I said it yesterday, so I guess I can’t say it again today … but here I am saying it: I sure hope this weekend was just slow as heck because the predicates were there for things to be kinda slow anyway, and then you add in the holiday, and baseball people were just all kinda like, eh, let’s chill until Monday.
In theory, there should be SOME action this week regardless, because there’s a huge deadline looming on Friday: the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. For the Cubs, that includes a large group of youngsters, including currently-suspended shortstop Addison Russell. The Cubs can tender him and then later trade him, mind you, but it just feels like they’d probably rather have things wrapped up before having to tender him (or not).
- So, MLB caught a rapid bit of heat last night when a report came out that indicated they’d just made a public contribution to the campaign of Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, who had recently seen other large corporate contributions rescinded because of comments she made about public hangings and the Confederacy. MLB sprang into action just a few hours after the report came out, trying to explain how the contribution happened, and asking for its return:
From MLB spokesperson, about the $5,000 donation to Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith: "The contribution was made in connection with an event that MLB lobbyists were asked to attend. MLB has requested that the contribution be returned."
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 25, 2018
MLB adds that its contribution came before it was aware of Cindy Hyde-Smith’s reprehensible comments
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 25, 2018
- At a minimum, this moment should serve as an opportunity for MLB to re-evaluate its procedure for making campaign contributions, because – whatever your position on the morality of contributing to this particular candidate – dropping this donation right now was extremely tone deaf (MLB was not aware of the widely-publicized public hanging comments from two weeks ago? (even if that’s true, that’s pretty bad, too!)). This should also serve as a reminder to all about the inextricable link between an enormous professional sports league like MLB and American politics. So long as MLB makes itself a political player (including spending literal millions of dollars to lobby Congress so that minor league wages can remain disgustingly low), they will have to accept this kind of blowback.
- 15 years go today, the Cubs traded Hee-Seop Choi to the world champion Marlins for one of the guys who helped knocked the Cubs out of the NLCS, Derrek Lee. Dude was so freaking good in his six and a half seasons with the Cubs: a .298/.378/.524 line, 131 wRC+, 1046 hits, 574 RBI, 179 homers, and a 2005 season that featured a Barry Bonds-ian 170 wRC+. So, so good. Bonus: in his final games with he Cubs, Lee homered four times in a three-game set in St. Louis.
- Cubs have had some dang good long-term first basemen over the past couple decades, eh?
- Just incredible how committed Bryce Harper is to telling everyone he loves the Cubs, even if it means ripping off his own arm to make a Cubbie ‘C’ instead of an Ohio State ‘O’:
- The guys for whom there is a large public/private disparity is pretty telling:
- So, I gather there are a lot of voters who are embarrassed to admit they *didn’t* vote for – for example – Mike Mussina, and are also embarrassed to admit that they *did* vote for Omar Vizquel? You’re being weird and lame, folks. Just release your votes, and be accountable for your positions.
- Amazon has already kicked off its Cyber Monday Deals, so there is a ton of stuff getting the Deal of the Day treatment today, including clothes, headphones, cookware, grills, rugs, chargers, and so much more.