The Opportunity Baseball's Challenges Provide, Contreras, Edwards, Standings, and Other Bullets

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The Opportunity Baseball’s Challenges Provide, Contreras, Edwards, Standings, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I am still not able to walk, and last night, The Wife came down with the flu. This morning, schools were closed, and our child care provider can’t come because of the weather. So our house is a one-legged dude, a flu’d up lady, a six-year-old, a four-year-old, and a one-year-old. CHALLENGE MODE ACTIVATED.

  • Joel Sherman posted a long thread on Twitter this morning about the labor fighting and the whole thing does an excellent job boiling down a lot of what I’ve been feeling in the past week. Here’s a section that was particularly compelling, in my opinion (PA = MLB Player Association):

  • Regardless of how many years are left on the current CBA, there *IS AN OPPORTUNITY HERE* for both the players and the owners to make changes that will improve the game *FOR FANS.* Having an appropriately-compensated player base is good for the game (and fans), because it limits the BS we’ve seen this offseason and puts players, collectively, in the best position to perform their best. Disincentivizing *serial* tanking is good for the competitiveness of the sport, which is fun for more fans in more markets over more seasons (and helps players with that money thing). Improving pace of play makes for a more enjoyable watching experience – more game action, less dead time – but more importantly increases the likelihood (over a period of many, many years) that the sport can interest and retain new fans. No one is talking about the loss of a few minutes of dead time turning a total non-fan into a hardcore baseball nut. Stop making that dang argument. We’re talking instead about, over the course of many seasons of checking in on a few games here and there, helping cultivate a meaningful fandom in a person who *IS* interested in the game, but currently does not take a lot of time to watch games because the experience isn’t quite what they’re looking for.
  • Debating Buster Posey versus Willson Contreras for fantasy purposes, and Contreras comes out pretty easily on top unless you’re desperate for batting average. Contreras could put up the better counting numbers, and also has the better lineup around him. It doesn’t mean Contreras has yet reached his goal of being the best, but it’ll be fun to watch him try to prove it this year.
  • Carl Edwards Jr.’s fastball velocity, movement, and life make it one of my favorite pitches in baseball:

  • It’s still too early for these (LOL!) because of the lack of signings, but USA Today presumably has to roll with it at some point:

  • I definitely agree with the premise: in this era, it sure feels like it’s a lot easier to predict the competitive teams – even in a relative order – than in years past. That said, I’d be pretty surprised if the NL Central lands three playoff teams (tiebreakers pending). Also, if the bottom four in the NL East actually look like that, the Nationals are going to win a lot more than 94 games. Also, if it actually went like that, dang that would be an exciting Wild Card race.
  • This is extremely notable for what it *isn’t* – the standalone streaming service does not include the actual ESPN channels, and instead is different live content:

  • So this is not QUITE yet the total death of the cable bundle, which obviously would have had a tremendous spidering out effect on a great many things, including regional sports networks (which the Cubs may or may not be planning to start in their next TV deal).
  • Knit Cubs caps for your chilly head:

  • Kudos to the White Sox for having a sense of humor about it:

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.