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Braves Take Game One, Ohtani Gets Special Award, Pederson and Theriot, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Thankfully, the post-food-poisoning recovery was pretty darn smooth. I felt crummy yesterday, but by the evening, I was able to eat a little again, and then got a good night of sleep. I’m extremely tired today, but not ill-feeling. Not sure when I’ll be able to eat steak or chocolate cake again, though …

•   The Atlanta Braves kicked off the World Series by taking a quick lead on the Houston Astros (as in, the very first batter) and not letting it go. Charlie Morton pitched well (through a broken leg!) in a shortened start, the Atlanta bullpen stepped up, the Braves got a hit from everyone in their lineup, and it was a 6-2 win:

•   Game Two is tonight at 7pm CT, with Max Fried facing Jose Urquidy.

•   Fun fact: Joc Pederson has a chance to become only the 9th player in baseball history to win consecutive World Series with two different teams. The last player to do it was, oh, about five years ago, and yes, you should really know who it is. Scrolling further back on the list, you come to another Cubs connection: Ryan Theriot. Incredibly, after departing the Cubs, Theriot wound up part of the 2011 Cardinals winner and the 2012 Giants winner.

•   Those were his final two years in the big leagues, as his combined .271/.319/.332 (84 wRC+) line was not enough to make up for the defensive limitations that had developed by then. I know Theriot was a divisive player among Cubs fans – especially when he was running the bases – but he did have some useful years. Heck, his age 28 season in 2008 now looks all the more interesting as a guy who not only hit .307/.387/.359, but did it while walking 11.0% of the time and striking out just 8.8% of the time. Of course, thanks to the extraordinary lack of power, it was still only a 99 wRC+. Famously, he seemed to be swinging for more power the next year, and his overall value declined rapidly (though that could have just been an aging curve thing). Peak Theriot actually had a lot of Nick Madrigal in him …

•   MLB has presented Shohei Ohtani with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award, a special one-off award to “recognize accomplishments and contributions of historical significance to the game.” Ohtani’s two-way season CERTAINLY qualifies, and it’s the first time the award has been given out since 2014. For the year, the presumptive AL MVP hit .257/.372/.592 (152 wRC+) with 46 homers, 100 RBI, 26 stolen bases, and 103 runs scored. He also made 23 starts, threw 130.1 innings, and posted a 3.18 ERA. I remain so awed.

•   Turns out the Mets might not be getting their next, next, next, next, next, next-best option either:

•   If Arnold were being sought for a true president-level position and the Brewers denied him the opportunity to interview for that promotion, boy, that’d be pretty crappy of them.

•   If you were looking for a high-level, easily-digestible, but reasonably-detailed write-up on the state of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (and what could happen), Dayn Perry has an excellent article here at CBS.

•   The Cardinals front office spent a lot of time at new manager Oli Marmol’s introductory press conference explaining how he is totally not just going to be a yes man for the front office (a front office that fired Mike Shildt ostensibly because he was not going along with what they wanted often enough). Frankly, it left me thinking all the more that the Cardinals just wanted a young manager, groomed in the organization for this gig, to be a guy they can tell what to do. I’m not even being snarky when I say that, because that’s how the manager role has evolved in a lot of organizations. I’m just saying it was one of those methinks-thou-doth-protest-too-much situations.

•   Speaking of Shildt and managerial searches, what a random crew of candidates the Padres have assembled:

•   Loving DeMar:

•   A truly awful day – recounting an awful past – for the Blackhawks, which will lead to transformations in the organization:



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.