I’d planned to walk The Little Girl to school this morning, but the weather had other ideas. How to make a car ride special …
- With the Cubs headed to Houston today, we get a couple looks at the moment the two franchises crossed paths in an extremely significant way: the 2013 draft. You remember it. The Astros had the top pick. The Cubs had the second pick. Much of the pre-draft focus was about which incredible college pitcher – Mark Appel or Jonathan Gray – would fall to the Cubs in the second spot, and, if it wasn’t Appel, would the Cubs instead opt for the top hitter in the draft, believed at the time to be Kris Bryant. As fate had it, the Astros picked Appel, and the Cubs answered the question by selecting Bryant (and later signing him to the largest bonus in the draft). If the Astros hadn’t taken Appel, who went on to struggle and ultimately be traded to the Phillies, what would have happened? There are apocryphal stories on both sides of that question, so we might never know for 100% certain what the Cubs would have done … but we’ve since learned enough to know there was always a very strong chance that it was going to be Bryant if he was available, no matter who else was on the board. This weekend, the Astros will be reminded of their mistake, and the Cubs will be reminded of their good fortune – because there’s no universe in which the Cubs aren’t thrilled with the way things played out, and the Astros don’t ask themselves why the didn’t grab Bryant when they had the chance.
- For more on that history, Patrick Mooney has a good read here, and Mark Gonzales has one here. Even without Bryant, the Astros have obviously turned themselves into a very good, competitive team, and it’ll be fun to see them up close. Although they’re 8.5 games out in the AL West, the Astros are just 2.5 games out in the Wild Card race. This is a big series for them. And if Kris Bryant wants to park about four balls into that short porch in left, that would be fine.
- A really fun read at Cubs.com on the Rangers scout who pushed the team to draft Kyle Hendricks, despite the lack of top-end velocity and despite not hailing from a hotbed of baseball talent.
- The Mesa Solar Sox (the team on which Cubs prospects in the Arizona Fall League will play) are ranked the second best roster in the AFL this year at MiLB.com.
- Cubs owner and chairman Tom Ricketts was in South Bend last night for the Cubs’ playoff win, and he threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Not a bad toss, considering the constrictive attire and spikeless shoes – and the catcher totally could have grabbed it on the fly:
- The question is: better or worse than when Theo Epstein threw out the first pitch last year and buzzed the Cubs’ mascot?
- Adrian Beltre is so fun to watch:
Adrian Beltre is a treasure. https://t.co/uj6spmXNJO
— Baseball Is Fun (@flippingbats) September 9, 2016
- Did you see the other night when the roof at Miller Park leaked right onto Dexter Fowler as he was making a catch in the outfield?
- Heads up (I’m clever): some sizes of New Era Cubs caps are on sale today at Amazon (depending on your size, I’m seeing 25 to 30% off).