Are you a ‘Star Wars’ nerd? If so, you will want to watch this if you haven’t already. No actual spoilers, but it’s quite fun:
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) February 20, 2017
Episode 8 comes out at the end of this year. May the force be with my impatient heart.
- I got into a little something on Twitter and Facebook last night, thinking about how the Cubs have arguably two of the early favorites for Comeback Player of the Year in the National League: Kyle Schwarber, who is coming back from a season lost to a serious knee injury, and Jason Heyward, who is coming back from a bat lost to we-still-don’t-quite-know. Each has an obvious case, insofar as they probably qualify as “coming back” and have the upside to be star-caliber players in 2017. Each also has a drawback in the case – many may see Schwarber’s big comeback story as the World Series, and that already played out; Heyward was his normal self on defense last year, and simply struggled at the plate. Are those really “comeback” players?
- … I still say yes. And I do think each will be a serious contender for the award when all is said and done. The fun question is which guy would you bet on, if you had to pick one of the two to win it? I am intrigued by the poll results so far:
I guess I'm supposed to do this as a poll. If one of these two is going to win NL Comeback Player of the Year, who is it?
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) February 21, 2017
- With nearly 3000 votes, it’s running 60/40 in favor of Schwarber. I would also vote for Schwarber, but I expected that split to be larger. Then again, it’s worth pointing out that, if each player maxes out his abilities in 2017 and has a career year, Heyward probably finishes with a higher WAR, thanks to the defensive and baserunning ability. Maybe Heyward’s not a bad vote, consider that three of the four years before 2016, he posted a WAR over 5.0.
- Brett Anderson, whose back is doing well and could himself be a comeback candidate, addressed the infamous Game 6 NLCS tweet, which you can read about here and here. You know the one – to his credit, still not deleted:
Real classy cubs fans throwing beer in the Dodgers family section. Stay classy fucking idiots.
— Brett Anderson (@BAnderson3737) October 23, 2016
- That, of course, occurred right after the Dodgers had lost the pennant to the Cubs, and there was undoubtedly a heightened emotional state for all involved. For his part, Anderson says (CSN), “I wasn’t calling out the whole stadium. (It wasn’t): ‘Screw you, Cubs fans.’ It was just the specific (incident) – whoever threw the beers on the family section. Everybody has their fans that are kind of rowdy and unruly.” Good, fair, fine, whatever. I know the situation riled some folks up, and they made sure to mention it frequently upon the Cubs signing Anderson, but it hasn’t ever really bothered me. If you’re going to be the kind of un-filtered (or lesser-filtered, at least) tweeter that Anderson is, you’re probably going to fire off an angry tweet after your team just lost out on its chance to go to the World Series, and your family tells you they had beer thrown on them. Anderson is a fun guy, and I certainly wouldn’t want to see him stop being that guy now that he joined the Cubs.
- Speaking of Anderson, Joe Maddon concedes that, while he’s not big on using the spring to evaluate players for future roles (health is really the most important thing, as well as readying oneself – whatever that might look like for the individual – for the regular season), he will be watching the fifth starter competition a little more closely (Tribune). Right now, Anderson and Mike Montgomery are the primary candidates for the gig in April.
- Earlier this morning, the Cubs announced their promotional schedule for 2017, so make your plans.
- Good to see these gents getting a drink:
— Miguel Montero (@miggymont26) February 21, 2017
- Did you know that it’s been 25 YEARS since the famous ‘Homer at the Bat’ Simpsons episode? Luis wondered who the baseball stars of that episode would be today.
- I am loving this video, particularly the fan raising his glove as if to confirm the catch (and click that ‘follow’ button while you’re looking):
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) February 21, 2017
- Meanwhile, I wrote a couple things over at TYL, so I’m gonna share ’em here, even if they’re Bears: how Jimmy Garoppolo might dictate where he winds up in trade, and also a robust “Rumor Mill” post (you might recognize it as a Lukewarm Stove).
- Motion-activated toilet night light lightning deal!
If you missed anything here at BN yesterday – perhaps you were out for the holiday – here’s a mini catch-up:
- A catch-up within the catch-up – the weekend catch-up, if you were gone for the full three days.
- The Cubs have designs on keeping Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop healthy, as there’s no question about their importance.
- Dexter Fowler is impacted personally by the travel ban, shared his thoughts, and then caught unfair heat.
- The Cubs are starting to lay out their pitching plans for the early part of Spring Training.
- Cubs pitchers and hitters did some live BP yesterday. Baseball-ish!
- Kyle Schwarber knows he won’t be a regular, full-time catcher this year.
- Brett Anderson’s back – for now – is good to go.
- Your Spring Training Miscellany to close down the day, with plenty to view and enjoy.