The Family did an extended family Christmas thing this weekend, hence these very late Bullets. We’re now in the car on the way home, so I’m typing between waves of nausea that I apparently now get while trying to write in the car.
- When Brandon Morrow converted to the bullpen full-time with the Padres a couple years ago, his velocity spiked – as you hope it would – but he also saw his effectiveness improve thanks to a killer cutter that he added. Usually, you see pitchers who convert to the bullpen taking pitches away not adding them back into the mix. Morrow did ditch a bunch of pitches in the transition (he no longer throws a sinker, a splitter, or a curveball), but he brought back that cutter. So what’s the deal? Just got more of a feel for it in short doses? Less concerned about injury from throwing it too much as a starter? Well, as he told Eno Sarris, it wasn’t really either of those things: “I’ve had a handful of pitches I’ve worked with the past, but the reason I took those away is I knew I needed to come in and show swing-and-miss stuff. You can’t come in and ‘get outs’ on a minor league deal, you have strike guys out. That’s just the way it is, if you want to be in a major league bullpen.”
- Obviously it’s not always as simple as “throw a nastier pitch to get more whiffs” for a reliever’s lights to click on, but Morrow makes a point there that I’d never considered: maybe in the process of trying to impress on the minor league deal, you’re more willing to try something new … and maybe *that’s* when something clicks, as it did for Morrow.
- Great stuff at CBS on Kyle Hendricks’ offseason, including his inclusion in the presentation to Shohei Ohtani. One unrelated and interesting note from Hendricks, who said that he wasn’t surprised pitching coach Chris Bosio was let go because, per the CBS writeup, “word had spread during the season that a change could be on the horizon.” That word did not make it out of the clubhouse, apparently, as Bosio’s dismissal was a relative surprise. That said, the Cubs seem to be very happy with the way things worked out, landing one of the most respected pitching coaches in the game – and a guy who happened to have worked with Joe Maddon for a very long time in Tampa Bay – Jim Hickey.
- Mets ownership, which was ravaged by the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme, is still holding things – and dollars – extremely close to the vest:
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) December 17, 2017
- Here’s a Bullet on the Mets’ ownership situation from TWO YEARS AGO and I instantly feel very bad for Mets fans again:
A great read from Howard Megdal on the state of the New York Mets’ finances, if you’ve forgotten why they don’t spend like a New York team that just won a lot of games and made the World Series. The financial restrictions under which the Mets operate are similar to that of the Cubs in an extremely general sense, but, while the Cubs’ restrictions were thrust upon them by the transaction structure upon which the previous owner insisted the Ricketts take ownership, the Mets’ restrictions are seemingly in place only because the Mets, by way of their owners, were directly invested in the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. That made a whole bunch of money go poof, which required the taking on of a whole bunch of additional debt, which has limited spending. Unfortunately for Mets fans, even as revenue has risen, spending does not appear to have risen along with it. And thankfully for Cubs fans, that’s one area where there’s been a clear divergence between the organizations and their financial situations.
- If you missed it yesterday, a local report has the Cubs in on Yu Darvish.
- Did Anthony Rizzo get married, or are he and his fiancee simply fancy and dashing and beautiful:
- The Wife and I were doing some family Christmas shopping last night when we came across massage chairs – like, physically, in a store. I always assumed they were garbage and wouldn’t work (I want to say I’d tried one like 10 years ago, and at least back then, that was the case) … but holy crap. It was the best 10 minutes of my month. I did not want to get up. So now I’m perusing Amazon for massage chairs to see if I can find a reasonable deal, because I NEED IT.
- Meanwhile, I see at Amazon that David Ross’s book, Dave Kaplan’s Cubs book, and Tom Verducci’s Cubs book are all under $20 for the hardcover version. Would be a nice Christmas gift, eh?