Ah, home opener day. It would be a good day no matter what else was going on, but obviously this one is historic.
Here’s hoping I see you around the ballpark – maybe even the new Park at Wrigley – before, during, or after the game. I’ll be wearing my Tsuyoshi Wada shirsey (yeah, baby, I’m that guy – hey, he was awesome), so if you see me out in the bleachers, say hey.
There will be quite a bit to get into from yesterday’s Cubs win – particularly with respect to the pitching and hitting stars of the game:
If today's Arrieta and today's Heyward are the norm, the NL is effed.
Eh, prolly is anyway.
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) April 9, 2017
But for now, let’s touch on some Other Bullets …
- Like the Cubs’ starting second baseman, Javy Baez. OK, so that’s not actually accurate just yet, but Patrick Mooney writes about how the transition from Ben Zobrist to Javy Baez is already beginning, even if Joe Maddon isn’t going to put a label on it. Given Zobrist’s age and Baez’s defensive ability, it was always a given that Zobrist would cede more and more starts to Baez as the year went on (that Baez started every game at second base in the playoffs was a loud, blaring signal), but it doesn’t really serve the Cubs’ interests just yet to have ONE starting second baseman. The reality of these two players is that, all else equal, you’d love to have Zobrist’s bat in there every day, and you’d love to have Baez’s glove in there every day. And, as we have already seen, that will happen frequently by way of Zobrist moving to the outfield. But when that happens, the Cubs get a marked defensive downgrade in the outfield, and they also have to park Albert Almora Jr. and Jon Jay on the bench. Some days, you’ll want to do that. Other days, you won’t. So, I very much buy the things Joe Maddon told Mooney in the article, emphasizing that he wants to keep everyone versatile and given the roster more “latitude.” Eventually, Javy Baez probably does take over more or less as the everyday second baseman (pending health, trades, and what happens with Ian Happ (not that he would necessarily bounce Baez from the position, but I’m just saying, a combination of events can change things)). But the Cubs have the pieces this year to maximize value and rest by specifically not having a set starting second baseman. I am a big fan.
- Next year? The year after? I think that’s when you’ll really start to see someone settling into the position, in the latter two years of Zobrist’s four-year contract.
- The banner-raising is tonight before the home opener, and the details you need: the banner festivities are starting at 6:20pm CT, and they will be streamed live on Cubs.com and MLB.com. Even if you can’t be at the ballpark, you’ll want to watch and be a part of that moment.
- Early season standings are fun:
Just like everyone predicted. Cubs and Reds, duking it out. pic.twitter.com/ApWKUc7LpL
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) April 10, 2017
- The Cubs will get their rings on Wednesday, and one thing we know: they’ll have at least 108 diamonds (Tribune).
- The Cubs are still the top power-ranked team at ESPN, as well they should be. The team’s only two losses this year so far came on the road via a walk-off.
- Shohei Otani may come to MLB after this season, so his year bears watching closely. He just injured his thigh, and could miss upwards of six weeks.
- If you missed anything earlier this morning, we had a Minor League Daily (Happ homered again), David Ross and Anthony Rizzo dancing a routine (Rizzo twerked again), Kyle Schwarber got national love (Cubs in focus again), and it’s HOME OPENER DAY for the CHAMPIONS (there’s no “again” here, because it’s a first for Wrigley Field).
- Over at Baseball is Fun, it’s a little Softball is Fun with a game-ending triple play for the UCF team.
- There are a couple Invicta watches that are the Deal of the Day at Amazon, list price almost $600, and they’re currently under $50. Gotta clear out some inventory ASAP, I guess, because that seems too low to be true.
- Here’s a headline problem I’d like to see the Cubs dealing with in about two years (also, follow The Ten-Yard Line on Twitter, my friends!):
Tom Brady's diamond shoes are also too tight. pic.twitter.com/5EW60PjP54
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) April 10, 2017