Our driveway is so iced over today that not only could I slide the kids around on their shoes like we were ice skating in the Olympics, but I also couldn’t get our car all the way up and into the garage. And then it slid down a bit, but not all the way into the street. Yikes.
- Cubs manager Joe Maddon responded (ESPN) to yesterday’s comments from Aroldis Chapman that he didn’t agree with how he was used in the playoffs, and it mostly echoed what Maddon has said before on the subject: he did what he felt he had to do to ensure there was a next game. Maddon conceded once again that his one mistake was not having a reliever up sooner in Game 6, so that he could pull Chapman earlier if the Cubs built an even bigger lead. Like I said yesterday, I think this is all wrapped up. (I guess I should have waited until after the Maddon response to make that pronouncement … ok, so NOW it’s all wrapped up.)
- Instead, read about the good work Joe Maddon does in his home community back in Pennsylvania.
- The Cubs have announced their minor league managers and coaching staffs for 2017 (new positions are in bold, new to the org are in italics):
The Cubs have announced their minor league managers and coaching staffs for 2017. pic.twitter.com/ppGTaBmQlL
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) December 16, 2016
- The Cubs also announced their minor league coordinators for 2017, and you can see the organizational continuity there. It’s nice not to see a whole bunch of turnover, given how well the organization has done in the last half decade at developing their youngsters. The big hits came before last year when the Cubs lost both their minor league hitting coordinator (Anthony Iapoce, who became the Rangers’ hitting coach) and minor league pitching coordinator (Derek Johnson, who became the Brewers’ pitching coach). Their replacements – Andy Haines and Jim Brower – were both brought back for a second year.
- Beyond the Box Score took a look at new Cubs reliever Koji Uehara’s time with the Red Sox, and how unprecedented his strikeout and walk abilities were, given his velocity. Although his drop in velocity in 2016 (even further from where it was) is worth noting and watching closely, Uehara still racks up the strikeouts.
- Kinda seems like this might go somewhere, and, if it does, the Dodgers look even more impressively strong for 2017:
Sources: Dodgers have shown willingness to include top pitching prospect Jose DeLeon in a deal for Brian Dozier. Would be strong headliner.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 16, 2016
- With Dozier, and after the returns of Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen, and Justin Turner, I’m thinking the Dodgers might pass the Cubs as the on-paper champions of Spring Training.
- Jeff Sullivan writes about the Odubel Herrera extension, which makes for a valuable read as we consider the possibility that the Cubs will try to lock down some young player extensions of their own.
- Michael discusses the Braves’ rebuild over at Baseball is Fun, which includes an astounding 15 first rounders acquired over the past couple years. He also saw a video of a youngster on Prospect Dugout that made him think of a certain Cub:
Play like a pro. (via Prospect Dugout's Instagram) pic.twitter.com/yP0l4YYomg
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) December 16, 2016
- Jonah Keri doesn’t have a Hall of Fame vote yet, but, if he did, he offers where his ten votes would go. I don’t have a Hall of Fame vote either, but, if I did, my ballot would look the same as Keri’s. And if I had three more votes beyond the ten, I’d seriously consider adding Trevor Hoffman, Vlad Guerrero, and Gary Sheffield. (I know, I know. I’m getting creamed in the minds of many because I didn’t mention Sammy Sosa. I still have my questions about whether Sosa is a Hall of Famer.)
- David Ross, cover athlete:
— David Ross (@D_Ross3) December 17, 2016
- Of note, this game will be in St. Louis at Busch Stadium, the home of the Cardinals:
BREAKING NEWS FIRST LOOK
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) December 16, 2016
- If you missed it this morning, there’s big news on the Cubs’ spending in 2016, and how the luxury tax threshold will be a consideration going forward.
- Also, among today’s deals at Amazon: pressure washer!
- Random historical silliness/awesomeness: