Today, The Little Girl’s kindergarten class is having a Thanksgiving feast and performance, which should be rather adorable. I’m told it includes Thanksgiving songs, but also ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ for some reason. She gave us a preview last night, and I gotta be a proud papa for a moment and say that I was blown away by how well she knows that song. As we’ve seen with countless adults at sporting events over the years, it’s not an easy song to remember all the words in order, but she needed prompted with the first word of a stanza only a couple times. I was super impressed.
Also: Thanksgiving feast at school makes me remember when I was a kid and they did the Thanksgiving lunch a few days before Thanksgiving actually arrived. Remember? With the turkey and mashed potatoes and the spice cake! My love for cinnamon-themed desserts definitely started with the spice cake on my tray during the Thanksgiving lunches in elementary school.
- Kris Bryant was the deserving winner of the NL MVP, but he wasn’t the only Cub to get votes: Anthony Rizzo finished fourth, behind only the three named finalists, Bryant, Daniel Murphy, and Corey Seager. That’s Rizzo’s second straight season finishing fourth in the balloting, and, setting aside whatever personal pride he might rightfully derive from it, there was a financial reward: the extension Rizzo signed a few years ago included a provision that he gets a bump in his salaries down the road if he finishes in the top five in the MVP voting twice. It happened, and Rizzo essentially earned another $5 million for himself. Nicely done.
- Addison Russell also received a sixth place vote, which was enough to put him 19th overall. Kyle Hendricks got a 9th place vote, which put him at 23rd.
- By WAR, the Cubs’ 10 most valuable players were Kris Bryant (8.4), Anthony Rizzo (5.2), Dexter Fowler (4.7), Kyle Hendricks (4.5), Jon Lester (4.3), Ben Zobrist (4.0), Addison Russell (3.9), Jake Arrieta (3.8), John Lackey (3.1), and Javy Baez (2.7).
- MLB has officially announced the schedule change for Opening Day that will have the Cubs and Cardinals opening up on Sunday night now (April 2), instead of that Monday. The game, which is in St. Louis, will be at 7:30pm CT, and it’ll be the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball opener. There are two other games earlier in the day that Sunday, though, with the Giants at the D-Backs and the Yankees at the Rays. Why those games? Couldn’t tell you. But the reigning champs going to St. Louis to face their bitter rival to open the season on Sunday night is pretty darn good drama.
- Awesome anecdote here in the Tribune on Carl Edwards Jr. and Mike Montgomery, who combined to finish Game Seven of the World Series in the 10th inning. As they headed back to the bullpen following the rain delay, Montgomery told Edwards it was down to them and they were going to win the game, and Edwards said they were going to finish it together.
- It’s still unlikely that there’s an actual work stoppage because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expires in under two weeks. But, if that was going to happen, Nathaniel Grow gives you a peek at what it would look like.
- A long and lovely read at The Hardball Times on the career of David Ross, who was a journeyman back-up catcher … and really, really good one. It remains to be seen what’s next for Grandpa Rossy.
- One thing he’s working on, though, is raising funds and awareness for concussion research. Ross suffered multiple concussions in his career, so it’s a cause close to him.
- Bartolo Colon is off to join the Braves, but the Mets sent out a love note last night in the form of a video. Colon is 43 and nearly 300 pounds, but the guy is just a ridiculous athlete.
- Amazon is running a today-only special on Amazon Prime, which you can get for $20 off if you’re a first-timer. Go here, and look in the upper right of the page to sign up. As near as I can recall, they do this once a year, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you’ve never done Prime before. Free two-day shipping on most stuff, and a streaming video library that has become pretty darn good in the last two years.
- SHIRTS! We have four new championship BN shirts courtesy of incredibly talented BN’ers Dan Schrank, Ryan Saunders, Mike Hagan, and Ryan Smith. Read more about the designs here, and click on the picture to get some (free shipping right now with code 2GIFT if you buy two or more items):