In anticipation of ‘The Last Jedi’, I re-watched ‘The Force Awakens’ one more time last night. My take on it remains the same as it ever was: it’s fine. It looks great. The performances are solid. The story is … familiar. It’s certainly less thrilling on re-watches, which reminds you of how much of the original enjoyment was merely tied to being back in that universe (galaxy) with new material. I hope that, now that they brought back all the comforts of the original trilogy, they truly move on into unexplored, totally foreign material in ‘The Last Jedi.’
Bonus: near the end of the viewing, I realized my kid’s light saber was sitting next to me on the top of the couch. So I did what any other self-respecting 36-year-old father of three would do: I flicked that baby on and won me an imaginary battle in the middle of my living room as The Wife looked on in horror.
- I don’t really follow basketball, but being in on the Chicago sports world means it was impossible not to hear about Bulls forward Bobby Portis breaking the face of his teammate, Nikola Mirotic, in practice a couple days before the season started. Incredibly – to me, anyway – the Bulls hung on to both players, and Mirotic just spoke yesterday about the incident and they’re trying to move on. And then, on the same day, word came out that the loud argument between Bears players on Monday of this week was between wide receivers Tre McBride and Josh Bellamy, and, what do you know, McBride just happened to be waived on Tuesday.
- The whole thing had me wondering how this would be handled on a team like the Cubs. I can’t claim to know the caliber of the Bulls players involved, but the question becomes way too easy if you say the fight was between non-essential players (or at least one non-essential player), because you can just boot a guy. For example, 10 years ago, Carlos Zambrano and Michael Barrett got into a dugout scuffle that turned into a clubhouse fist fight, with Zambrano sending Barrett to the hospital. Within the month, Barrett was dumped on the Padres.
- It’s also too easy to answer if the fight is just kind of a pushing and shoving argument situation. Guys get over it. Look at Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent, a couple of serious stars at the time, getting into a very visible fight in the dugout back in 2002. They finished up the season together without issue. (Although Kent did leave as a free agent after the season, signing with the Astros.) Heck, probably more than half of those kinds of fights never even make it into the public’s consciousness.
- What if it was two REALLY important players who got into a REALLY serious fight, though? What if one of your stars broke the face of another one of your stars? Maybe Kris Bryant spends a little too much time with Bryce Harper, and Anthony Rizzo loses his cool and breaks Bryant’s face? (Note: That would never happen.) Do you immediately have to dump one of the two players, even at a steep productivity cost to the organization, or do you risk upending the clubhouse by trying to have the guys work together? Do you send a message by booting one? But which one? What if they were both being a-hole, and one just got the better of the other in the fight? I actually think this is a pretty hard question to answer (and the kind that rolls around my noggin’ when the hot stove is cold). Does the fact that the Cubs were quick to let Miguel Montero go last year after he criticized teammates mean that they’d react similarly if there were a fight? Or did the fact that it happened to come right after Montero’s arm was so badly exposed make the decision all the easier?
- Juuuuuust having a little fun here:
LOLOLOL. You can't even pick a leadoff hitter because there are too many guys you want thumping.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) November 29, 2017
- What’s especially fun is that I got some guff for the structure of that lineup, but it’s like … you can’t really come up with the perfect lineup with that group. You don’t want Bryant leading off? That’s fine by me, but is there someone there who you want getting more plate appearances than Bryant? It’s easy to just grab Russell or Baez and say they should lead off because you want to bump Bryant closer to the middle of the order, but then you’re choosing to give one of the lesser hitters in the lineup more opportunities than guys like Bryant and Rizzo and Harper. Like I said in the tweet: it’s almost impossible to pick the best lineup with that group, because there’s just too much thunder.
- The Cubs very possibly have signed lefty Dario Alvarez to a Major League deal (he was a minor league free agent, but you sometimes see that with the best minor league free agents (Cubs did it with Andury Acevedo a couple years ago, for example). Basically, it would be like adding an impending minor league free agent to your own 40-man roster after his team (the Rangers) declined to do so. We’ll have much more if/when the signing is confirmed – for now, it’s all based on the fact that he shows up on the Cubs’ 40-man roster online, although there is no transaction activity that shows a signing. It’s a little odd.
- Excellent job reaching back and finding something great, Michael:
Of course he did.
*insert poop emoji*https://t.co/MMEiA9CGlt
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) November 30, 2017
- My vote goes to the high homer, because of just how hard I know that is. The low homer definitely *looks* crazier:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) November 29, 2017
- What is even happening here/I don’t care I love it:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) November 29, 2017
- The Cubs Shop is keeping the deals going, with 25% off all orders today (code DUGOUT):
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) November 30, 2017
- Amazon has a few excellent deals going on today, including Rawlings baseball gear, a big sale on a bunch of LEGO Star Wars sets, $74 off one of those food-saver vacuum sealing systems, and the Sonicare toothbrush (I love mine) for 22% off after a coupon.