Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Matt Garza buntBlack Friday is here! I’ve already bought Part 2 of the final season of Mad Men, Jurassic World (for The Wife), and a new wallet (finally – after much deliberation, went with a really simple leather bifold, in part because it was a $60 wallet for $15). Those were all Lightning Deals at Amazon, so they’re over now, but there are other ones going on all day. I’ve got two on my calendar for alerts when they open up that I’m hoping to score, the second of which is a signed Ernie Banks jersey. That page just shows the current price, not the deal that is coming at 5:05pm CT, so I don’t know how much the special price will be until then. But if it’s a good price, I think I’m gonna jump on it.

It’s not all Lightning Deals – there’s also just a bunch of stuff on sale, including all kinds of Cubs stuff. Check it out and you’ll be supporting BN in the process.

  • One of the biggest stories in all of baseball for the next 12 months will be the negotiation, and hopefully finalization, of the next collective bargaining agreement between baseball owners and baseball players – it’s the agreement that dictates so much of what the sport is, so it’s a huge deal. The current CBA expires in one year. With revenues in the sport exploding, with technology changing, and with rules issues always at the fore of national discussion, it’s going to be a spirited negotiation, to be sure. But Jayson Stark reports that, over the past several weeks, he’s heard from both sides that no one expects there to be any real risk of a labor stoppage, which would continue 20 years of “peace” on baseball – something the other major sports cannot boast.

  • Stark’s report is an excellent read on some of the major issues facing the two sides as they negotiate the next CBA, and I’d encourage you to check it out. Revenue sharing, length of schedule, roster size, international draft, draft pick compensation, etc. But I couldn’t help but notice one huge issue that didn’t get a mention at all: the designated hitter rule. Why not? Well, Stark says:

  • Keep in mind, that’s someone who’s been reporting on the CBA, talking to both sides, for weeks. If you’re a proponent of the DH in the NL, you can consider your gut punched. I remain deeply frustrated by the inequity between the leagues by having a rule that inarguably favors the AL, but I have always questioned whether the appetite was going to be there for owners to approve the addition of what amounts to another high-paid position. I doubt AL owners feel strongly either way (and probably would lean against it), and I suspect most NL owners don’t want it. My hope has been that the players’ union would push for the NL DH in the next CBA as a way to increase revenues going to players, as part of a broader financial negotiations. Maybe that won’t happen.
  • I really enjoyed this read from Arik Parnass on the evolution of beat writing in sports, on the nature of writing in the Internet age, and on how difficult the gigs can be. Some folks make it a hobby to knock on beat writers, but I don’t think everyone appreciates how hard it is to do what they do, especially in baseball, with its grind of a season.

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