Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

kris bryant cubs battingHopefully The Wife doesn’t mind me saying, but I do most of the cooking in our house. I’m decent at it, I don’t mind it, and I work at home, so it’s easier for me to prepare things that require more time in the oven or crockpot. Last night, she had me make her some pumpkin pancakes from a clean eating recipe she’d found, for eating today. I did as instructed and followed the recipe – pumpkin guts, eggs, oats, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, all blended – and they kinda looked like pancakes, though the taste was more eggy than pancakey. I suspect she’s trying them right about the time I am typing this sentence, so hopefully they’re acceptable. It gave me some ideas, though, for how to make some very un-clean eating pumpkin pancakes that would undoubtedly taste amazing. With some leftover pumpkin guts, I might get on that today.

  • I mentioned it some time ago, and I’ll say it again: steel yourself against the wave of “here’s how the Royals won it all, and how your team should try to be more like that” pieces. There are lessons to be learned about playoff performance, to be sure, but they are both teeny and tiny, and, since we already know that the bulk of what a team can really control is getting to the playoffs in the first place (something a team like the Cubs did by winning 97 dang games), there’s just not that much to be gleaned from one team’s playoff run. I find this David Cameron piece to be the acceptable limit of what you can really take away from this particular Royals team winning in these particular playoffs. A little more emphasis on depth, and a little more emphasis on defense. That’s probably all you should really get out of this, and it’s also something teams should have been shifting to years ago, given the changes in the game. That said: there is more than one way to skin a baseball.
  • This one by Sahadev Sharma could fit into that genre if you were inclined, but he’s not really making it about Royals versus Cubs. Instead, it’s just a really good read on the value of improving contact, and how the Cubs can get there.

  • You almost can’t believe the year Javy Baez had when you look back on it. From the big leagues in 2014 to almost making the team out of Spring Training in 2015 (remember the conflicting reports about that?), to his sister passing away, to the time away from baseball, to the comeback, to the learning third base, to the just-about-ready-to-be-called-back-up-then-broken-finger, to the rehab, to the comeback, to the finally coming back up. And now, he’s going to have to deal with rumors all offseason about whether he’ll be traded, whether the Cubs will have a starting job for him, or whether he’ll become a utility guy.
  • Tony Andracki writes more about Baez here at CSN, with some quotes from the man, himself.
  • Russell Carleton checks in on the math of the DH, and *surprise*: it’s an unfair advantage for the American League when their teams face a National League team. We already knew this – and it’s one of my primary reasons for pushing for the DH in the NL – but it’s nice to see the math of it.
  • If you missed the shocker earlier: Dusty Baker is the new manager of the Washington Nationals.

META: You can shout louder if you think I’m getting a misread on the comments from yesterday, but the overall sense I got (you can’t please everyone, of course) is that the Twitter feed widget in the sidebar there to the right* could go away, and the reaction from most folks would range from a shoulder shrug to a “well, that kind of sucks, but I’ll be OK.”

I’m doing other work behind the scenes on the site this week, so you may not see the widget disappear immediately, but this is your notice that, absent a surprisingly compelling last-minute argument to the contrary, I’m going to ditch it in favor of slightly better site performance.

*(I think some folks thought I was talking about BN not using Twitter anymore, which is DEFINITELY not the case. I am obsessed with Twitter. Nothing about how I use Twitter will change.)

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