javier baez cubs gloveSerial is back! I haven’t listened to the first episode of season two, which just released, but I’m already very nervous that there’s no way the second season can capture the same magic of the first, which not only had novelty going for it – it was something new and different – but also had a perfect and compelling story to investigate and tell. I can’t imagine the pressure the show-makers are feeling as they release this second season. The first wasn’t just a popular podcast, it broke through to an entirely new, nascent podcast audience, and was in the national conversation. That’s basically impossible to live up to in a second season.

(I also heard that they changed the theme song for the second season, which would be a harbinger of doom – that theme song was brilliant!)

Anyway, if you never listened to season one of the Serial podcast, you should check it out and see why so many people who’d never listened to podcasts before were captivated by it.


  • I joke, but for years we’ve heard about how Cubs Player X can be the team’s version of Ben Zobrist, and now that the Cubs have the actual Ben Zobrist, they’re still talking about having their version of Ben Zobrist. It’s fun.

  • Hoyer went on to say (Tribune) that the team’s present vision for the two players is that, assuming health, each would move around – though Zobrist would mostly be at second base – to give Joe Maddon maximum match-up options. Not only is that fantastic on a game-by-game basis, but just think about the ways it would allow the Cubs to be more creative with the roster. Heck, if they wanted to carry nine relievers right away, they could pull it off. I know that seems extreme – most teams have resigned themselves to a seven-man pen, and some outlying teams to with eight – but, hey, early in the year, when pitchers get pulled even earlier? If your positional group is all healthy? I’m just saying it’s possible. Odds are good that the Cubs go with eight in the pen, which will allow them four on the bench.

  • Per the Commissioner’s suggestion, the Cubs will be adding additional safety netting behind home plate at Wrigley.
  • Addison Russell has been rehabbing the hamstring injury that ended his season in the playoffs, and the Cubs seem to be in sync with how his agent, Scott Boras, is helping handle that rehab (Tribune). Hopefully Russell comes to Spring Training healed, rested, and refreshed. If he’s healthy, Russell looks primed for a breakout season in 2016, as he’ll take the lessons learned at the plate from facing big league pitching for the first time (at just 21), and improve upon them next year. Also, he has a dynamite glove, and will get a full year now at shortstop.
  • You can read the full transcript of Ben Zobrist’s introductory press conference here, if you missed it. Lotta good stuff in there.
  • This is awesome: baseball has its first full-time female scout in a very, very long time.
  • Cubs slippers on Amazon, just in time for winter?
  • If you missed it last night, catch up on the evening of rumors and news from Day Three of the Winter Meetings.

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