The off-day is over. May we never have to do that again after the start of a new series, and immediately after a thrilling walk-off game.
Well, unless it’s a playoff series.
- It’s ring day for the Cubs! Before tonight’s game against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field, the world champion Chicago Cubs will receive their rings. What will Cubs players do with their rings, which reportedly will feature upwards of 108 diamonds (get it?) and be worth $70,000 (ESPN)? Most of the players asked by Jesse Rogers suggested they would wear the ring to special occasions, but mostly they just wanted to keep it safe. Given that the ring is not only valuable, but is the one tangible “trophy” that every player gets, you can understand why it would be treated as a revered item. Javy Baez, though, said he wants to wear it every day.
- There was a brief moment where I thought it was overkill to separate the banner-raising festivities from the ring ceremony, but I now think it would actually have been a disservice to the fans not to split them up into two events. More fans will get to experience at least one, and also the spacing allows for us all to linger in the moment just a little bit longer.
- Speaking of which, the Cubs put together a video package from Monday night’s celebration:
Unforgettable moments. pic.twitter.com/UPhFk41t61
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 11, 2017
- This is a fantastic read at CSN about the late Cubs scout who pushed the organization to look very closely at Kyle Schwarber in 2014, a prospect that scout, Stan Zielinski, compared to Babe Ruth. A fun reveal among many in the article? Theo Epstein (jokingly? hyperbolically? completely honestly?) predicted in October 2013 that Schwarber would be the team’s pick in the following June draft, and would go on to put up “Big Papi numbers.” Recall, outsiders weren’t even aware Schwarber was remotely be considered with the Cubs’ fourth overall pick until about three weeks before the draft. That’s pretty incredible.
- The article, by the way, is also a reminder of what the Cubs lost when Zielinski surprisingly passed away this offseason. His career was a touched one, and he meant a great deal to so many people, and to the organization as a whole.
- The Cubs’ young stars were very busy on their off-day, heading all around town promoting various products, and getting their bright and shiny faces out in front of Chicagoans. It may seem like a bunch of fluff, but I get pretty excited to see baseball stars taking over a city like the Cubs have the last two years, and increasingly so this year. One of the most important ways the sport will continue to connect to young fans in the coming decades is by way of these earned, thoughtfully-developed personal connections with the community – not just in Chicago, but all across the country.
- Speaking of which, they’re just like us (except much better at sports):
— Play Ball (@PlayBall) April 10, 2017
- We like to joke around and have some fun with this:
- But in all seriousness, there has to be at least at little concern in St. Louis about the team’s 2-6 start to the season, second worst in the NL. As Buster Olney points out, one of the biggest problems is the team’s pitching, which currently sports the worst ERA in baseball. Although the Alex Reyes injury seriously hurt the Cardinals’ rotation, it’s actually the bullpen that’s done most of the damage: big-time free agent signing Brett Cecil, closer Seung Hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist, and Jonathan Broxton all sport ERAs over 12(!). The samples are tiny, and we are, after all, talking about only eight games – were this midseason, it’s a blip that no one outside of hardcore Cardinals fans even notices. But the Cardinals don’t get these games back, and if they were hoping to contend at the top of the division, this does not help.
- The Marlins had a wild night in their outfield, specifically because a cat came out of nowhere to join the group and scale the center field wall.
- Also, Michael made a funny:
- Among the many latest items at TYL, the Browns may not actually be set on taking the clear best player in the draft at number one overall, which could throw everything for a loop.
- Ooh, if you like the classic satchel/messenger bag look, there’s a fantastic-looking leather one on a huge sale today (75%). Also, a portable mini bluetooth speaker for under $20.