Red Sox Beat the Yankees, Cubs Run Through Players and Hitting Coaches, Attendance, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Red Sox Beat the Yankees, Cubs Run Through Players and Hitting Coaches, Attendance, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It’s post-mortem day for the Chicago Cubs, as President Jed Hoyer will be meeting with the media at some point later today. Hopefully it’ll be streamed somewhere, as Theo Epstein’s end-of-season pressers have been in the past. Either way, we’ll cover all the news and commentary that comes out.

•   The Red Sox handled their long-time nemesis with relative ease last night in the AL Wild Card game, dispatching the Yankees 6-2 behind a dominant start by Nathan Eovaldi and plenty of offense (including the Kyle Schwarber put-it-on-repeat dinger). The Yankees got a big night from Giancarlo Stanton (a homer and two singles off the Green Monster, lol), and the homer from Anthony Rizzo. But that was it.

•   The Red Sox will move on now to face the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, starting on Thursday. All AL East, all the time.

•   As for the Yankees, they go home after an up-and-down season where, to their credit, they put their foot on the gas at the Trade Deadline in a major way. I respect it, and not just because it netted the Cubs a haul in the Anthony Rizzo trade (though that doesn’t hurt). Didn’t work out, and now the Yankees have a lot of thinking to do about how they want to proceed all over their roster – with Gleyber Torres struggling, with Aaron Judge a year away from free agency, and with nearly $200 million already on the books for 2022 after accounting for expected arbitration raises.

•   One of those Stanton singles off the Green Monster, by the way, came with a hilarious call on Yankees radio, via John Sterling:

•   Glad I had the game on mute, I guess:

•   As for the Cubs, outside of the two former Cub dingers in the AL Wild Card Game, they were making news yesterday for the expected departure of hitting coach Anthony Iapoce. If you do the accounting, including Iapoce, the Cubs have now burned through an unbelievable 12 hitting coaches and assistant hitting coaches in the last 10 years, with only 3 of those 12 not fairly considered part of the churn (Andy Haines and Eric Hinske were assistant hitting coaches who departed for promotions, and Chris Valaika, for now, remains the assistant hitting coach).

•   The Cubs’ MLB-record 69 players used this season is certainly an eye-popping thing, but I think the number of players making their Cubs debut is even more striking: 44, which is 10(!) more than the previous team record (2013). Really think about that: we saw 44 NEW CUBS all this season. That’s an average of about 7.333 players per month, or nearly two new Cubs per week for the entire freaking season! Quick: name all the catchers – just the catchers! – who made their Cubs debut this season!

•   Tonight’s NL Wild Card Game will be Adam Wainwright against Max Scherzer, and the Dodgers will be without Max Muncy (elbow), Clayton Kershaw (elbow), or Walker Buehler (rest). The latter two could’ve theoretically been relief options, but nope. The Dodgers are still clearly the better team, but anything can happen in a single baseball game, particularly where one team is missing some guys they otherwise could’ve used.

•   Minor league attendance was massively down in 2021 compared to 2019, but that was obviously expected. There is a sense of relief that it all went OK:

•   Of note, the average attendance drop in MiLB (23%) was much smaller than the average attendance drop in MLB (33%). The question now is whether we can see further rebounding in 2022, even as I would tentatively expect consumer behavior to be impacted by the pandemic and the fallout and the changes in lifestyle for many years to come. (A reminder, too, that the Cubs need to be aware that attendance at Wrigley Field is probably going to be MUCH less insensitive to the team’s competitiveness going forward. Yes, there is always going to be a higher baseline there than most parks, but thanks to the combined impact of the pandemic and the Cubs having won it all, finally, in 2016, that baseline is gonna drop. A good team will be required for top-tier attendance.)

•   Ear buds, watches, scooters, tools, fitness gear, and more are among your Epic Daily Deals at Amazon today. #ad

•   Kevin Goldstein chats at FanGraphs are always must-read. So much insight right there into how a front office actually operates.

•   The new-look Chicago Bulls kicked off their preseason last night, and here’s hoping it means something, because holy smokes they looked good in the highlights. And Eli was losing his mind:


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.