I played Uno with The Little Girl last night, which was so much fun. She enjoyed herself despite twice having to take the “you didn’t say uno” penalty. I swear, I tried to give her a very healthy chance to say it, but she got so darn excited when she was down to one card that my prodding eyebrows and harsh looks toward the single card left in her hand didn’t sufficiently convey the message. So I had to do it. Does that make me a bad dad? Rules are rules, after all …
- Barry Rozner writes about Cubs special assistant to baseball operations David Ross, including a modest description from Theo Epstein on what Ross will be doing this year: “He has seen it from behind the plate as a player. Now he’ll see it from the scouts’ seats, from the minor leagues, from the front office and how scouting reports are put together and sent to the clubhouse and used on the field. Seeing the game from all angles is really important for him. He could do a lot of different things in this game from here.” In other words, Ross will get the opportunity to experience new aspects of the game, which will not only provide value to the Cubs (who knows where he might be able to offer a unique perspective and insight), but will also help develop Ross, whether his long-term future is in the front office or in the dugout. It’s kind of fun to think about Ross now as a prospect, eh? Pretty sure he’d be extremely high on the managerial prospect list for all of baseball right now (he already was last year at this time, in fact).
- Check out Rozner’s piece for more on Ross, and the next stage of his baseball life.
- Speaking of Ross, if you missed it earlier, re-live his Game Seven home run because why not?
- The NL Central race right now rates as the second least exciting (behind the Indian-led AL Central), according to MLB.com. Although I’m not counting any chickens, I do think it’s fair to say that the perceived gap between the Cubs and the rest of the division right now makes it look less than compelling. (And, I mean, I guess hopefully it stays that way all year?)
- Carl Edwards Jr. gets a write-up at CSN, with Yankees legend Mariano Rivera as the framing device. No, no one will rightly compare Edwards to Rivera (basically, no one should ever be compared to him), but Edwards does want to go about his business the way Rivera did. I will say this: if Edwards’ command comes along, his cutting four-seamer and his curveball are plenty good enough pitches for him to be among the elite relievers in the game. And with Wade Davis a free agent after this year, and Hector Rondon under control only through 2018, there is a clear window arriving for Edwards to establish himself as the Cubs’ closer of the future. He might not get that job this year, but he might demonstrate that the Cubs can plan on it being his. (We’ve fawned over Edwards previously this offseason here, here, and here, in case you want more.)
- We’ve been tracking the top positional prospect lists at MLB Pipeline (Ian Happ here, Jeimer Candelario here), and the shortstop list just came out. No Cubs are on there, but the guy at the top is familiar: it’s Gleyber Torres, who ranks ahead of Dansby Swanson, Amed Rosario, and J.P. Crawford. (The Cubs won the World Series.)
- Gotta love seeing this:
A lot of GREAT things already happening at @Cubs spring complex. Schwarber-JHey and I'm guessing 20-30 young players into strength programs!
— Rick Sutcliffe (@Sut_ESPN) January 24, 2017
- Also gotta love seeing this (I mean, the guy’s team just won their first World Series in 108 years, it’s mid-January, and he’s in the Dominican Republic watching baseball):
— Cesar Parra (@dranomaly) January 25, 2017
- We knew it was a weak free agent class this year, but Ben Nicholson-Smith gives that some context, especially when you consider soaring free agent prices and revenues in the game:
The $110M Yoenis Cespedes deal will be biggest contract this winter, but wouldn't have been the leader any of the previous 10 off-seasons
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 24, 2017
- If you’re looking for baseball fun today, I’m going to highly recommend Michael’s write-up on the decisive game in the 1976 ALCS, including a walk-off that literally required a Yankee to fight through the crowd on the field to score the final run.
- And if you’re looking for Bears analysis, I’m going to highly recommend Luis’s writeup on the improvement looming for the Bears’ front seven, and Senior Bowl prospect fits for the team.
- I’m also going to ask you to click the “like” button on either or both of our FB sister pages, because – in my totally unbiased opinion – they’re great: