Ben Zobrist's Role and Relationship with His Manager and Other Bullets

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Ben Zobrist’s Role and Relationship with His Manager and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

ben zobrist cubs signingThe Earth is not flat. You wouldn’t think that is a necessary sentence in 2016, but when rappers and scientists are publicly spatting about the subject, I guess it’s worth sharing.

Setting aside the obvious, centuries old proof of the Earth’s spherical shape, I always thought I could ever-so-slightly perceive the curvature of the Earth (horizontally) when I was at the ocean, looking at the horizon. Even if that’s just my mind playing tricks on me, you can obviously perceive the curvature if you’ve ever driven up on a city with skyscrapers.

  • A great read at on Ben Zobrist’s relationship with Joe Maddon, under whose watch Zobrist developed into such an incredible utility player that not only did super utility player enter our wider nomenclature, but it became almost singularly associated with him. It remains very interesting to think about what Zobrist’s role with the Cubs will look like this season. On the one hand, you don’t want to lose a ton of his value by placing him solely in one position. On the other hand, he’s so good with the bat that, if he can play the whole year at second base, he’s going to be one of the most valuable guys in the league at that position. And perhaps if he’s mostly at one position regularly, he can avoid any nagging injuries that might otherwise drag down a guy who turns 35 in May. After all, the Cubs traded Starlin Castro in large part to open up second base for Zobrist.
  • My guess is Zobrist sees the vast majority of his starts at second base, but picks up an occasional start elsewhere as his and other players’ health allows/requires, and also frequently sees time at other positions later in games as Maddon’s mad scientist nature takes over.
  • One small Zobrist quote snippet from the article, about his old – and now new again – manager: “I’ve seen the genius work. I’ve seen the ability to take a situation, have no fear and him make that decision, and everybody’s like, ‘Why did you make that decision?’ And it works out. I believe in him as a manager. I know he knows what he’s doing even in the crazy times when we’re wondering why he’s making a certain call.” I dig it. It’s also a reminder that having relationships like this already in place are going to be a good and helpful thing going forward, especially on a team with so many young players. You think they won’t see the way Zobrist works, and moreover, the way he works with Maddon?
  • Last week, we talked about the Cubs’ request to close parts of Clark and Addison streets during games next year, and there’s much more on that here at DNAinfo. The Cubs’ request actually came late last year, and was directly in response to security requests from MLB. Whatever the closures might allow the Cubs to do with respect to street fairs and entertainment, that isn’t what motivated the request.
  • A BIF classic, as Bo Jackson breaks his bat over his head. And a more recent crazy feat: Charlie Blackmon hit a half-court shot backwards, and then lost his mind.
  • Liking the look of this Cubs zipper hoodie. I just never know if I can pull off the small-logo-on-left-breast look, because it somehow looks more official than just a fan hoodie. Like, if I wear it, I’m pretending I work for the Cubs. I’m probably just being overly neurotic.
  • A reminder that if you want to ask any Cubs or baseball or BN-related questions for our new Ask Away feature (think of it like a mailbag/mailbox type thing), send them to Michael at this address: askaway at bleachernation dot com. The first installment is coming Friday.


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.