Invisible-est Fans in Baseball, Lester's Contract, New Cubs Director, Yu Funny, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Invisible-est Fans in Baseball, Lester’s Contract, New Cubs Director, Yu Funny, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Took the big kids to a Halloween shop yesterday to look at costumes, and they became obsessed with the actually-kinda-terrifying automated scare guys – like, you stand on a pad, and then the giant death clown in front of you comes to life and lunges at you. It was hilarious. Even when they knew it was coming, it still scared the crap out of them – so badly, for example, that The Little Boy literally would drop to the floor. But then he kept going back for more! (And no nightmares last night, so I think I’m in the clear for not losing any Dad Points.)

  • I know it was a little chilly, but I really cannot wrap my head around the attendance last night in St. Louis:

  • The get-in-the-door price dropped to barely ten bucks a couple hours before game time. For the NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES. I know they have gone a lot in the last couple decades, but it’s been five years since their last trip. You better believe Wrigley Field will be overflowing for Game One of the NLCS in 2020 …
  • A random reminder/comment on Jon Lester’s contract, prompted by a question from Sam Stecher. The 2020 season is the last on Lester’s six-year contract with the Cubs, but there is a team option for 2021, when Lester will be 37. The option is for $25 million, but it comes with a $10 million buy out (he’s getting at least that $10 million no matter what), so the decision for the Cubs is actually only $15 million. It seems very unlikely that they’ll want a 37-year-old Lester for $15 million in 2021, but it’s not impossible. The same is true for the vesting of that option: if Lester hits 200 innings pitched in 2020, that $25 million option vests into a player option, which seems a pretty good bet to be exercised. That said, Lester hasn’t come within 15 innings of 200 the last three years, and heck, if he got to 200 innings next year, that probably means he pitched exceptionally well. Maybe the Cubs wouldn’t mind keeping him for the next year at $15 million anyway.
  • Looks like we’ll soon have to do a little dive on Justin Stone:

  • Looks like Stone started working as a consultant for the Cubs last summer (biokinematic hitting consultant, to be precise), so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him chosen as the one to transition into a full-time role. He certainly seems to be into the data component:

  • Yu Darvish remains low-key hilarious:

  • Good Lord, Jason Heyward was ripped even when he was a little kid:

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  • The Phillies might have massive resources and Bryce Harper and Aaron Nola and what-have-you, but if things are this messy at the top, you’re just going to become the Mets:

  • If you’ve got an Athletic subscription, you’ve gotta read that one for the sheer absurdity of how the top of that organization is run. I can’t even believe the GM is supposed to operate as the top of baseball operations … under a president who is his boss but also kinda focused on business … who is himself under an owner who just flat-out says ‘no’ to his baseball guys who wanted to retain the manager. I mean, look at this part of the opening paragraph:

“General manager Matt Klentak and team president Andy MacPhail flanked John Middleton, the billionaire CEO, and they let him speak Friday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. For weeks, as MacPhail detailed, the team’s leadership attempted to sway Middleton from firing manager Gabe Kapler. They told Middleton to seek more information. Middleton said he would not reveal that information now because it was confidential.”

  • The baseball guys were desperately trying to convince the OWNER not to fire the MANAGER. And now the OWNER won’t even tell them or the media WHAT he uncovered that led to him firing the manager over the objections of his baseball people. And here’s the owner: “What happened here happens every day in businesses,” Middleton said. “It has happened repeatedly in my 40 years. If you talk to the people who ran the companies and reported to me over those 30 or 40 years, they will tell you, John steps in with us and he says, ‘No you can’t do that, you’re going to do this instead. I’ve listened to you, but you haven’t convinced me and you do that.’ There is lots of talk about how that emasculates people, but that’s nonsense. That doesn’t do anything like that. This happens all the time and, in fact, it’s a learning experience.”
  • Just so much yikes there. Good luck, Phillies.
  • I can barely wrap my head around this accomplishment:

  • For anyone who runs on the treadmill from time to time, dude on Twitter said this is the equivalent of 12.5 for that entire race. I mean … I could *MAYBE* hold 12.5 for two minutes, and after those two minutes, I would be flying off the back of that treadmill. And I work out every day! This is just an entirely different universe. I’m blown away.
  • Ah, memories of the worst strike zone ever called, on this day in 1997. Sorry about the quality, but it’s the best visual on just how hilariously bad these calls were. You don’t know what bad is until you see it:

  • The Bulls sure do have a lot of young talent to dream on:

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.