By the time you’re reading this, I will either be in a deep and blissful state of slumber while my foot is hacked at, or I will be in a deep and blissful state of repose while the drugs do their post-surgical thing. That is to say, I scheduled these Bullets earlier this morning before my foot surgery.
- MLB Network ranked the top 25 teams of the expansion era (since 1961), and you can probably guess which Cubs team was the one that made the cut – the 2016 club came in at number six. They were behind, in order from five to one, the 1986 Buckner-aided Mets, the Hall-of-Fame-loaded 1970 Orioles, the Home Run Chase 1961 Yankees club, the 1975 Big Red Machine, and the 1998 Yankees club that started their streak of three straight championships. This is not something that can ever be settled, so, whatever, fine by me. (Break out the simulator!)
- Jon Heyman previously said Brian Duensing took less money to come back to the Cubs, and it turns out, relatively speaking, it was a *ton* less: the A’s reportedly offered Duensing $10 million over two years, or 43%(!) more than the $7 million he took from the Cubs. We’ve seen guys take less to sign with the Cubs in recent years, but never to that extent on a percentage basis. Obviously $7 million is a lot of money for a guy in his mid-30s who finally broke out and hasn’t made a ton before that, but still – leaving $3 million on the table at this stage in his career is just incredible. It clearly speaks to just how much he wanted to stick with the Cubs.
- Sahadev Sharma continues to look at the Cubs’ struggles to develop pitchers internally over the past five+ years, noting this time – among other things – that at least the Cubs have been very good at developing players on the positional side. It would be one thing if they’d focused on position players to the exclusion of pitchers and succeeded … it would be another thing entirely if they focused on position players AND failed to develop them.
- At long last (well, after this year), the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo is going away:
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) January 29, 2018
- My thoughts on the racist caricature logo are simple (get rid of it 20 years ago), but I do want to offer one thing that I think people are getting wrong: the Indians are preserving the right to sell merchandise with the logo well on into the future in order to maintain the trademark (the law requires that you actually use a trademark in commerce, lest you lose it), and they are getting ripped by folks for trying to continue profiting off of the logo. Maybe that will prove to be the case, and we can all rip them down the road. But it’s also possible that the Indians simply want to be able to shut down the inevitable tide of knock-offs and rip-offs that pop up now that they’ve killed the logo. By preserving the trademark, they’ll have the legal right to do so.
- I found this meta read from Travis Sawchik very interesting, looking at how baseball fandom has shifted to become increasingly year-round … but then what happens to the fandom when there’s a super slow offseason like this one? Should MLB care about fan frustration during a slow “offseason”?
- Ken Rosenthal writes about an underdiscussed aspect of MLB’s quest to limit mound visits in service of pace of play: sign stealing. Specifically, catchers visit the pitcher often because they are trying to counteract sign steal by changing the signs often (we saw it constantly in the postseason).
- I keep seeing folks wanting to pass on Yu Darvish because of the two World Series starts, so I feel obligated to re-share the write-up on him tipping pitches.
- This was yesterday, which means … nice:
I miss you, old friend … pic.twitter.com/Q9SRb9Jrel
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 30, 2018
- I am very here for this, and I’ll see you there in April:
— NBC Chicago (@nbcchicago) January 30, 2018
- The new Spring Training gear came out yesterday, and you can see the Cubs collection here.
- It’s a boy:
Guess what?😘🤪🤪🤪 pic.twitter.com/rdlYm8E07o
— Javier Báez (@javy23baez) January 29, 2018
- Speaking of which, you used the wrong picture, uniform, and numbers:
El Mago. 💪 pic.twitter.com/aZz0XLe5OC
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) January 29, 2018
- This is fun:
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) January 28, 2018
- Combine that with this, and the Bears’ wide receiving corps could go from worst to … well, far better than worst:
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) January 29, 2018