I am currently sipping green tea and eating an “RxBar,” which The Wife gave me to try after my vigorous morning workout (good heavens my life today would be so unrecognizable by me even two years ago). Anyone ever heard of these things? It’s not bad, and it’s made of just a few whole, real ingredients. Having just watched a documentary on processed sugar, I was particularly susceptible to the lure of a bar like this. Well done, The Wife.
Also, so that you know that my pushing Amazon on you is still not entirely BS salesmanship: the bars came from Amazon, and I watched the documentary on Amazon Prime. I mean, let’s be honest: yes, I’m totally advertising to you – when you shop at Amazon using the links here at BN, you support the site. But I really do use this stuff daily.
- I really enjoyed this read from Patrick Mooney on the way the Cubs opted to address their rotation this offseason, given the many directions they could have gone. As Theo Epstein suggests in the piece, high-end free agent pitching went to a price level that was too risky, and the trade market was ridiculously overpriced. (Mooney mentions that the Braves would have wanted Jorge Soler AND Duane Underwood AND more for Shelby Miller, which is a very easy pass. Of course, the Braves went on to get an even better deal from the Diamondbacks, so whatever.) Instead, the Cubs got John Lackey on a very reasonable deal, and traded for a controlled pitcher who can be used in the pen, but also has a ton of rotation upside, in Adam Warren.
- The part I always wonder about when I see these articles – a part we may never know – is how would the Cubs’ offseason have proceeded if David Price had done the unthinkable and decided to accept the Cubs’ offer, which was some $50 million less than the $217 million that he ultimately took from the Red Sox at the start of December. Given that we know the Cubs had been targeting Jason Heyward for more than a year, does he stay on the radar even after landing Price? Would the Cubs then have opted to keep Starlin Castro rather than trade him and sign Ben Zobrist to a big deal? Would the Cubs have traded Castro for Adam Warren anyway, and just used those contract savings toward Price/Heyward? The Lackey signing almost certainly wouldn’t have happened, right? It’s hard to answer any of this with strict certainty, both because you can never predict how the ripples of one move impact others (on that team and others), but also because the front office has played their financial flexibility very close to the vest. We knew they’d probably be able to increase spending a little bit for 2016, but it seems like they’ve been able to increase it significantly. Could they have done even more if the right moves were there? If Price took a bargain contract?
- This is all entirely academic, of course, because (1) Price was never going to take that enormous of a discount to come to the Cubs, and (2) I’m thrilled with the Cubs’ offseason as is. It’s not like the Cubs came into the offseason with ENORMOUS needs, and yet they still added multiple impact pieces that will genuinely improve the team without giving up any of their future.
- What a great article at The Player’s Tribune from former big leaguer Corey Koskie, who writes about his life after baseball, trying to make it work in business. One thing Koskie mentions that I find myself saying all the time: pro baseball players have to try and make as much money as they can during their playing days, because that window is so short, life is so long, and whatever comes next is not certain. It can’t be easy to retire from you first career when you’re 30, 35, and then try to figure out what to do with the next 40 years when all you’ve ever known is baseball.
- This is real: Connie Chung playing ‘never have I ever’ with Matt Harvey. And the former asks the latter about certain, eh hem, personal behavior. I’d say I never thought I’d see the day, but I never even though I’d ever even think about seeing the day when *Connie Chung* is playing a drinking game with *Matt Harvey.*
- Also at Baseball is Fun: Michael writes about the kinds of bizarre old baseball rules that make you really think it’s crazy that some folks scream about “tradition!” when you discuss changing any rules.
- And if you missed it, the Cubs landed six prospects in MLB Pipeline’s just-released top 100.
- An interesting note from Ben Badler, which totally makes sense:
Common thing I hear from execs: They have an enormous amount of new data, but they’re still learning to turn it into useable information.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) January 29, 2016
I’m digging this visual check-in:
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) January 28, 2016