When I was a kid and got my first taste of Nintendo, I thought to myself, “This is magic.” How it worked. How incredible the technology felt. I didn’t have that feeling again until the first time I saw an iPhone – it was like, how is this thing doing this? I think they’ve become so ubiquitous that we forget what an incredible leap forward that was (nearly 14 years ago!).
Anyway, after the iPhone, I didn’t have that feeling again until the last few weeks, when I started playing VR games. It’s just magic. I really can’t believe it. I was on a spaceship with a droid and Darth Vader last night, and dang if it didn’t seem so real. (I’m using the Oculus Quest 2, which, yes, I got from Amazon.)
• Good, hopeful news right off the top, as the Cubs are still expected to pick up Anthony Rizzo’s option this weekend:
While teams have declined options on some big-name players across baseball, the Cubs are planning to pick up the final season of Anthony Rizzo’s contract ($16.5 million).
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) October 30, 2020
• The option is worth $16.5 million and comes with a $2 million buyout. Is it a lock that Rizzo would get $14.5+ million in free agency right now in this market? I wouldn’t call a dang thing a lock right now, but it sure does seem like he still would – and maybe quite a bit more from the right buyer that is looking past 2021 with confidence. Even without the heartstring reasons to keep Rizzo in Chicago, picking up this option just makes sense, especially since Rizzo remains the “right kind” of bat for this lineup.
• It’s still my hope that the reason there hasn’t been an official option pick-up yet is because the Cubs and Rizzo are using this time to figure out whether there’s an extension that makes sense for both sides. It’s gotta be really tough to find that sweet spot when you consider the situation – Rizzo’s never hit free agency, and if the world DOES right itself by next offseason (and the CBA talks aren’t a problem), then he could be in line for a really significant deal, even at 32. But given the huge questions about the changing state of spending, the revenues for next year and beyond, and then the CBA, there’s no way the Cubs will offer up a monster extension right now. Probably a few years at a decent price point, and it’s just a matter of whether Rizzo wants to lock that money down, or if he wants to roll the dice (he’s already made a healthy chunk, obviously). It’s unlikely they get something done this weekend with all that uncertainty, and it’s probably unlikely they get any kind of extension done this offseason either. I don’t want to create any unreasonable expectations – I just have hope.
• Old friend/World Series closer Mike Montgomery is a free agent:
Hearing that Royals left-hander Mike Montgomery and right-hander Kevin McCarthy have opted for free-agency. They were arbitration eligible.
— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) October 30, 2020
• Jon Lester, who is now officially a free agent, is the best:
Jon Lester was asked on ESPN 1000 what he would do if the manager came to get him in favor of a reliever in the same situation Cash/Snell were facing: “We’d have two pitchers on the mound.”
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) October 30, 2020
• Don’t forget that you can get a beer on Lester this weekend, and, separately, our friends at Nisei are getting in on the good:
Wow. Thank you!! https://t.co/uCb1ur83nv
— Jon Lester (@JLester34) October 30, 2020
• Never gets old:
Since we've got wistful feelings of Jon Lester and Ryan Braun on the brain, may I present something wonderful: pic.twitter.com/JWsemfBuDL
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) October 31, 2020
• So you’re telling me MLB teams – like the one Steve Cohen just bought for more than $2.4 billion – are still worth a lot of money? That’s wild:
— Jeff Barker (@sunjeffbarker) October 30, 2020
• A.J. Hinch, who was suspended a year for the Astros sign-stealing scandal, is now in charge of the Tigers, who apparently tried to snag him the second his suspension was over:
A.J. Hinch is back in baseball.
"Wrong is wrong. And it was very wrong. I’ll be sure that everyone knows that I feel responsible because I was the manager and it was on my watch and I’ll never forget it.” – https://t.co/OBjXS526WH
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) October 30, 2020
• Jump on this today if you’re into the sports betting thing:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) October 31, 2020