Remember when I said I was gonna try having green tea regularly for its various benefits? So far, so good: I’ve had it every single day since then. That was over a month ago at this point. Accountability! And, while I can’t say (yet) that it’s had any impact on my cholesterol, I do really enjoy the specific kind of energy I get from green tea. I still have my coffee in the morning and my Coke Zero with lunch, but when I have the green tea … it’s not quite like an additional burst of caffeine, it’s a different kind of feeling. Just like an added boost of … focus? Drive? Something. Hard to articulate. But I’m becoming a huge fan.
- We’ll get more into some of these rankings later because I think they make for interesting discussion, but I wanted to point out that CBS has a list of the top catchers in baseball for 2016 – ignoring contracts, and solely considering which player, in total contribution to the team, you’d want to have – and Miguel Montero slides into the top half, landing at 14. As I peruse the list, I think that ranking is fair, and Montero is legitimately a very solid catcher for the Cubs to have in the fold when you consider everything he does.
- I find it especially interesting, though, because as you look around the Cubs’ projected starting position players, catcher is probably the one spot where you don’t immediately shout out about how awesome the Cubs have it. I guess the other would be right field, if you don’t buy Jorge Soler’s late-season surge or breakout potential. I’d have to look around the league to confirm, but I think I’d still rather have Soler in right field than perhaps 10 or 15 other starters out there. So, then, that is to say: it’s arguable that the Cubs have a better-than-league-average starter at every single position for 2016. That’s crazy, especially when you consider that many of them will be top ten or even top five.
- Jason Heyward spoke in a video interview on CSN about the team’s hunger for success in 2016, the family environment, and more. He also talked about how he’s going to play center field like he played right field, and he sounded pretty excited to take on the new position. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch him out there this year, because, although Dexter Fowler was a step up from where the Cubs had been in center field defensively for a good long while before him, I suspect Heyward is going to be an even further significant step up.
- An interesting read from Jeff Lamb at BP Wrigleyville on the stark – STARK – age drop of the Cubs’ position players relative to the rest of the league over the last four years. Some of that’s a natural incident to rebuilding, but I also know that it was a conscious decision to get younger and more athletic as part of creating a competitive core. It’s also new for the Cubs: for most of the 40 years before the current front office took over, the Cubs’ average age was higher than league average – frequently much higher.
- Danny Ecker reports a little more on the financials of the Ricketts Family’s purchase of various rooftop buildings. As you may recall, the Ricketts now control a majority of the rooftops.
- YES! The best logo in baseball is coming back.
- Over at Baseball is Fun, Michael writes about a classic baseball moment that he finds decidedly un-fun: that time Pete Rose barreled over Ray Fosse.
META: A couple minor site design changes of which to apprise you – the navigation bar at the top of the page has been removed, as it always caused a delay in loading on mobile browsers, and that bothered me. So now it’s gone. Fear not: everything that could previously be found there can still be found on the side of the page (if on desktop/tablet) or the bottom of the page (mobile). So, for example, if you want to keep supporting BN by shopping at Amazon via the link here, you can still find it over to the side of the site and/or at the bottom of the page. Hopefully the trade-off in convenience for that and other former navigation bar links will be worth the slightly improved performance on mobile. I know the site is never perfect, but I am constantly working to make as many minor improvements as I can. Thanks so much for reading and for not blocking ads – you are feeding my family and Michael, and you are providing at least some tasty appetizers for Luis and Luke.