No spoilers here, but ‘Westworld’ has been pretty good, eh? To me, the speculation and theorizing is fine – and is a huge part of the show for many folks – but I’m actually just enjoying watching it unfold. It’s just a fun show to watch. And as The Ringer’s Chris Ryan recently said on a podcast I fancy, Anthony Hopkins “still has his fastball.”
- Kris Bryant goes for MVP honors tonight, a year after being the Rookie of the Year, which was a year after he was the Minor League Player of the Year, which was a year after he was the College Player of the Year, which was, I can only assume, the year after he was the Nobel Prize Winner of the Year or some such thing. If Bryant wins, he’ll be just the fourth player (Cal Ripken Jr., Ryan Howard, and Dustin Pedroia) to win ROY and MVP in back-to-back years (Cubs.com). The Cubs have not had an MVP since Sammy Sosa in 1998. I know other voting this week hasn’t gone the Cubs’ way, but tonight’s very much should. If it doesn’t? See the ‘Simpsons’ image attached.
- We discussed the NL Cy Young results last night, as Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks lost out to Max Scherzer, but we didn’t get into the AL results, where Red Sox righty Rick Porcello took the title by a narrow margin over Justin Verlander, despite the latter having better numbers across the board (except pitcher wins, which, sigh), and despite Verlander receiving more first place votes. Verlander’s fiancee was not happy:
- It made for a fun Twitter rant, but the point that underlies it is actually a good one – there’s really not a good explanation for why Porcello won over Verlander, or why two voters didn’t even have Verlander on their ballots at all. Ken Rosenthal gets into some of the behind-the-scenes on award voting, which is complicated and not always perfect.
- As for Lester and Hendricks, their responses were all class, and Scherzer noted that he’d gladly trade the award for a World Series ring (CSN).
- Jeff Sullivan writes at ESPN on why 2016 was probably the best we’ll see from Kyle Hendricks, in terms of his results. It’s actually a very fair analysis on a guy who was responsible for SO much of his extreme success this year, but also netted a lot of that success from circumstances around him and outside of his control. For example, even considering Hendricks’ contact management ability, if the Cubs’ defense regresses as much as you’d expect the typical awesome defense to regress in a subsequent year, Hendricks would give up about 12 more hits, which would mean more runs given up. And that’s with no change in the quality of the pitching or even the quality of the defense (just the results of that defense).
- You may remember that there’s a human trafficking case in Florida about the movement of Cuban players into the country, and it involves many Cuban players in MLB, including Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler. He was recently named as a potential witness in the case (Tribune), which is scheduled to go to trial in January.
- The physics behind the batted ball is still giving Statcast some trouble from time to time. For the most part, it’s solid. But it’s worth remembering that it’s not yet quite perfect.
- ‘Anchorman’ mashed up with the Chicago Cubs winning Game Seven of the World Series? Yes, please.
- A reminder that if you’re going to do your holiday shopping soon, you should totally do it on Amazon, which is essentially where my family does all of our shopping at this point. I am an unapologetic Amazon lover. And, when you go to Amazon via the links at BN, you’re supporting this place in the process, too, so it’s very much win-win.