The Cubs play a Spring Training game in just three days. So that’s kinda wild, eh? And maybe eventually the games will be the primary focus around baseball …
- Jed Hoyer had no issue with Javy Báez speaking honestly about his (and others’) lack of readiness to play last year on a game-by-game basis, and it really could wind up being a great – and motivating – show of leadership for the rest of the team:
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, on Javier Báez: "He's really motivated. He's looked great so far."
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 19, 2020
- The visual on some of Kris Bryant’s thoughts after his debrief with Theo Epstein about the various offseason rumors:
This exchange with Bryant is pretty good. Note the thought he gives the follow up questions pic.twitter.com/e0GRbdJpsS
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) February 18, 2020
- Choosing his words very carefully about what he does and doesn’t want to share from that conversation. Which is just fine. He seems to have been put at ease, which is really all any fans would have wanted to see anyway. So that’s good.
- Seeing the universal condemnation of his “piece of metal” comment about the World Series trophy and the championship attached thereto, Commissioner Rob Manfred apologized, kinda, for diminishing the importance of winning a championship at another press conference on the Astros scandal (MLB.com): “I had a long day on Sunday. I think I did 45 minutes on camera, and then I did the press conference. I have to say I made one mistake – at least – during that long day. That was, in an effort to make a rhetorical point, I referred to the World Series trophy in a disrespectful way. And I want to apologize for that. There’s no excuse for it. I made a mistake. I was trying to make a point, but I should have made it in a more effective way.”
- As for why the Astros were not stripped, and continue to not be stripped, of their ill-gotten title, Manfred said, “I felt, and continue to feel, that the best thing we can do for our fans is to give them the facts and put them in position to make their own judgment as to what happened in 2017, what the significance of that particular World Series is. I’m also very concerned about opening the door to altering results that took place on the field. There are a lot of things that have happened in the history of the game that arguably could be corrected. I think it’s an impossible task for an institution to undertake.”
- So basically it’s up to us to decide whether they are “stripped” of their title. And I say … I DECLARE THE HOUSTON ASTROS HAVE HAD THEIR 2017 WORLD SERIES TITLE STRIPPED. ALSO THEIR SHIRTS, REVEALING EMBARRASSING TATTOOS. ALSO THEIR TROUSERS, REVEALING THOSE HUMOROUS BUT HUMBLING HEART-COVERED UNDER GARMENTS YOU SEE IN OLD TIMEY CARTOONS. My decision is final.
- It is truly remarkable how any issue facing the sport right now will, inevitably, become an all-out public rumble between the league and the players association. We shouldn’t be surprised that’s what has now happened with the Astros sign-stealing scandal, the investigation, the punishment, and the rules going forward:
— Stephanie Apstein (@stephapstein) February 19, 2020
Rob Manfred said the MLBPA would only cooperate with the sign-stealing investigation if players received immunity. The union’s executive director disputes Manfred’s explanation. https://t.co/5vIatrLkI4
— WSJ Sports (@WSJSports) February 19, 2020
MLB wants the MLBPA to take a stand publicly: should sign stealing be punishable? PA's first proposal on new rules did not include discipline, but sources said not to read into that. All of this comes in face of wide criticism of how MLB handled the Astros https://t.co/CrD07mmhVd
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 19, 2020
The Astros' sign-stealing scandal has players advocating for other players to be punished. @McCannSportsLaw on the tricky spot this places the MLB Players Association: https://t.co/VxLWTHtBUr pic.twitter.com/sfdILjDEy0
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 18, 2020
- All of this coming at a time when the players need to be unified in their approach to the upcoming CBA negotiations with the league. The timing of any fracturing within the union could not be worse for the players.
- Not all players are fighting, though:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 19, 2020
- Interesting to know that what Miguel Amaya did was exceedingly rare, but also doesn’t necessarily put you in an elite prospect class:
For those asking, here is the list. Interestingly, three managed the feat in 2019, after just two in the five years prior. Gave me a good excuse to revisit Hank Conger’s interesting what-could/should-have-been career. pic.twitter.com/lmapFJPLqY
— Cubs Prospects – Bryan Smith (@cubprospects) February 19, 2020
- Perfect timing for Anker charging stuff to be a Deal of the Day at Amazon (also Play-Doh and BioFreeze), because the kids keep taking and breaking my chargers. I mean, I’m KINDA exaggerating, but it HAS happened at least a couple times. #ad