A tough morning tilts your day off its axis for a little while, and I’m right in the middle of it. Challenging to get that balance back. The more you try to pull on one side, the more you extend the toggling back and forth. So I guess you’ve gotta just accept that it’s gonna be unbalanced for a bit, and eventually will return to rest.
Speaking of balance, this quote just kind of made me chuckle because it is definitionally saying that all players are absolutely equal:
- Good read here at Cubs.com from Jordan Bastian on the Cubs’ approach to building their bullpen this year, and, specifically, giving a whole lot of guys a chance to transform themselves with the Cubs. It’s not a sexy, name-filled way to construct a bullpen, but it’s one of the few areas of the roster where it can work out very well. You target guys who have great arms, great raw stuff, one great pitch, and/or great underlying metrics, and then you see if working with your guys in your setup can help them become something much more. With Rowan Wick, among other things, the Cubs introduced a spike curveball. With Kyle Ryan, among other things, they physically moved him around on the mound. Sometimes, with these guys who are otherwise so close, that’s all it takes. (And then, of course, the league adjusts, you have to adjust back, etc., etc. But the first step is finding a way to make the guy a successful big league arm.)
- Pitching coach Tommy Hottovy is understandably excited about the possibility of unlocking performance from the litany of arms: “I want all of them,” Hottovy told Bastian with a laugh. “I’m like, ‘Yeah. Yes, yes, yes, yes.’ It’s just exciting, because again, yeah, we’ve had some success with some guys we acquired. It’s just cool, because you watch them pitch and you see, maybe, them just not using a pitch quite the way we would like them to use it, or maybe not having the breaking ball break quite the way we want it to. And it’s like, ‘Oh man, it’d be awesome to get this guy in the lab and do this,’ or, ‘Oh, it’d be great for this guy to try to actually pitch in a little more.’ Things like that. It’s always exciting when that happens and you have those conversations. And I want them all. I’ll take as many of them as I can.”
- Many has definitely been the order of the day. Here’s the list of arms the Cubs have added to the bullpen competition this offseason alone (to say nothing of holdovers from last year like Brandon Morrow, Danny Hultzen, Duane Underwood, Dillon Maples, James Norwood, Adbert Alzolay, Colin Rea): Dan Winkler, Ryan Tepera, CD Pelham, Trevor Megill, Jason Adam, Tyler Olson, Jharel Cotton, Casey Sadler, Travis Lakins, Bryan Brickhouse, Rex Brothers, Juan Gamez, and Caleb Simpson. It’s just a shitload of arms, out of which you hope to produce maybe 3 or 4 productive big leaguers out of these 20 arms. Tall task? Yes, actually. The hit rate is always going to be low on these types of moves. But the first step is getting the guys you wanted to target in the door, and seeing what plays.
- Yeesh, this is shameful:
TLDR: We voted *overwhelmingly* for transparency. And the people who lost the vote overwhelmingly, then appealed to the Hall to overrule the result.
Being this afraid of the public is *100% incompatible* with the role of a journalist. We *serve* the public.
— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) January 23, 2020
- Hey, the eero baseline level mesh WiFi network system is on a huge sale at Amazon today. We upgraded to an eero system a few months ago, and it’s been a freaking revelation compared to the old single router system (and I had a good router!). I can’t speak to whether it works for everyone’s setup, and we do sometimes get commissions from Amazon purchases, so grains of salt and all that. All I’m saying is that we have an eero system, and I love it.
- Historical looks at advanced stats is always fun to me:
In 1968 – near the tail end of his career – Ernie Banks slashed .246/.287/.469 which sure looks … bad, right?
Well, in reality, that was the year before the lowered the mound and actually good for a 123 wRC+!
Banks was still 23% better than average! They prob didn't know!
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) January 24, 2020
- I would extremely watch this, and everything that followed:
Like seriously, how many HBPs would you get with this home run trot in real life? pic.twitter.com/thK2SvkESs
— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) January 23, 2020
- META: Ooooooh folks are gettin’ feisty in the comments. Be mindful that your beefs may be as much about having a high baseline level of frustration about all things Cubs as they are about being actually annoyed about something someone else said, or something we wrote, or some bit of news out there. We’ve all got a little extra edge right now – me including, ya crapdicks – so I think it’s worth all of us taking that 10 seconds to step back and reflect before we pop off. OK. OK. You’re not crapdicks, for the most part. That’s just me being frustrated. At you, for being crapdicks. NO NO, sorry, sorry, no. That is not accurate. My bad. See, clearly, I need the reflection afforded by this META comment.