More on the Beautiful Cubs Rings, Using Four Outfielders at a Time, and Other Bullets

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More on the Beautiful Cubs Rings, Using Four Outfielders at a Time, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Heard a line on a podcast this week that stuck with me (apologies, but I don’t remember which podcast it was). Maybe it’s cheesy, but since I’m thinking about it a lot, I figure I’d mention it here: we tend to give the advice we need the most.

“The Chicago Cubs World Series Championship Ring, designed and produced by Jostens, is made from 14-karat white gold. Its top features the traditional Cubs bullseye logo, masterfully crafted from 33 custom-cut genuine red rubies that are surrounded by 72 round white diamonds, all within a circular perimeter made up of 46 custom-cut, genuine blue sapphires. The bezel is surrounded by 108 round white diamonds lifting the Cubs logo to victory and signifying the end of a historic 108-year championship drought. Overall, the ring contains 214 diamonds at 5.5 karats, 3 karats of genuine red rubies and 2.5 karats of genuine sapphires.

One side features the player’s name set atop the iconic W Flag, which is created from 31 round white diamonds and a fire blue corundum understone that forms the “W.” Silhouette images of Wrigley Field’s bricks and ivy surround the flag and the player’s number, which sits below the flag.

The other side features the year 2016 above the iconic Wrigley Field façade and Marquee, displaying the message “CUBS WIN!” A silhouette of the World Series Trophy sits below the Marquee with a large round white diamond set in the center, signifying the 2016 World Series victory. Two princess-cut diamonds flank the trophy, representing the team’s two previous World Series titles. Wrigley Field’s bricks complete the background.

On the palm at the bottom of the outer band is the team’s rally cry, “WE NEVER QUIT.” On the inside of the ring is a custom triple arbor that features the local date and time the championship was won – “11-3-16, 12:47 am” – and the series scores and logos of the three teams the Cubs defeated on their epic journey to becoming 2016 World Series Champions. An image of the infamous goat representing a supposed franchise curse is included on the inner band.

…. A total of 1,908 rings and pins will be distributed to Cubs players, coaches, ownership, executives, front office associates, ballpark staff, partners and Hall of Fame alumni, including posthumous rings for the late Ernie Banks and Ron Santo, to be saved in the Wrigley Field archives.”

  • Did you catch that last line? Ernie and Ronnie got their rings.
  • The fan version of the Cubs’ championship ring comes in a variety of flavors, the fanciest of which is pretty darn close to the real thing … and costs over $10,000.
  • Just beautiful:

  • Maybe the Cubs can buy one for Brett Anderson – he’s now the only guy on the 25-man roster without a World Series ring (ESPN).
  • A very cool picture, and reminder of how far these guys have come together (after two trades and three teams!):

  • Apropos of a recent discussion we had here about the increasing propensity for batters to seek fly ball outcomes, Buster Olney writes about the possibility of teams employing four-man outfields at times. Those times, as Olney rightly points out, would have to be awfully specific: pull-side fly ball hitter, game situation where the hitter can’t maximize damage in the infield, etc. We’ve talked before about extreme outfield shifts, and this is kind of like that (just more extreme). The thing I’d point out is that some extreme infield shifts actually already take on the look of a four-man outfield, with the third baseman shifting into shallow right field against pull-side lefties.
  • Of note, the one manager to try this, as Olney points out? Joe Maddon, back with the Rays, against David Ortiz and Jim Thome. You can read about Maddon’s philosophy at the time (2006) here in the New York Times, back when extreme shifting was very much a new concept. Interestingly, since then, Maddon’s teams have receded in the frequency of their shifts – so much so that the 2016 Cubs, arguably the best defense of all time, were one of the least-shifty teams in baseball last year, and were the most effective team in baseball when shifting (by far). Part of that is the talent of the personnel, but I’m sure another part of it is the team – and the manager – once again being out front of changes in the game, and better optimizing precisely when a shift makes sense, and when it does not.
  • This is just one of the many ways to look awesome on casual Fridays via the BN shop (free shipping today with code FS417):

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.