Season two of ‘The Leftovers’ concluded Sunday night, and as frustratingly beautiful, soul-crushing, and ultimately disappointing as the first season was, the second season was infinitely better. It felt like a different show. It felt like the show I was always hoping I was going to get when I heard that Damon Lindelof – of ‘Lost’ fame – was going to run an HBO show. It was a fantastic season, and, if you watched the first season and (understandably) checked out, or if you skipped the first season entirely, I highly recommend it. That was one of the best put-together and gripping seasons of TV I’ve seen in a long time.
- After a tumultuous offseason last year in the Dominican Republic, including a couple close-call shootings, Starlin Castro moved to the Tampa area this offseason to train and get ready for the 2016 season (Tribune). I don’t think anyone took pleasure in having to tell Castro that he really needed to leave his home to get away from the risks and distractions in the offseason, but it does seem to be the best thing for him. Whatever might happen on the transaction side of things this winter, here’s hoping Castro will be able to be in the right headspace coming into Spring Training, and, if he’s still with the Cubs, be ready to continue what he was doing in August and September and October after he eventually became the team’s new starting second baseman.
- The Arizona Fall League revealed its top prospects team, and, deservedly, Willson Contreras and Jeimer Candelario make the cut. Contreras, one of the Cubs’ top prospects, had his fall end early because of a hamstring injury, but Candelario, in particular, erupted during the league’s play.
- Yesterday’s big, non-transaction news was the Kris Bryant grievance, and Cubs GM Jed Hoyer responded with mostly a dismissal (Cubs.com). The Cubs have known about it since May, they still have a good relationship with Bryant and Scott Boras, they feel like they’re in the right, and the process just has to work itself out. What else is there to say, really? Like I said yesterday: the reality is, there are bigger forces at work here, and the real issue is the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is up after next year. This is a serious issue that needs addressing, and this is an angle the MLBPA took, with Bryant (and Maikel Franco) as a perfect case. I literally do not blame anyone on any side of this for doing what they’ve done. For completely fan-driven selfish reasons, I hope the Cubs win the grievance and don’t lose Bryant a year earlier than they were planning, but, at the same time, I am not exactly into the idea of rooting against a guy like Bryant to earn what he can in the years he’s given to earn.
- I have seen ugly Cubs sweaters before, but what about an ugly Cubs sweater hat? I actually kinda love it.
- Things move quickly this time of year, so if you missed any of the rumor/news stuff earlier today or last night: a big rumor round-up here, the Cubs/Braves/Miller here, Jason Motte is gone here, and Jason Heyward is a legit target here.