Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

alex gordon royalsThe rumors are infiltrating the Bullets. Couldn’t avoid it today. Just too much to get into …

  • I love Jason Heyward for this Cubs team for so many reasons – his type of bat, his elite defense, his age, his ability to play center field – that make him a peculiarly attractive target, beyond the mere fact that “the Cubs need an outfielder, he is an outfielder.” I’m not sure I can say the same, however, for Alex Gordon, whom Peter Gammons is still saying is a prime target for the Cubs – indeed, in his latest interview on The Score, Gammons says he understood that John Lackey and Gordon were the Cubs’ primary goals in free agency. Gammons has mentioned that connection before.
  • To date, I’ve not heard anyone with credibility say explicitly that they believe Gordon could play average or better defense in center field (and Gammons says the plan would be for Gordon to play right field). Further, while he’s not old, Gordon will play next season at age 32. In the short-term, that doesn’t necessarily matter – the Cubs’ window is now, and, as we saw with John Lackey, they just want guys who can help them now (rightly so) – but it does impact the fit. I do like Gordon’s bat for this lineup, and I do like the elite defense in a corner outfield spot. But there’s no question that it’s a less obvious fit than Heyward (albeit much, much less expensive). When the Gordon rumors initially popped up, my position was always something like, “Sure, I like him, but it makes sense only as part of a relatively long, complicated series of moves.” I still feel that way. If there was some confidence that Jorge Soler was going to be dealt for a pitcher – and Gammons suggested that almost happened with Soler and Shelby Miller last week – and there was confidence that a quality, short-term option in center field could be locked down in a cost-effective (or trade-effective) way, then I could get into Gordon to the Cubs. But it’s hard to count on all of that happening. Of course, this front office has done it before: get the guy you really like, and sort out the details later. So we’ll see.

  • Yesterday’s Cubs-targeting-top-closer-in-trade rumor didn’t shake loose any particular targets, so we’re all still left to wonder and speculate. It did, however, yield a little defensiveness about Hector Rondon on Twitter, which got me nostalgic.
  • David Laurila’s Sunday Notes at FanGraphs are, as always, an interesting read. He’s got a small section on how Joe Maddon uses his pitchers offensively – i.e., mostly hitting 8th – and segues into a question of whether a team like the Cubs should care a little more about free agent starter Mike Leake’s ability to hit a little better than some of his counterparts. Over his six big league seasons, Leake has contributed 2.9 WAR with his pitching, defense and baserunning. His .240 career wOBA trails only Madison Bumgarner and Yovani Gallardo (another free agent) among active pitchers during this era.
  • Cubs on Amazon: maybe I’m weird, but I love these logo-fied keys. Mine isn’t a Cubs logo – it’s Yoda, because I’m a dork – but it’s awesome, because it’s the key I use most, and it is much faster to identify, sling around, and use on the keychain because it stands out from the other keys. That might not sound like much, but saving a couple seconds of fumbling every single day adds up. Life hack!

META: Being that the comments have gotten out of control in some respects lately (that happens when there’s a dramatic influx of people this time of year, but it’s also some of the regulars who are pushing the limits), I’m going to have to start moderating more aggressively. Which sucks. I’d like to think that adults who primarily want to talk about baseball could keep things relatively clean while still having fun, but, in a large enough population, that’s rarely the case. Then the next guy feeds off the last guy, the next guy makes it even worse, and so on.

Let me be clear: gratuitous sexual commentary is not permitted. We’re not going to be the place that posts pictures of wives and girlfriends and then says whatever perverted thing comes to mind. Some mild celebratory GIFs in a game thread after a win? That’s one thing. Doing it all the damn time in every freaking post? Stop. Seriously. Just stop.

In the meantime, if you see stuff that’s offensive, you can help get rid of it by flagging the comment. Enough flags, and a comment disappears. (Please use it only for actually offensive stuff – it’s not cool (or allowed) to use it to flag things you simply don’t agree with.)

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