Uh oh. The time has arrived that I need to publish the Bullets, and I have absolutely nothing for this top space right here. Quick, Brett: find a cheesy, funny animal meme. Perfect.
- Patrick Mooney writes about Jason Heyward’s future with the Cubs in center field, and it’s a really good, comprehensive take. There is little reason to be concerned about Heyward’s ability to translate his speed, quickness, arm, and reads to center field. Maybe he won’t be the super elite guy he is in right field, but he can be, at a minimum, very, very good. Further, with Joe Maddon at the helm and with so much versatility on the roster, my guess is Heyward still makes quite a few appearances in right field this year (especially if the Cubs carry a defensively-inclined center fielder like Matt Szczur or sign someone like Austin Jackson). Either way, the Heyward signing was a fantastic move by this front office, even if some other execs aren’t going to give it love.
- I swooned when I read this quote from Heyward in there: “On defense, I can affect the game every pitch. But on offense, I only get one (key) at-bat or (it) comes around only so many times a game. On defense, there are 27 outs you need to make in nine innings to win a ballgame. And I’m not asleep for any of those.” What a perfect attitude for defense, eh? You can impact the game every single time the pitcher throws the ball. You just have to be ready to make that difference. Even though offense is obviously hugely important, those times are fewer, regular, and predictable.
- Rian Watt takes a look at the changes in Javier Baez’s swing rates from 2014 to 2015 by zone, and it’s pretty remarkable some of the changes, including down in the zone. Anecdotally, I’d add: remember how much he was getting eaten alive by high fastballs in 2014? Felt like that was a lot less of an issue in 2015, though that may not have been fewer swings so much as a shortened swing.
- I liked Jesse Rogers’ take on the Cubs’ size – as in, literally, the physicality and size of their players. It may or may not mean a lot when rubber meets the road, but it’s interesting, nevertheless. Reminds me of the conversation we had the other day about the Cubs’ best overall athlete. (Still sounds like it’s Jake Arrieta.)
- This is just an incredibly cool story and video. College baseball’s only female pitcher won her first game of the year, and it is *not* a gimmick. She’s just a legit pitcher. I am a huge fan.
- Jon Morosi (and Mark DeRosa and Ryan Theriot) on the resurgent Cubs-Cardinals rivalry. It’s certainly good for baseball for both teams to be good, and it makes the games – and the ancillary shenanigans – all the more fun.
- Have you seen the Amazon commercial with Alec Baldwin and Jason Schwartzman, and Baldwin asks his Echo device to order him a new pair of fancy socks? I saw it this morning and I got curious just how pricey those fancy socks are – $200 a pair. Wow. So I looked at the reviews, because I figured they would have to be hilarious, and sure enough, there’s this beauty of a review. Just one of many examples.
- The Pirates knocked it out of the park with their Sunday alternates this year, throwing it back to their World Series season in 1979:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) February 18, 2016
- Some other tweets to enjoy:
— Jon Lester (@JLester34) February 18, 2016
— Randall J. Sanders (@RandallJSanders) February 18, 2016
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) February 19, 2016