Car troubles this morning have thrown everything out of whack, so I’m still just getting my head about me. I also had to scramble to make travel arrangements to get to Chicago this weekend for the Cubs Convention, because I’m no longer going to be able to drive. Surprise: getting a last-minute flight is not a fun experience.
But I wouldn’t miss the Convention! Not for car trouble, not for time constraints, not for a robot dinosaur invasion!
- The Clemson Tigers won the college football national championship, which is not the kind of thing I’d normally discuss here in a substantive bullet (not even now that we have a Bears site), but there’s a notable Cubs connection. So notable, that I am going to choose to claim this national championship as the second Cubs title in the last few months. It turns out that Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney met Joe Maddon during the NFL Draft last year (WGN), and the Cubs manager made such an impression that Swinney adopted a couple well-known Maddon-isms with his own team: Embrace the Target, and Try Not to Suck. There is a cultural component built into the attitude of those phrases, something Maddon has clearly done very well his clubhouses in the big leagues, and it worked for Swinney and Clemson. So, basically, Joe Maddon and the Cubs are wholly and completely responsible for Clemson’s national championship victory over Alabama this week. THEY HAVE THE POWER.
- Speaking of which, Michael reminds you that dreams do come true (sound on, if you’re able):
- If you missed it last night, the Cubs are headed to the White House on Monday.
- A big award for a Cubs scout, and an incredible tribute by the organization for a scout who just passed away:
In an emotional tribute, Keith Lockhart was named recipient of the first annual Stan Zielinski Scout of the Year Award tonight. pic.twitter.com/3axFF4FRhl
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 11, 2017
- At FanGraphs, Travis Sawchik wonders if Andrew Miller’s and Aroldis Chapman’s struggles in Game Seven of the World Series will alter the way teams think about the “bullpen revolution” – i.e., will managers continue to aggressively save their best relievers for the 9th inning? Whether it does or not, Sawchik talks to a couple managers who emphasize that the real issue with deploying top relievers more aggressively is that you can’t do it all season long in the regular season without wearing out the whole bullpen. Non-traditional bullpen usage is a lot more doable (and important) in the postseason, given the stakes, the looming rest, and the built-in off-days. Whether Miller’s and Chapman’s struggles will be the lasting “bullpen” image or not, that doesn’t seem likely to change soon.
- … instead, I’d say, what may change is an increasing development of multi-inning relievers (not just the elite one-inning guys being used for multiple innings). As in, guys who are specifically groomed to be multi-inning bridge guys.
- The emotional moment Tony Gwynn found out he had been voted into the Hall of Fame was 10 years ago, and it’s on video here at Baseball is Fun. Also on video at BIF: an NHL goalie tries to stop a big league pitching machine.
- For those who didn’t see the big announcement yesterday, we now have a separate Bears site – it’s essentially Bleacher Nation for Bears fans – called The Ten-Yard Line. Check it out, follow it on Twitter for new posts, and like it on Facebook.