I got to be The Little Boy’s teacher today, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is fun but also really challenging. It’s hard when you can’t LIVE inside a kid’s head to see something exactly like they’re seeing it (and why they’re struggling to process something that seems so obvious). And if you let yourself get frustrated – especially visibly frustrated – you’re wrecking the whole process. We had a great morning this time, though. So I’m happy.
- Let’s start with something that’s just fun. You are not surprised to see this, as you might remember his background playing catcher and center field when he was a kid, and you also might know that’s he is just a total baseball stud, but here is Javy Báez catching Jose Berrios:
- I’m #NotAScout, but doesn’t Javy look like he could actually do that? Obviously I know there would be a ton to learn and pick up, and ultimately his ceiling as a catcher might not be anywhere near where it is as an elite defensive shortstop, but I’m just commenting: that looks like a guy who knows how to catch at a high level. El Mago.
- You may not have thought much about Ian Miller lately (and maybe you didn’t think too much about him when he was the speedy minor league outfielder trying to win a bench job on the Cubs), but this is a great interview from Evan over at Cubs Insider with Miller:
If you’re interested in a story of reinvention, humility, and how both old and new schools of baseball thought work together, spend a little time with the Cubs’ Ian Miller. I promise you’ll enjoy it. https://t.co/q0p9XrhfxG
— Evan Altman (@DEvanAltman) April 6, 2020
- I was really impressed to read how transparent the Cubs were with Miller from the jump, essentially telling him, hey, we know you’re not here to dominate with the bat. Show us what you can do on the bases and in the outfield, and we’ll take it from there. He knows that they know he’s a speed guy, and he understands and accepts his role. And in a world where we may see expanded rosters this year beyond the already-set-to-be-expanded 26, there might be a much longer big league opportunity available for a guy like Miller, especially on a team that doesn’t have a lot of speed.
- Even if that doesn’t happen for Miller, because he’d reached minor league free agency, he was excited to finally make some money this year. Things you may not actively think about at times like this, but you want to see a guy like Miller being taken care of financially until games can be played:
“In terms of psychologically and staying locked in mentally…You know, I’m a 28-year-old speed guy — just turned 28 at the start of spring training — it was no secret that I needed to come in and have a good spring training. The way that I saw it, I was coming in and I was finally going to be able to make a couple of bucks in Triple-A. I’ve never really made money before being under my seven-year minor league contract.
“And then going up in September with the Twins, I was able to put a couple of bucks away, but that went towards getting a ring for my longtime girlfriend and putting some money towards a wedding. A lot of things needed to happen this year for my career to kind of prove not only to others but to myself that I belonged and that this is going to happen.”
- Keep that stuff in mind, too, when discussing any possible return to baseball. Safety is priority number one, but this is also the livelihood for baseball players, many of whom do not have already-earned fortunes to fall back on. If you missed this morning’s update on the Arizona plan for a return to action, make sure you check out the details, including MLB’s just-released statement on the *contingency planning* process.
- Top Rangers execs are reportedly taking a 20% pay cut in order to avoid layoffs and furloughs elsewhere in the organization.
- I can’t decide if this is awesome or terrifying:
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) April 7, 2020
- This, however, is just awesome in so many ways:
— Matt Szczur (@superSZCZ4) April 6, 2020
- If Google Translate is to be believed, it appears Yu Darvish is mentioning how the 2007 championship in NPB was rebroadcast, and he was a young pitcher in the series – if you told him 13 years later we’d be in the situation we’re in (including the fact that he’s now a YouTuber), he wouldn’t have believed it:
— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) April 7, 2020
- Unrelated, but for the Bulls fans among you, make sure you’re checking in with our coverage this week, because things appear to be cresting toward significant change in the front office as soon as this week.