Physical health, mental health, parenting, career … all things that are more a process than a destination. You think you’ve got your arms wrapped around it and all is proceeding perfectly – and will always be perfect! finally! I did it! – and then you check in with yourself at some random point and you realize your arms aren’t wrapped around the thing anymore, and maybe never were. Because these aren’t things that you can just hold onto and be finished with. Process, not a destination. Check in with yourself from time to time, be honest, and be prepared to start the process again. (I’m talking to you, Brett …. )
Thanks, chums. Needed to type that out.
Now the sports stuff, with more from Theo Epstein coming shortly (actually, I wound up doing that first, and it’s right here) …
- This wasn’t necessarily for bench coach, because other positions could have been coordinated around, but clearly the Cubs liked Mike Napoli in some capacity:
Mike Napoli was a candidate for a cubs coaching job, and even interviewed with the team before their recent hires. but ultimately, after retiring just a few weeks ago, he doesn't mind having a little time off. would make a great coach somewhere when ready.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 4, 2019
- Napoli just retired after the 2018 season, so the Cubs clearly were targeting him very quickly as a guy who could be a positive force in his post-playing days. Depending on how that interview went, I’d expect them to stay in contact with him about other possible opportunities.
- I say the Brewers’ one-year streak is going down:
Streaks are meant to be broken, right? pic.twitter.com/3AVHaNbNcB
— MLB (@MLB) January 5, 2019
- In all seriousness, it’s going to be hard for the Brewers to repeat in 2019, if only because the division is probably going to be a lot more competitive next year than last year. I tend to think the Brewers will not overperform as much in 2019 as they did in 2018, but I also would not currently peg the Cubs to be a 95-win team either. Throw in the Cardinals being vastly improved and a potentially surprising Reds team, and I’m not sure any NL Central team wins more than 92 or so next year. It could be a really tight race between a few clubs, and it’s going to take really strong records outside of the division (thanks to the unbalanced schedule) for their to be more than two teams above 89 wins.
- Fun? fact from the 2018 season: the Cubs and Brewers both finished 162 with 95 wins, but both were lucky, according to the Base Runs calculation of underlying performance. By how much? Both by the exact same four wins. I tend to think the Cubs were “lucky” to get those extra wins based on their performance, and the Brewers were “lucky” to get the performances they got that generated those extra wins (which not only *feels* correct, but would also explain why the Brewers had a better run differential, but the same Base Runs projection).
- The Bears will play their first playoff game tomorrow since 2010, and they’ve got Theo Epstein rooting for them. He summed it up perfectly to the Tribune: “I’m just happy for them. It’s great to see a plan come together like that. They’re a really likable, fun team and you can tell they care about each other and play really hard, so I’m pulling for them.”
- A “commitment level to try” is really all any team could have plausibly promised Troy Tulowitzki, despite rumors to the contrary:
Brian Cashman, on if Troy Tulowitzki takes them out of the Manny Machado hunt:
"I can't say what it would take us out of, but we're going into this with a commitment level to try Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop."
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) January 4, 2019
- El Mago:
— MLB Puerto Rico (@MLBPuertoRico) January 5, 2019
- What the … next year, wedgies and swirlies:
My Mets ticket rep has resorted to…shaming me for buying a ticket plan for the 2018 season? pic.twitter.com/dAERnz5cQW
— Chris McShane (@chrismcshane) January 5, 2019
- Can this team please just move? Because things are not great in the Tampa area for the Rays:
.@RaysBaseball announce this morning they are closing the upper deck of the Trop and reducing capacity for games there to between 25K and 26K, further reducing what was already the smallest capacity in MLB.
— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) January 4, 2019
- Jokes, they are possible: