I usually have my morning coffee at home, but when The Wife goes on an early-morning run, she happens upon a Starbucks in the process, and I can’t help myself (especially if The Littlest Girl and The Little Boy conspired to get me up at 5am). An iced vanilla latte is where it’s at for me – I’m not sorry – but I tried the “skinny” version this morning (sugar free, non-fat milk) … and it’s just not good. I’m all about limiting added sugar where reasonably possible, and in all other settings, I’ll take skim milk over 2% every time. Fat free ice cream, for a nightly example? Fine by me. But this thing just tastes all wrong. It’s a bummer that it’s not close enough. I think as long as I continue to have the drink┬ámore as a “treat” type thing as opposed to a daily indulgence, I’m just gonna get the real version. You have been advised, and your life will never be the same.

  • Hey, good for Gleyber Torres, who is crushing the Arizona Fall League:

  • Torres seems to be blowing up even more quickly than expected following his midseason trade to the Yankees from the Cubs. He’s incredibly talented, always had an understanding and ability at the plate beyond his years, and if he can stick at shortstop, he could be very special.


  • The reality is that it’s going to sting a little bit to see Torres become a star with the Yankees, if that’s what happens. But it’s also the reality that we long knew he was a big-time prospect and a potential future star, and the price for Aroldis Chapman was always going to be really steep, whichever team elected to pay it. The Cubs would probably have cruised to an NL Central title without Chapman, but I am not convinced their run through the playoffs would have looked the same without him. Even more specifically, Chapman’s win probability added in Game Five of the World Series (the one where he took the ball in the 7th inning and then finished the game, with the Indians up in the series 3-1) was a whopping .404. The rest of his team combined in that game was at just .086. In other words, there are measures by which he was THE difference in an elimination game in the World Series. Could other relievers have done the same? Sure, it’s possible. Would you be willing to risk it in order to have Gleyber Torres back? I didn’t think so. Flags fly forever.
  • (We’ll see how the other three players in the trade – Adam Warren, Billy McKinney, and Rashad Crawford – turn out, but, again, even if Warren becomes Warren again with the Yankees (something that apparently wasn’t going to happen with the Cubs), even if McKinney rebounds from an ugly 2016 season (there were seriously so many bad indicators), and even if Crawford breaks out (very interesting athlete, but is 23 and played only passably at High-A last year), you’re still going to be left with a situation where the Cubs have a world championship that they might not have without Chapman. We’re never going to know. But we know for sure that it’s really awesome that the Cubs won it all.)
  • David Ross tells ESPN about the whirlwind of activity following the World Series win, including his scantily-clad appearance on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ It’s going to be a short offseason for the Cubs, though Ross is headed into retirement, so he might have a little more time than the rest of the returning Cubs. Whether Ross winds up with a role in the Cubs’ organization in the near-term remains to be seen.


  • Joe Maddon did not win the NL Manager of the Year award last night, but his World Series counterpart Terry Francona did take home the honor for the AL. One thing that’s been clear in recent years when it comes to the very-difficult-to-parse Manager of the Year award, and certainly applies to each of this year’s winners? Voters like it when a team succeeds despite injuries. Which makes sense, because there is an implication that the manager must have done an extra good job keeping his team afloat. It’s just a tough award to really nail, because, as we’ve discussed so many times around here, so much of what makes a manager “good” or “bad” is not visible to us on the outside, and doesn’t show up in the decisions a manager makes during games. It’s entirely possible that – if we were somehow able to truly isolate every single thing a manager does behind and in front of the scenes – the “best” manager in the NL was toiling at the helm of a completely healthy but completely terrible team. That’s just the nature of the beast.
  • Tom Verducci is writing a book about the Cubs’ 2016 season, out in March, and that’s going to be a must-read.
  • Holy wow (you should totally share this with your friends on Facebook (wink)):



  • Over at Baseball is Fun, Dwight Gooden was just so silly good at age 19. Bonus fun facts about young pitchers in the 1800s.
  • Hopefully you already saw this, but since it happened during the heat of the postseason, you may have missed it. In case you forgot, Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer infamously had to leave an ALCS start shortly after it began because the cut on his pinkie was streaming blood. That injury came when Bauer was working on one of his drones, a hobby of his. So, then, before the World Series, Cubs fan Jason (aka Zorag) sent Bauer a gift:




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