For those of you who were able to take a nice, long, holiday weekend, I hope you enjoyed time with family and friends.
And if you’re getting back to it for a short week before the New Year, may you likewise enjoy catching back up on the Cubs and baseball world …
Thursday, December 22
- More of Jason Heyward’s swing work in Arizona, including a little ‘Happy Gilmore’ action.
- The Pirates re-upped with Ivan Nova, and don’t seem to be in any kind of rebuilding process.
- The Starlin Castro extension didn’t work out for the Cubs, and other Thursday Bullets.
- Manny Ramirez, 44, is working on another baseball comeback.
- Javy Baez improved at the plate in 2016, but how much of that improvement is sustainable and even further improvable? Also, flashing back to the time he hit a grand slam in the 15th inning.
- The Indians stepped up and signed Edwin Encarnacion.
Friday, December 23
- Remember when Addison Russell was a bases-loaded hero on back-to-back nights?
- Another young position player – Ender Inciarte – has signed a long-term extension.
- Friday’s Bullets included the certainty of pitch-framing, and only tweaks forthcoming for Jason Heyward’s swing.
- Random throwback at BIF to the time Willson Contreras was forced to do the not-so-happy dance.
- Remember David Rollins? Probably not, as he was a Cub earlier this offseason for only a few days … but he’s back!
- Getting to know new Cubs closer Wade Davis.
Saturday, December 24
- NLCS and World Series radio calls from around the fireplace.
- The Cubs are a superteam again this year, but does that usually pay off? How rare is what the Cubs did last year?
- Your happy holidays break post, with many thanks and a little BN history.
Sunday, December 25 – we took the day off.
Monday, December 26
- Javy Baez does so many things well … but let’s enjoy his special skills on the basepaths.
- Among Monday’s Bullets, thoughts from around the league on advanced defensive metrics.
- The Cubs inked four players to minor league deals, including a couple who could see time at the big league level this season.
- The Cubs’ championship was the top story of the year, according to the AP. Natch.
- The Cardinals are reportedly “very much” involved in the Brian Dozier trade talks, which would be a significant development in the NL Central, to say the least.
- The latest from the Lukewarm Stove, including bits on Jason Hammel, Tyson Ross, Rays starters, and a Cuban prospect the Cubs couldn’t get.