Today is one of the biggest travel days of the year – perhaps many of you are on the road already, headed out to visit with family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday – so be safe out there.
I saw this shot from Los Angeles and it made me very glad that not only do I not have to contend with that traffic generally, but also that I am staying home for Thanksgiving:
- Jesse Rogers talks through the pros and cons of the Cubs re-upping with Dexter Fowler, who figures to get four or five years on his next free agent deal. It’s all fair stuff, and I think we all have a pretty good sense of the score at this point (for more on my thoughts, if you’ve missed them, see here). In a perfect world, with no other considerations whatsoever, of course you’d want to see Fowler back on the Cubs. He’s improved defensively in center field, and he’s among the best leadoff hitters in baseball. But those other considerations – the Cubs’ positional depth, the budgetary limitations – make it a tougher call. Throw in the fact that, despite the fact that both sides have had a great experience the last two years, Fowler is going to be HIGHLY sought-after in free agency, and the better bet at this point is Fowler moving on to somewhere else. Still, if the market goes wonky for some reason, you never know for sure what might happen. (See, for example, last Spring Training.)
- Port-a-potties signing ‘Go Cubs Go’ is a real thing.
- With Manny Ramirez newly eligible for Hall of Fame voting, we will once again be confronted by the specter of PEDs and their relationship to historic enshrinement. I think Ramirez will not get a lot of support initially, particularly because he was actually suspended for PED use; Buster Olney writes about the more difficult question of when David Ortiz, who just retired, becomes eligible. Will voters still keep a guy like Ortiz out because he reportedly tested positive for PEDs during that anonymous screening test (the one Commissioner Rob Manfred recently said should not be used as evidence of players on the list actually having definitely tested positive)? After all, many voters have kept guys out for the very same kind of rumor and innuendo. But Big Papi is so popular that he was given the retirement tour treatment across baseball this season. And if he gets votes while Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens or Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa do not?
- Tony Blengino writes about NL first basemen and contact quality, which is something I knew he’d be getting to, and was excited to read. Why? Because Anthony Rizzo has never rated as especially great when it comes to batted ball rates or quality of contact, and yet he’s obviously a stud offensively. And, sure enough, in Blengino’s rankings on contact quality, Rizzo is far down the list. So how is he doing it? Well, the main thing is something you already knew, but may not have thought about actively: very few hitters have the kind of power Rizzo does while ALSO being a very high contact hitter.
- Long-time Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
- If you missed it this morning, the Cubs had a premier for the official World Series film, and you can watch the hey-there-goosebumps trailer here.
- Amazon devices are on sale this week for Black Friday Deals Week, so if you were thinking about a Kindle or a Fire Tablet (the kids one is a full 25% off right now), now is the time to jump.
- Watch and fall in love:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) November 22, 2016