I will work very hard to ensure that every update for the next few weeks in this top spot of the Bullets is not about my groin convalescence.
So, let’s see. What else can I talk about? Had me two slices of apple-pear-cranberry pie yesterday, and it was insane. The best part is that no one else in the family seems to like it, so the remaining half+ of the pie is going to be mine.
- Jayson Stark writes about the 2016 MLB postseason, and why it was the “most significant postseason in modern times.” It’s a great read that takes you far beyond the impact of the Cubs finally winning it all – though that is, of course, a huge part of the reason this postseason was so special. More than that, and even more than showcasing all the young stars in the game (think about how many of the best young players in baseball made an appearance in this year’s postseason), these playoffs showed off new and evolving ways of thinking about the game, particularly with respect to how to optimize reliever usage. It’ll be interesting to see how and if the lessons of the postseason (with its many days off and looming end-of-season) are translated into the regular season going forward. Stark notes, for one example, an increasing willingness in free agent closer types to make sure teams know that they will pitch wherever whenever as long as they get paid. To that end, if you want to see even more change in how relievers are used, stats like “saves” and “holds” might need to be further deemphasized in arbitration.
- Collectively, teams are getting better at pitch framing – as in, the standard deviation in pitch-framing ability between teams is getting smaller and smaller. That doesn’t mean that framing is becoming less important, mind you, only that teams are valuing it more and more (and/or umpires are becoming less and less influenced by it).
- Sam Miller writes about the extremes in determining how much Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray was worth last year. Here’s hoping the Diamondbacks think he wasn’t worth much, and decide to dump him on a team like the Cubs.
- How Matt Szczur’s bone marrow donation many years ago continues to impact lives. You can join the ‘Be The Match’ list here, by the way. I did it a few years ago, and it’s simple.
- Todd Ricketts may be the next Cubs owner sibling to formally enter a political gig, following his brother Pete, who is now the governor of Nebraska. Per the Tribune, Todd Ricketts may soon be named the deputy secretary of commerce in the Donald Trump administration. This comes after Trump and the Ricketts family famously had a beef during the primary. If Todd gets the job, it remains to be seen how his role with the Cubs would change. Tom Ricketts is the face of the Cubs’ ownership group, serving as the team chairman, but Pete, Todd, and Laura Ricketts also sit on the team’s board.
- The fastest baserunning in baseball this year features heavy doses of Billy Hamilton and Byron Buxton. Hamilton’s insane speed is how you post a 3.1 WAR season, as he did in 2016, despite a slash line of .260/.321/.343 (78 wRC+).
- Amazon’s many Black Friday deals are rolling, including some of my favorites: those instant mini cameras are $20 off, Amazon devices are all on sale, the Cubs World Series film is still 22% off, a hardcore portable Anker speaker is 72% off, one of the biggest and best portable chargers for 69% off, and tons of magazine subscriptions (including Sports Illustrated) for just $5.
- There’s a big sale on BN gear, too! You can get 15% off and free shipping right now with the code “2016OMG”. Check it out.
- This is fun:
— Corey Freedman (@CFCubsRelated) November 24, 2016
- This might be the best Cubs-related sale I’ve seen this sales season. The deal mentions exclusions, but I tested a bunch of the Cubs championship shirts and hats, and the discount worked for me:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) November 25, 2016