The Wife is still working and exercising and all that good stuff right up until the baby arrives, so now when I get texts from her throughout the day, I hear the ding, and I’m like “what?! WHAT IS IT!?!? IS IT TIME?!?!?!”
- Starting today, you can sign up for the lottery to get Cubs playoff tickets at cubs.com/postseason. The details are at that link, but the gist is: registration is now through September 21, with winners drawn shortly thereafter, communicated via email. That just gets you the opportunity to buy tickets, mind you, not the actual tickets. And, if you happen to be lucky enough to get that email, act quickly. Also, let me know, so that we can become fast friends, and you can take me.
- Nick Cafardo says there will be serious attempts by Cubs players and executives to talk David Ross out of retiring after this season. After a season-long retirement party, and at his age, it’s hard to see Ross changing his mind, but obviously he’s been very good this year. If Ross did decide to stick around for another year, the Cubs would have an interesting catching situation, with as many as four catchers plausibly on the roster (Ross, Miguel Montero (final year of his contract is next year, at $14 million), Willson Contreras, and Kyle Schwarber). Contreras is going to be the starter next year, but he won’t be catching every single game. Still, Ross has not given any serious indication that he’s reconsidering retirement … yet. So we’ll take him at his word for now.
- Speaking of Ross, he did a Q&A at ESPN, and among his answers, he notes that, in the future, he’d love to have a chance to be back in baseball as a coach/manager/front office member/broadcaster, because if you “get anything in baseball like that, especially in this organization, you’re very lucky.” Whatever Ross ends up doing next year (and/or beyond, if he takes some time off), I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t want to see him stay with the Cubs organization in some capacity.
- Lots to say about Jason Hammel’s outing last night, but I’ll be writing about that separately later this morning.
- Munenori Kawasaki returned to the Cubs yesterday, and poked a double down the line in the 9th inning to plate a run. That was nice.
- Albert Almora Jr. also should have had a double in that inning on a blooper that was called foul and challenged by Joe Maddon (standing up for his player). Maybe I’m blind, but doesn’t this OBVIOUSLY hit the line? Like, how is this even a review, let alone a review that concludes it’s a foul ball:
- Speaking of Almora, he’s in the running for a postseason roster spot, given his elite ability in the outfield. Joe Maddon says he’s “in the conversation” (ESPN), which is right where he should be right now. Having that glove available to come into a game late is such a wonderful thing, but it’s also going to be weighed against the bat (might having a slightly better lefty bat be worth more?) and the pitching situation (do the Cubs go with four starters and seven relievers? or do they feel like they need eight relievers, even in a short series with off-days?). I’m trying not to blow my wad on playoff roster conversations in early September, but the Cubs’ glut of quality players and enormous lead are making it hard. (You can say it.)
- If you missed the update yesterday, R.J. Alvarez was designated for assignment to make room for Tim Federowicz on the 40-man roster.
- It looks increasingly likely that the Braves will come to a deal with Tim Tebow (note: the Braves own their minor league affiliates, so if there’s a financial gain to by had by any attendance bumps, they’ll see it), so that could make for a fun, silly side story next year. In the meantime, Matt Szczur, who played football through college before making the full-time commitment to baseball, has some thoughts on whether Tebow can make it (Chicago Tribune). In short, hitting professional pitching is extremely difficult, and it takes most guys years and years to make it to MLB (if they do at all). Thus, yeah, it’s pretty darn unlikely that Tebow can get back into baseball at 29 and make the big leagues.
- The Cubs’ Magic Number is still 10 thanks to their loss and the Pirates’ choke job.
- The Minor League Daily includes a number of awards for Cubs prospects, and an unfortunate update on Chesny Young’s not-so-batting-title.
- With football season back underway, a variety of adidas NCAA gear is on sale at Amazon today.