Cubs fans have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the Ricketts Family, particularly their decision to get Theo Epstein on board, who ultimately led the Cubs to their first World Series title in over a century.
But we know the nature of sports fandom, and getting the big one right doesn’t mean you get a free pass on everything else. The honeymoon period with fans lasts only so long, and that was probably never clearer than when Tom Ricketts was booed during his unveiling of the Marquee Sports Network at this year’s Cubs Convention:
— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone) January 18, 2020
I know you’ve seen this clip before, but watch it one more time and take note of his incredulity – I brought it back up for a reason.
Rob Manfred Gets Booed
After the Dodgers won the World Series last night, a similar wave of boos washed over baseball’s commissioner, and he reacted in a very similar way:
Rob Manfred had to take a pause as loud boos were heard across Globe Life Field.
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) October 28, 2020
Get fans back in the stadium, they said …
And that’s sort of our greatest fear, with respect to leaders leading the way we want them to, right? That they don’t even know that what they’re doing is unpopular, either by willful ignorance of the public or simply surrounding themselves with insulating sycophants. Personally, I don’t have an issue with most of the rule changes Manfred has attempted to implement across the sport, even the ones with which I don’t fully agree. But the way he handled the Astros cheating scandal, the many failures to truly lead during the contentious COVID negotiations, and the way he so clearly prioritizes short-term bottom lines over the long-term health of the sport really rounds out my current opinion of him.
Add the universal DH, ban shifts, create robot umps, whatever … we’ll probably get over that stuff eventually, like all rule changes since the dawn of baseball. But when you start hurting (capital-B) Baseball in the sole interest of the 30 owners, well, you’re going to get booed. And if you don’t even understand why you are getting booed, that’s twice the problem.
Future of Mets Up to Mayor de Blasio
On Friday, MLB owners are expected to vote (and approve) billionaire Steve Cohen’s take over of the New York Mets from the infamous Wilpon Family. Cohen needs 22 of the other 29 votes to get his approval, and so far there is only one firm no (is that Jerry Reinsdorf?), with two others on the fence. But getting past the owners may be the easy part. Cohen’s biggest obstacle may be New York City (by way of Mayor Bill De Blasio), which has a right to weigh in on the deal because the city owns the land on which City Field rests.
But even if approval comes eventually, as expected, any delay is reportedly a concern:
“The worst-case scenario is if this drags on long enough, the Mets miss out on all major free agents, miss out on potential trades and they go into next season effectively in the same place they are this season,” said a person familiar with the situation. “And that would really be not good. If that happens, they’re effectively crippled for next season.”
Look at This Freakin’ Guy
We had a couple of heavy topics in a row to start these MLBits, so let’s take a quick break by looking at this absolute monster of a … come on. Really? A 17-year-old?!
Jasson Dominguez is the most brolic 17 year old I’ve ever seen pic.twitter.com/QoCw7uV1Fs
— Dan Federico (@DanJFederico) October 27, 2020
Jasson Dominguez is unbelievably large.
— The Short Porch (@short_porch) October 20, 2020
Makes Kyle Schwarber look like Bruce Banner instead of the Hulk.
Dominguez was the top prospect in the last IFA class, getting a whopping $5.1 million bonus (huge in the current capped structure), and already landing as the top prospect in the Yankees system to some. I just cannot get over that guy.
Kerhsaw Finally Gets … What, Exactly?
I have no reason to feel any sort of extra sympathy for Clayton Kershaw, but I always kind of hated his postseason reputation. Not only is it not really as bad as people make it out to be, it very clearly took away from what has been the most impressive pitching performance of this generation.
By fWAR, Kershaw (65.9) leads all of Major League Baseball since his debut in 2008, ahead of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, Felix Hernandex, Chris Sale, David Price, and Cliff Lee (in that order, 1-10). And the same is true of his *career* 2.44 ERA. And even accounting for injuries, Kerhsaw is still 6th in IP and 3rd in strikeouts. I get that he hasn’t “won” enough (before now, I guess), but this is baseball. That’s not really how it works. Mike Trout *is* the greatest player of this generation (and he could wind up in the “all-time” conversation). Does it suck that he hasn’t won? Of course. But to hold that against him, in baseball, is so strange.
Kershaw has taken a step back from elite over the past few years, but it’s like we all had collective amnesia over the greatness of his career. I just think the playoff narrative is dumb and I’m glad it’s mostly behind us:
Wrote a column about Clayton Kershaw, World Series champion. The narrative was real. But now it is over. It is all over. He has nothing left to prove. It was quite the journey. https://t.co/PP9NRPxJ8v pic.twitter.com/kFbmhAe13u
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) October 28, 2020
Vin Scully Says Some Nice Stuff
Vin Scully is a national treasure and I hope he continues to enjoy his retirement for a very long time. As the classy guy he is, Scully had some nice things to say about his team after their big win:
'55, '59, '63, '65, '81, '88, and now 2020.
What a year. What a season. What a team.
— Vin Scully (@TheVinScully) October 28, 2020
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 28, 2020