Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

cubs fan beer chugYesterday was a little nuts, which usually means the next day has a lot of catch-up. That looks to be the case today, so there might be more around here throughout the day than usual on a Saturday. Hope you enjoy.

  • I’d be lying if I said I entirely understood exactly what the Esurance MLB Awards are, but has been pumping them for a while (presumably as part of the branding partnership for which Esurance paid (and, hey, no complaints here – businesses gotta earn)), and some of the categories were kind of fun. To the extent you find them interesting, the Cubs won a bunch of them: Jake Arrieta was named best pitcher and best breakout player, Kris Bryant was named best rookie, and this won for best fan catch:

  • If I remember correctly, that particular catch was among the first – the first? – of the briefly-lived “catch-n-chug” phenomenon, which petered out soon after fans realized how hard it is to catch a flying baseball in a plastic cup, and how much beer they were losing in their attempts.

  • (Also, if you’d forgotten that moment, I wouldn’t blame you: it came in the top of the 9th inning all the way back on April 18, which was Kris Bryant’s second game. In that inning, the Cubs blew a four-run lead against the Padres – remember that? – but then went on to win it with a walk-off Starlin Castro single off of Craig Kimbrel in the 11th inning. That is all to say, if you forgot about a beer chugging that immediately preceded the Padres’ comeback in the 9th, I forgive you. I’d forgotten until now, too.)
  • Yesterday, the Cubs added four prospects to the 40-man roster, and teams around baseball did the same. You can see all of those moves here at Baseball America, with commentary on the prospects.
  • I am loving this piece at FanGraphs by Tony Blengino on the year-to-year correlations of various statistics for pitchers (put another way: how likely is a guy to be good at getting pop-ups next year because he got a lot of them this year? What about strikeouts? Or line drives? etc.). A couple things that REALLY stand out: groundball rate is extremely highly correlated year to year, so if a guy is good at getting groundballs, he’s probably going to continue to be good at it. Line drive rate, however, is the least correlated statistic in the entire thing. That suggests that, rather than looking at a pitcher’s bad season and pointing out an elevated line drive rate as a reason for concern that it was a “legit” bad season, we could instead look at bad results and a bad line drive rate and think, “Hmm, what does everything else say, because a bad line drive rate this year doesn’t necessarily mean a bad line drive rate next year?” I could go on. This is really interesting stuff.

  • And a sad, frozen tear appears:

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