The Wife and the The Little Boy are out of town for an extended family get-together, which means The Little Girl and I have some daddy-daughter time. We went a variety of places last night and had a great time – so great, in fact, that it didn’t even bother me when we ran into a boy from her school at a restaurant and he gave her a heart balloon (which she said was the best part of the evening). Today, we go to an art museum together. I am a happy pappy.
- Also happy? Kris Bryant and his new fiancee:
- A very hearty congrats to the couple, though I think Anthony Rizzo sums up what we’re all feeling:
- No, it wasn’t ever likely … but so long as Bryant was single, there was always a chance we could wind up together. I guess I’ll just have to stay happily married to The Wife (while she quietly pines for Jorge Soler).
- Other obligatory comments about Bryant’s engagement: something something multiple rings in 2016, something something long-term deal, something something no opt-out clause, something something years of control. Again, in all seriousness: congrats. Happy people make me happy.
- I enjoyed this MLB.com write-up on the strength of the NL Central in 2015 (it’s almost easy to forget just how historically good the trio at the top was). One line that really stuck out about the fact that the best three records in baseball came from the same division for the first time ever: “It’s highly unusual,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said on the final day of their regular-season gauntlet. “Thank goodness the Astros aren’t still in the division.” Yes, indeed! The Astros probably wouldn’t have won 86 games if they were in the NL Central last year, but still – Huntington’s comment reminded me of the days of the six-team NL Central (and four-team AL West), which was always just insane. Sure, at the time, it was always justified by the relative weakness of the NL Central, but how embarrassingly stupid would that setup have looked for baseball last year?
- Cubs scout Keith Ryman passed away this week, and BA has a very nice write-up on his time in baseball.
- A random guy took title to Petco Park by transferring title to himself. That is seriously a thing that happened.
- On his personal blog, Luis looks at his favorite BN posts from 2015. (And a huge thanks right back to you, Lu.)
- I am a big fan of traditional, long-neck bottle openers for opening my bottles – and here’s a Cubs one on Amazon.