else established in the middle infield, it seemed like we heard incessantly about how the Cubs had to trade Castro on the assumption that he’d be forced out eventually. It was tedious. But, then, after such a unique season in 2015 – one that saw Castro slump to the deepest depths, accept a re-assignment, and then flourish – and after seeing that the Cubs do now have some other established big league options in the middle infield, it just feels like there’s more flexibility to actually have even-handed discussions about whether shopping Castro is the right move for the Cubs. For me, I want some time to consider Castro’s value, both to the Cubs and on the trade market, before I get too deeply into it (hey, we’ve got quite a bit of time before anything would actually happen). I suspect, though, I’m going to be able to see it both ways.
- In the interim, you can read a great piece from Patrick Mooney on the subject of Castro and the Cubs’ possible offseason paths. You can also reacquaint yourself with just how good Castro was after he was moved to second base. It’s jarring and incredible.
- Baseball America notes that the Cubs have released Tsuyoshi Wada, about which you might think I have some things to say, but you have to remember: Wada was a free agent, had already been outrighted off of the 40-man roster, and was always going to be heading into free agency. So this is purely a procedural move, and no change in status. Wada is a free agent who may try to find another gig in MLB on a minor league deal, or may head back to Japan to continue his career.
- Executives voted on the All-Star teams for Sporting News, and, although there were no Cubs, that didn’t surprise me all that much. I was surprised, however, given that it was executives voting, that (1) Zack Greinke took the starter spot over Jake Arrieta and Clayton Kershaw, (2) Yadier Molina got votes to be the catcher (though Buster Posey got the spot, obviously), and (3) someone(s) voted Matt Kemp – he of the .265/.312/.443 line and 0.4(!) WAR – as one of the three starting outfielders. Seriously. At least one baseball executive picked him as one of the top three outfielders in the NL this year. I can only assume it was on the strength of his 100 RBI, about which I would be utterly terrified if that was an executive associated with my organization.
- A very, very interesting (if you’re a huge nerd, which I am, and most of you are) analysis of wind direction at all 30 MLB stadiums. Something I found interesting: Wrigley Field is the only park in the NL Central where the wind frequently blows in. At the other four parks, when the wind is blowing (and, to be sure, none of the other parks are quite like Wrigley), it’s generally blowing out, or to one of the corners.
- A humorous take on the Fox broadcast interruption on Tuesday.
- If you missed the big executive news in baseball this morning, Alex Anthopoulos is out in Toronto. Also, lots of managerial movement.
- Also earlier: World Series bits on the now 2-0 Royals lead over the Mets, including the high-contact conversation I think folks will be having.
- This is awesome, and also DAYUM-SORIANO-GOT-SOME-ARMS!: