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Busy Inning and Free Agency for Former Cub Marwin Gonzalez, Developing Fandom, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The rub with football fandom relative to baseball fandom is that each NFL loss for your team is like 10 MLB losses for your team in the standings. With my Bears fandom growing exponentially in the last few years as we’ve covered the team, I have to admit that I was not fully prepared for this. Like, obviously I knew it intellectually, but the draaaaaaag you feel after a loss – a crappy, crappy, crappy, shouldn’t-have-happened loss – is really significant.

My hope is that it’s going to help me continue to better contextualize and process crap Cubs losses. One of the best and truest philosophical things of the Joe Maddon era has been the idea of letting yourself feel the feelings of a single game for 30 minutes, and then moving on. For the players, that’s losses and wins, but for fans, I submit that it remains best to use that philosophy for losses, but go ahead and enjoy the wins for the full 24 hours or whatever until the next game. Like we saw this year, the season can end so very quickly, and then 95 regular season wins might be the only ones you get to celebrate.

Ugh. Now I’m thinking about the Bears loss *AND* the Cubs being done with baseball for another five months. FFFFFFFFFffffffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu …

  • The NLCS was off yesterday, so it was just the Red Sox and Astros in Game Two of the ALCS. The Red Sox tied the series up with a big assist from the Green Monster and a well-placed padding ledge:

  • Poor Marwin Gonzalez. He looked quite silly there, and maybe he shouldn’t have let the wall eat him up initially, but the subsequent bounces were hardly his fault. Shortly before that play, Gonzalez had run into the wall trying to catch a Steve Pearce double. And shortly before *that*, Gonzalez had crushed a homer over that wall. Busy third inning for Gonzalez and the Green Monster.
(Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
  • I still remember when Gonzalez was a light-hitting middle infield prospect in the Cubs’ system who went unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft in 2011 (the first of this front office), and – ironically – was drafted by the Red Sox and traded to the Astros. He barely stuck on the Astros’ roster in 2012, and between that season and 2013, although he offered great defensive utility, he posted wRC+ of 65 and 54. The Astros were able to hold and deploy him really only because they were – at that time – very happy to lose as many games as possible. From there, the magic salve the Astros rub on their pitchers must also work for utility players, because Gonzalez broke out with the bat, and posted above-average numbers in four of the next five seasons, including his herculean 2017 season (.303/.377/.530, 144 wRC+).
  • That year now looks like a clear outlier, but Gonzalez, who turns 30 next year, is still an above-average bat who can play pretty much anywhere on the field. His free agency will be a very interesting one to follow, because he could be so many different things to so many different teams. My guess is he’s one of those guys who gets a surprisingly large contract from a team that goes above-and-beyond to make sure they land him because they have a very specific idea of how they want to deploy him, and a belief they can maximize the bat in some particular way.
  • Well this is just malarky:

  • Anthony Rizzo – such a big, big dude – can and often does stretch all the way down to a complete ballet-dancer-level split. I don’t know how he does it (try, right now, to split as low as you can – I’ll wait … are you still about three feet from the ground? Yeah, me too). Every time I think something down there is going to burst, and every time he gets up without a problem. My dude needs to teach yoga classes in the offseason or something.
  • Dog toys, sheets, docking stations, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today.
  • Unrelated to baseball, but just so awesome that it’s worth sharing anyway:

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.