I’m taking The Little Boy to a trampoline park today, which figures to be both awesome and terrifying.
- Among the questions Carrie Muskat fielded in her latest inbox, the one that jumped out at me as something we haven’t discussed enough around here is which catcher will be paired with Jon Lester now that David Ross has retired. As Muskat rightly points out, it’s probably something that will be sorted out in Spring Training (and has probably been discussed this offseason).
- From where I sit, here’s what makes the decision a modestly difficult one: on the one hand, if Lester is most comfortable with a veteran, excellent-receiving catcher who has the gravitas to get him where he needs to be during any given start, that guy is probably Miguel Montero. On the other hand, if you want the catcher most able to control the running game because of Lester’s inability to hold runners, then you’ve gotta have Willson Contreras back there. David Ross, of course, was the perfect combination of both of those things, and, when you throw in the established relationship there (Ross knowing Lester so well that he can vary the game plan and batter-by-batter approach based on what he’s reading from Lester that day), it would not be surprising to see an adjustment process with whatever direction the Cubs go. This is one of those underrated, latent things that can be hard to quantify in a granular way, but if you see some “regression” from Lester this season, it’s entirely possible it will be the accumulation of several small things that add up to a slightly more difficult road for Lester. Hopefully he settles in with one guy, and they get on the same page very quickly.
- … but which guy, Brett? Well, I’d love to tell you there’s an obvious answer, but I don’t think we can tell from the outside what’s going to be the right fit. Each catcher has caught Lester before in extremely limited duty, but there’s far from enough there to make a call. I’d even call it possible that both guys catch Lester this year, depending on match-ups, and the likely general preference for getting Contreras’s bat in there as often as possible. I think a dedicated catcher, given Lester’s recent history (and dominating potential when he’s at his best), is more likely, however. I also think an offensive bounce-back from Miguel Montero – even if only a slight one – could be in the offing, for what that’s worth.
- NBC popped this up during football last night, and it made me smile a very healthy smile:
I swear there's a team missing there …
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) January 8, 2017
- I know that not everyone cares about the Hall of Fame, but, for me, because it’s one of THE enduring things, I think it should be taken very seriously. That’s why when I see something like this, I become extremely perturbed:
— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) January 8, 2017
- Because Hall of Fame entry requires being named on 75% of the ballots submitted, Chass just dinged every single eligible player. Every single one. This is not a ballot that should be counted. Not that I would expect anything less frustrating from Murray Chass, a formerly well-respected reporter and writer, who is now a blogger who blogs at his blog, which you can read about at his blog, if you’re unfamiliar with his blogging.
- Earlier, Luke got into Ian Happ’s past and possible futures.
- If you missed it yesterday, the Cubs made three minor league signings, including the return of Munenori Kawasaki.
- I found an old baseball picture, which made me think of a thing. So I made a thing, and I shared it on Baseball is Fun’s Facebook page (which you should totally like!):
- The Wife and I just had some of these yesterday for a date-day-afternoon, so when I saw it on Amazon I had to share: a lightning deal on copper mugs for making Moscow Mules. Well, I suppose you could make other drinks in it, too. Why not, right? They just stay really, really cold. And dang if a Moscow Mule is not a really excellent drink. I always like it. And I always forget to order it. That particular lightning deal appears to be going fast. Sorry if it’s already gone by the time you see this. At least we got to talk about delicious Moscow Mules.