rizzo bryantSo, I feel like I’m constantly coming across interesting/fun baseball things – pictures or videos or stories I think are great – that I want to share with folks who are very into baseball, but might not otherwise see these kinds of things because they’re not Cubs related and they’re not big enough “news” to warrant writing about here at a Cubs site. I just think baseball is really fun, and I want to have a little space to celebrate that – so I created BN Baseball.

If you’re looking for a baseball site that covers everything about baseball, BN Baseball is not that. My primary focus is this here Cubs site. But for random, sometimes silly, stray baseball stuff that I come across that wouldn’t be a fit here at BN, I’m going to share it at BN Baseball. It might take some time for me to get into a rhythm on it, and there might not be a post every day, but if you’re a baseball nut, you might enjoy it. For example, yesterday I saw something really incredible about Andrew McCutchen and a fan, so I shared it on there.

  • As long as you acknowledge that it’s “way too early” to talk about which teams are going to be best in 2016, or you emphasize that you’re just having fun, I’m totally cool with doing some power rankings at this point, even before the offseason begins. That’s what David Schoenfield did at ESPN – with both caveats – and, since he put the Chicago Cubs up at the top, I especially like it. That’s right, Schoenfield sees the Cubs, right now, as the best team in baseball. I don’t just enjoy it, but I also think it’s a fair designation – as we sit here today – given the youthful core (which could get a whole lot better next year), the resources to improve, and the clear success in 2015. This was a top three team in baseball last year by record, and there are reasons to believe they could be even better next year … even though I’d argue that a better on-paper Cubs team in 2016 is still statistically unlikely to match or exceed the 97 wins they netted this year. We’ll see how things look come March. (And then we’ll all talk about how, even then, you just don’t know.)

  • Other teams of note on Schoenfield’s list include the Cardinals at 4, the Giants and Mets at 5 and 6, the Pirates at 8, and the Dodgers at 9. I actually think I’d exactly reverse the order of those latter four teams, but it’s all pretty close, and it’s a reminder of just how strong the top of the National League projects to be once again in 2016. The NL Central is hard enough as is, and securing a Wild Card spot should remain difficult, too.

  • Patrick Mooney writes about year one of Jon Lester’s mega deal with the Cubs, and surmises that both sides would do it all over if they had the chance. That’s not always the case on a deal like that, but I definitely agree with Mooney. In the first year of the deal, Lester was the guy the Cubs hoped they were getting. And, for Lester, he got to help lead a young team deep into the playoffs.
  • Since the deal with the Nats fell through, Bud Black will now reportedly interview with the Dodgers, who seem to be reaching far and wide for their next manager. Gabe Kapler was once though to be the leader, but there’s also Black and Dave Roberts, and potentially several other serious candidates (we still haven’t heard whether Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez is going to get an interview, but it would be very surprising if he didn’t).

  • Adron Chambers, who was an outfielder at Iowa for the Cubs last year, was suspended 50 games for a second positive test for a drug of abuse. Chambers is a free agent this offseason anyway. Best of luck to him in sorting things out.
  • If you missed it earlier, a great recap video from the Cubs’ season, and Zack Greinke is officially a free agent.
  • Borderline unintentional satire:

  • This is very cool, and too bad we can’t get 200 million Americans watching baseball:

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