I finally watched ‘Solo,’ which I’d long avoided because of the meh reaction from Star Wars fans. I thought it was fine, though I could see why folks were unenthused. It wasn’t as good as ‘Rogue One,’ but also wasn’t nearly as maddening as TFA/TLJ/TROS. I just felt like they spent a little too much effort showing every single tiny bit we ever heard about from Han’s backstory (up to and including his last night? Come on now … ), and not enough effort crafting a great story. Oh, so it turns out Han and the Kessel Run were actually critical to the start of the Rebellion? OK, cool. *eyeroll* You didn’t have to do that to make a Han Solo movie enjoyable.
• David Ross says the Cubs might just stay at home for their “road trip” series against the White Sox and Brewers, which will allow the players to sleep at home, practice at Wrigley Field, and then just drive to that day’s game, coming back home at night (Tribune). Sounds like a nice idea if it works logistically. Though one thing to note: because of the unique schedule this year, it’s actually just one series in Milwaukee and one series on the South Side all season.
• The Cubs manager was hearing it from his players, so he took it upon himself to reach out to MLB to express his frustration about the testing issues:
David Ross: “I’ve voiced my opinion to Major League Baseball. They assured me they’re working as diligently as they can, and understand they’re falling short in some areas. But they’ve assured me they’re cleaning things up.”
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) July 6, 2020
• MLB said in its statement yesterday that the testing issues were because of unforeseen delays tied to the (completely foreseeable) July 4th holiday weekend. It can’t happen again, or more teams and players will lose total confidence in their ability to congregate to play safely. And frankly, given that the plan was always to run all testing through the league’s PED lab in Utah, I find this revelation – after camp has already started – to be fairly concerning:
A memo the Players Association sent to player agents today says the union and MLB are “actively pursuing an additional medical lab site to increase the speed and efficiency of test processing and reporting.”
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 6, 2020
• Staying forever would be fine:
Bryant, on his future: "You want to be around people that want you and care for you and I've certainly felt that being a Chicago Cub."
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 6, 2020
• Bryant also said he wishes the whole core could just stay together until their fat and old and tired, which got me momentarily thinking about the math on that. Let’s say the Cubs just wanted to extend the offensive guys who could be free agents in the next few years (Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Javy Báez, Willson Contreras), and let’s also say that they don’t so much care about the guys getting old and fat and tired together. What kinds of contracts would we be talking about? Is it doable, or is it only doable where the guys take modest deals because of the pandemic/CBA risk/desire to stay together?
• Let’s say we get really simple and also get REEEEEEALLY cheap, just for the sake of argument: 10 years for each guy, and AAVs of $20M for Bryant, $15M for Rizzo, $15M for Báez, $10M for Schwarber, and $10M for Contreras. That’s $700 million in commitments, or $70 million AAV per year for these five guys for the next 10 years. You’d totally do that, wouldn’t you? With so much flexibility to build around them? Risks aplenty, but in a world where contracts have been crushed, a team with the stones to offer up monster length deals at low AAVs could make themselves into a powerhouse for a long time.
• … that said, I really don’t think too many players are going to want to lock themselves into super long deals at super low AAVs right now. Yes, they will also feel the risk of waiting, but if baseball gets back to its financial norm by 2022, so much money would’ve been left on the table. I’d do a more serious, deeper write-up on possible extensions, but nobody – not even the teams, I reckon – can say with confidence what a “good” or “bad” or “realistic” long-term extension looks like right now in this environment. My guess is that the first new baseball extension that happens (whenever that is) is gonna look really weird.
• This is Nick Castellanos homering into the upper deck off of Trevor Bauer, and then flipping his bat mightily. Really gonna miss this guy:
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) July 6, 2020
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 6, 2020
• Folks, if you want to stock up on school or office supplies, today’s the day at Amazon, because a whole bunch of BIC stuff is among the Deals of the Day. #ad
• What’re you doing, man:
Terry Rozier Didn’t Know Jordan Won Six Championships And That’s Simply Ridiculoushttps://t.co/wujkazSnBw
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 6, 2020