Lester Wins, Love for Maddon, Shot at White Sox, Carl's Curve, and Other Bullets

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Lester Wins, Love for Maddon, Shot at White Sox, Carl’s Curve, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs play some REAL BASEBALL tomorrow. The offseason was chronologically long thanks to the early playoff exit, but it doesn’t feel like the wait for Opening Day was completely interminable. It was juuuuust about the right length to maximize my eagerness to see the Cubs back on the field, doing the meaningful baseball.

  • It will not surprise you to learn that Jon Lester is still all about pitcher wins, but you know what? That really doesn’t bother me. As long as he’s using the information available to him to the best of his ability to put his team in the best position to win, then whatever he thinks about his performance is all good. And there are few in the game who care as much about doing everything they can to compete than Jon Lester, so it’s not like he’s going to turn away from useful information just because it’s “new” or whatever. The guy just wants to win.
  • More:

  • And hey, as a byproduct of a great performance, here’s hoping Lester gets the “win” tomorrow.
  • Jayson Stark is one of the best in the business at putting together these kinds of comprehensive, league-wide looks at various topics, and it’s a must-read:

  • The “almost impossible” Joe Maddon feat referenced? I bet you could guess: he was the top vote-getter in managers players most want to play for, and the second-highest vote-getter in managers players would least want to play for (behind only Gabe Kapler).
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • One brutal take:

  • This is not an ad, it is just a heads up. The Athletic is doing 40% off for the start of the baseball season, so if you have wanted to get in on The Athletic (strongly recommended here), this is a chance to do it for cheap:

  • Oof. This just came across my radar, and it was from before Ian Happ’s surprising demotion to AAA Iowa, so it stings to watch, even as it’s an incredible message and extremely worthy cause:

  • Carl Edwards Jr. talks about his nasty curveball here with David Laurila as part of his series on developing pitches, but for Edwards, there’s really not much to it. He sees it as just a regular old curveball that just happens to have particularly nasty movement because of “something in my wrist, I guess.” I believe I read one time that Edwards has uncommonly long fingers, which could be a factor in him getting exceptional spin on his pitches. So maybe the secret to a great Edwards-style curveball is do everything extremely standard, but have Nicole Kidman clapping fingers.

  • To be sure, there were other guys who participated later in that 2015 season who are still around, but this is nevertheless cool to note:

  • Michael wants to know about your walk-up song:

  • Mine is “It’s Raining Men,” and there will be no apologies.


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.