We’re still at least, like, six months before ‘Game of Thrones’ returns. Sad. At least baseball will be back sooner than that.
- Bob Nightengale reports that the Washington Nationals aren’t just bringing in Dusty Baker as their new manager, they’re also bringing in former Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux as their new pitching coach. We recently talked about Maddux leaving the Rangers (as well as his brother, Greg, who worked in an advisory role, and who – I’ll just say it – I’m hoping could come back to the Cubs in a similar capacity), and pairing one of the best-regarded pitching coaches in the game with Dusty Baker is certainly fodder for jokes, if nothing else. In reality, it’s a fantastic hire for the Nationals, and it offsets some of the lulz that folks were feeling after the Baker news.
- The Reds have started succession planning in their front office, bumping Walt Jocketty up to President and Dick Williams up to GM, and, after 2016, it’s expected that Jocketty will be more of an advisor.
- An interesting, informative, and enjoyable read from Rian Watt on the Cubs’ outfield defense from this past season, and how they could look to improve it.
- Patrick Mooney looks back at the year in Cubs quotes, and I love it.
- Another thing I love every year, Jeff Sullivan’s look at the best/worst/etc. calls of the season, and this one is the worst called ball of the year, which features a familiar pitcher: Jeff Samardzija. There’s clearly something about his velocity, movement, and occasional spotty command that makes him a target for umps to call balls on pitches that are literally right down the middle of the plate.
- Dan Szymborski writes about the next five years of the Cubs (don’t be confused when you read it: he’s writing as if they already happened) using projections.
- This is a great shot:
The grass is looking green for 2016! pic.twitter.com/bi3yaoMC0S
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 4, 2015
- If you missed it later last night, Alex Gordon declined his player option and is now officially a free agent.
- The latest episode of Limited Range is out, and if you want a Cubs-related baseball-y podcast, you should subscribe to it.
- Jeimer Candelario is a Fall Star.
- And if you’ll indulge me one more “if you missed it,” I did spend a good bit of thoughtful time on yesterday’s meta piece on Grantland and the way sports media sites are operated. I think it’s worth a read if you haven’t.