The Wife and I finally sprung for Netflix, and that means I finally got to watch the first season of “Better Call Saul” just in time for the second season, which kicks off on Monday. Dang that was good. I especially appreciate how, even though it had the “Breaking Bad” flavor in its style and its visuals, it really did stand completely on its own as a great show.
- At last! Something predicting a better team in the NL than the Cubs! Maybe that doesn’t sound like a good thing, but in a perverse, paranoid way, it’s nice to see another team wear the expectation crown for a day. Then again, it’s a team that’s won three World Series in the last five years, so they’re probably fine with it. I speak of the San Francisco Giants, who have the largest expected win total right now at the Atlantis, with 90 wins – one more than the Cubs. The Giants do have a solid core, and have added Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto this offseason to a rotation that desperately needed additions. I wouldn’t have them, on paper, ahead of the Cubs (or the Dodgers, for that matter), but they do look like a very competitive team.
- For the record, FanGraphs’ projected standings are much less optimistic at this point for the Giants, who project for 85 wins – nine shy of the Cubs’ current 94, and behind the Dodgers, Red Sox, Nationals, and Astros.
- Speaking of the Giants, shortstop Brandon Crawford pulled off an incredible “throwback Thursday”, recreating a photo from 24 years earlier – when he just happened to be snapped as a young Giants fan! The odds. I can’t even calculate them.
- It’s been a long coming, but the McDonald’s across from Wrigley Field will finally be closing March 1 (DNAinfo). It will thereafter be razed to make way for the construction of the boutique hotel that’s coming as part of the broader renovation and development plan. The Ricketts Family bought that McDonald’s property more than four years ago. There was talk way back when that the hotel would include a McDonald’s when it was completed, but I’m not sure if that’s still the case. So, if you want fast food immediately around Wrigley this season, it’s going to be the Taco Bell on Addison or bust.
- Beyond the Box Score has a resource page of sabermetrics resources (yes, a resource for resources).
- Anyone else watching ‘The Bachelor’? Um, yeah, totally me neither …. But, say, if you are watching, then you know that this year’s dude is a Cubs fan from Chicago, and he’s taking one of the women on a date at Wrigley Field. Or, I suppose, more accurately, the date already happened – TV, man – and the Tribune has a look behind the scenes. (He never gave Leah a chance! I can’t believe he let Olivia go! (Even though he was totally right to do it!) Yes, I really am saying these things!)
- Michael recently wrote about a wave of two-year deals for positional players in their arbitration years, which could matter a great deal for the Cubs quite soon. And now there’s another, as Mike Moustakas got a two-year, $14.3 million deal from the Royals, buying out his final two arbitration years. Moustakas, by the way, is a Scott Boras client.
- Sam Miller read the CBA and found some humorous provisions.
- Kevin Pillar was pretty awesome last year – are you aware that he had a 4.3 WAR last year? – and it was thanks in large part to spectacular defensive plays like this.
- I typed “cubs valentine” into Amazon’s search bar just to see what would come up, and while much of the results involved “cub” animals, the 12th result was a women’s Anthony Rizzo shirsey, so that sounds about right.
- ONE WEEK: