Lotta ticked off Ohio State fans today, which I totally understand. You win the Big Ten and you’re ranked in the top five, you figure you should be going to the playoff.
But two losses, one of which was a butt-whipping by Iowa, and an Alabama team that lost just once in their rivalry game to a good Auburn team on the road?
- Here’s a Statcast take on the best catchers (for things it measures, like velocity, pop time, etc.), and Willson Contreras has the strongest catching arm in baseball if you go by average velocity on “max effort” throws. Contreras’s 1.91 average pop time on caught stealing at second base was just 0.01 behind first place. That should be unsurprising given that Contreras rated as the second best catcher in baseball (Tucker Barnhart) by defensive value at FanGraphs. He was tied for third in DRS, behind Barnhart and Martin Maldonado – the two Gold Glove winners.
- *If and when* Contreras’s framing takes a step forward in 2018 (given his continued and rapid improvement in other phases of the game, it’s hard not to bet on it), the total value he contributes to the Cubs could become borderline MVP territory. (Note: I’m not saying he’ll *BE* an MVP candidate necessarily, but a top three defensive catcher with plus framing and a 125 wRC+? I mean, what would you call that?)
- We’ll have more Stanton info and analysis soon, but since I’m here giving Bullets anyway, I’ll just pop these in front of you:
On Giancarlo Stanton and #Dodgers, I wrote last week, “Stanton appears inclined to wait for complete clarity [on #Dodgers interest] before fully embracing other alternatives.” That remains true. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 3, 2017
Would also note it is in #Dodgers best interest to at minimum seem interested to make sure NL foes #STLCards and, especially NLW rival #sfgiants pay highest possible price for Stanton, have less maneuverability elsewhere. https://t.co/SwIGypWArG
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 3, 2017
- There’s definitely no reason for the Dodgers to do anything here that might help the Giants’ planning process.
- Elsewhere in the NL West, the Padres were apparently un-troubled by the time Preller got suspended for hiding medical information from other teams to do better in trades:
— MLB (@MLB) December 3, 2017
- Free agents Rene Rivera and Jon Jay (both would be nice, complementary players to return to the Cubs on reasonable deals … ) are in Florida supporting Anthony Rizzo’s Walk Off for Cancer charity event:
— Rene Rivera (@ReneRivera13) December 3, 2017
And we are off!!! pic.twitter.com/w4gSaBdkvn
— A. Rizzo Foundation (@RizzoFoundation) December 3, 2017
- You mean “World Series Hero” Michael Martinez:
Source: #Indians have agreed to a minor-league deal with Michael Martinez. Includes ST invite.
— Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayFRS) December 2, 2017
- I like to have fun on teh twitters:
[The year is 2087, Bert lays on his death bed. He asks his great, great grandchild, who is then the new #AtCubs, to come closer. He has a confession to make.]
"Nolan … Arenado … was actually good."
" … but Kris Bryant was better."
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) December 2, 2017
- I’m still shaking my head about this morning’s Marlins-won’t-even-bid-on-Ohtani story. You want to give a new ownership group the benefit of the doubt, and not start viewing them as the old guys just because the old guys were troubled, but this decision and the way they’ve handled the firings and transition (and already seeking more money) … it’s all just so crummy.
- Meanwhile, over in Bears world:
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) December 3, 2017
- Very good sale today at Fanatics:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) December 3, 2017
- And Amazon appears to have started a 12 Days of Deals promotion, with a ton of “active” stuff on sale today. That includes game tables (ping pong, pop-a-shot, foosball, dart board type stuff), Rawlings stuff, and Wilson deals. Definitely worth a look for you sporting types.