We are 10 days away from ‘Endgame,’ and I am going to have to figure out a plan to see it pretty early so I can avoid spoilers. The memes start right away with these things, and because of that, the ending of ‘Infinity War’ was spoiled as soon as I opened Twitter the next morning (“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good … “). Heck, apparently a bunch of footage just leaked online earlier this morning. AVOID SPOILERS!
- I thought this was a fascinating read on the evolving role of the manager in an era where the deeper integration of data and analytics simultaneously reduces the importance of the “classic” manager … but also makes his ability to work with his players on these new methodologies all the more critical. Lots from Joe Maddon:
"The manager – he’s not the one who’s driving the bus as much as he used to be.”
New column: Are managers becoming obsolete?
Shockingly, Joe Maddon, Bruce Bochy, Terry Francona & Ned Yost have some thoughts on that!https://t.co/e9RGfyhhGT
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 10, 2019
- For so long, Maddon was waaaaay ahead of the times, and now he’s seen more as a classic manager, but knowing full well that he has to keep adapting and adjusting to the changes in the game. One thing you can never accuse Maddon of is not knowing the things that he needs to know. He doesn’t always deploy them quite as you would want to see, but he knows the way the winds blow, generally speaking. How that will play out longer-term, with Maddon in the final year of his contract (which pays him $6 million, much higher than the prevailing rate for younger managers), remains to be seen.
- I respect this section from Maddon: “You know, part of the decision-making also interacts with human beings. And we work with human beings every day, whether it’s as a coach or a manager. There are all of these insular components to be considered: ‘Am I destroying his confidence?’… ‘Am I aiding his confidence?’ That’s actually a really big one right there. Sometimes you would make a decision to give a guy a little bit more length as a pitcher just to see if he could work through this, because if he does, you may have something special …. Numbers have no feelings or emotions whatsoever. So I actually think that you think with three body parts — your mind, your heart and your stomach. And I think there are times your stomach has the right answer. There are definitely times when your mind has the right answer. There are very few times when your heart has the right answer.”
- How right is that? Don’t go with your heart on the baseball diamond unless you want it to get broken.
- Victor Caratini had successful surgery on his fractured hamate bone yesterday, and his timeline for a return is four to six weeks, which would be mid to late May. Hopefully the Cubs can find ways to get a scorching-hot Willson Contreras appropriate rest in the meantime, with Taylor Davis as his backup.
- I really like watching this guy pitch, and not just because of his insane size/beard combo:
2/3 of Tim Collins' body is his beard. pic.twitter.com/9sv1dmaiNg
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 16, 2019
- Collins is quite short (5’7″), but he comes in at 93 mph, and has a 12-6 curveball that guys just don’t seem to pick up (I’m guessing it tunnels really well with the fastball). He lost so much time with two Tommy John surgeries, but what I’ve seen visually so far? The Cubs may have found themselves a guy.
- Who wants to see top Cubs prospect Miguel Amaya hit a monster bomb out of the stadium? Everyone:
The ballpark can't contain Miguel Amaya (@mamaya_9)!
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) April 16, 2019
It hasn’t been a scorching start at the plate for Amaya … who only just turned 20, is a premium defensive catcher, and is hitting at in the offense-depressed Carolina League. But he’s got a walk rate near 10% and an ISO of .250, each of which are things you really, really want to see. That strikeout rate is near 30%, and that’s a problem he’ll have to balance out. But, so far, I’m actually encouraged by the power.
Speaking of Cubs prospects who homer, Bryan wrote about Trent Giambrone’s power continuation at AAA Iowa this year … and then he promptly homered again, his third in three games, and fifth on the year. Dude is up to an early-season, whacky small sample slash line of .302/.302/.767 in 43 plate appearances.
ICYMI: Hey, you should read this Trent Giambrone story while I have your attention. https://t.co/JXya8ngIHm
— Tommy Birch (@TommyBirch) April 16, 2019
- Breakfast sandwich maker, toys, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon.
- So you’re saying there’s still a chance …
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) April 15, 2019