The Littlest Girl is right there on the cusp of her first intentional smile. I know it. I can tell. But she’s just not quite there. I’m not saying it’s a race between me and The Wife to be the first one to get it, but I’m also not saying I wouldn’t love to make her smile. She is exactly two months old today, and is a sweetheart.
- The qualifying offer deadline stuff has now passed, but more deadlines loom. If you never checked out the offseason road map of dates and deadlines and explanations (or if you did and you’ve since forgotten what’s coming), give it a look this morning to catch up. There’s a big deadline coming this Friday regarding the Cubs’ 40-man roster and protecting prospects from the Rule 5 Draft.
- Ken Rosenthal has an awesome read on Mike Montgomery, his appearance in Game Seven, and his reaction to getting the final out of the World Series. Among the bits, Montgomery was so unsure of what to do after that final out that, because he hadn’t gone to grab catcher Miguel Montero, he later sought out Montero on the plane to make sure he hadn’t breached some rules of etiquette. Montgomery also talks about his mixed feelings on being traded to the Cubs in the first place. Great read.
- Manager of the Year awards are handed out tonight, with Joe Maddon one of the finalists in the National League. Most folks expect, though, that Dave Roberts will get the nod for what he did with an injury-ravaged Dodgers club. Yes, they had the huge payroll, but how they stayed competitive despite basically everyone being hurt all the time, especially on the pitching side, is really impressive.
- Matt Trueblood writes about ‘Go Cubs Go’ and the man behind the song.
- As the Tribune notes, Iowa Cubs hitting coach Brian Harper has departed in favor of the Tigers organization.
- Wayne Epps looks at the best seasons ever that did not result in an MVP award. The impetus, obviously, is the concern that Mike Trout will once again not win the MVP later this week, for reasons that are … not convincing. Sammy Sosa’s 2001 season shows up 10th on the list, as you may recall that he was ridiculous that year, but it was also the season that Barry Bonds hit 73.
- Check in on the Chris Sale rumors that seem to have blown up in the past 24 hours, if you missed it.
- A fun note on Yoenis Cespedes’s trade history:
Yoenis Cespedes has been traded for the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year, and potentially the 2016 AL Cy Young & 2016 NL Cy Young Award winners pic.twitter.com/fbjfnkoAzt
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) November 14, 2016
- MLB is experimenting with new baseballs in the Arizona Fall League, which is often a testing ground for possible game changes. Though the balls are purportedly different only in their tackiness, it is an interesting thing, given the theory out there that some of the dramatic spike in homers this year could be tied to the baseball.
- This may have been lost in the playoff shuffle to you, but it’s insane and hilarious, so you’ll forgive me if you’ve already seen it: a Japanese player tried to hit VERY fast pitches off of a machine, up to 186(!) miles per hour. Yes, the results are just silly.
- The Wife surprised me and the kiddos with a Cubs championship activity book from Amazon, and it was especially fun to watch The Little Girl trying to spell out the name of her favorite player, Addison Russell. You totally would have been able to tell that’s who she was writing. (She must like critical homers and incredible catches. Smart girl.)
- If you’re into the Aliens franchise, every movie in that family (including ‘Prometheus,’ which I thought was awesome, come at me, bro) is in a cheap bundle at Amazon today ($34.99 on Blu-ray, $27.99 on DVD).