We are getting very, very close to self-administered quarantine haircut time. I keep my hair really short in any case, so I had a lot of leeway to work with when we locked down. Also, there’s at least some measure of “who cares,” because I am not aiming to secure any hot dates at this time (sorry, Dear). But you eventually do look in the mirror and you think you gotta kinda try to do some normal things. Of course, the rub is that it’s not like I can cut my own hair WELL … so … what’s a gent with a buzzer to do?
- The Cubs officially opened up their park, and the Ricketts opened up their hotel, to help with COVID-19 relief efforts:
To continue our #COVID19 relief efforts, @chicagosmayor joined the Ricketts & #CubsCharities to open a new @LakeviewPantry satellite site at Wrigley Field. Additionally, @HotelZachary will reopen to provide accommodations to the neighboring @advocatehealth Masonic Medical Center. pic.twitter.com/elpHrWT3E0
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 16, 2020
Wrigley Field transforms as Cubs wait to play ball again, with or without fans: https://t.co/qOwXr2So51
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) April 17, 2020
- Full releases from the Cubs:
- And more MLB player efforts here (Steven Souza, Jr. and Daniel Descalso for the Cubs):
50 MLB players are teaming up to provide more than 4 million meals to address childhood hunger. Here is the full release with all the details: pic.twitter.com/OjrEtMHdir
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) April 16, 2020
- If Doug Glanville is writing and opining on a topic, you will want to read it. I’ve just found that to be a rule:
— Doug Glanville (@dougglanville) April 17, 2020
- I think we have to acknowledge that Glanville is unquestionably right: whenever baseball returns, if it’s without fans at the stadium, it just won’t be the same. Not only will those fans’ experience obviously be quite different, but the experience for the players – and therefore the fans at home – will be quite different. The energy of “we can get through this and we’re coming back strong” just won’t be the same. I get it, and I agree with that sentiment.
- The question, then, is whether you decide that missing out on that verve is worth saying, OK, no baseball at all this year. Because that really might be the question we’re all faced with. I wouldn’t criticize anyone on either side of that debate simply for offering their perspective, but I will say that a lot of people stand to lose a whole lot of their livelihood if there is no baseball at all this year – from the players who are not financially secure to the team employees to the RSN employees and so on. It’s easy to say we want baseball’s return to be the highest and best version of baseball; the reality of what that wait could mean is another animal entirely.
- This is fun – everyone is going to immediately know the “1” guy from 2012 and 2013, but can you add the two other players in 2014? And how about the three more in 2015:
Cubs players still on the roster since…
(Excluding minor league service time)
— Greg Huss (@OutOfTheVines) April 15, 2020
- Amazon best-sellers in video games right here. #ad
- This is why their pitches look like they do:
Spin Rate is a very important pitch metric but is just as important as Active Spin: how much spin contributes to movement.
Here are the leaders for active spin by pitch type (no order; min 500) w/ GIFs:
FC- T. Cole
CH- G. Cole pic.twitter.com/RlgxHzHMyo
— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) April 16, 2020
- We’ve talked about “active spin” before, and it’s basically a way of saying: how much does your spin rate actually contribute to the movement of your pitch? Like, maybe you have an insane 3000 RPM slider, but because of the way you release it or the angle or the grip, it’s actually behaving more like something we’d expect from a mere 2000 RPM slider. Then, what are we doing fawning over the guy’s Statcast data? And why are we scratching our heads that he gets no whiffs with his slider?
- For more on active spin or spin efficiency, see here and here. Yu Darvish was the vehicle for those discussions, as he’d always been a great spin guy, but didn’t always have high spin efficiency on his fastball. But there were some stellar signs in Spring Training. (Sigh.)
- Random baseball enjoyment:
Sometimes I think about the time Ryan Braun just fell down. pic.twitter.com/wGQuBuAPph
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) April 16, 2020
- The Heckler had me on their podcast to talk Cubs, but also just whatever is going on right now. Fun time.