I have to get an endoscope done today – looking down my throat to figure out if there are any esophagus/stomach issues – which means I can’t eat anything until this afternoon at the earliest. Sometimes I don’t eat anything in the morning anyway, so it shouldn’t be an issue. And yet, as soon as you tell me I *can’t* eat anything … I want to eat everything.
• He wasn’t a friend for long, but there was a lot of fun in there (remember the walk-off HBP?), and he immediately struck me as such a great clubhouse presence. I’m sure whatever comes next for Cameron Maybin will be impactful:
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. pic.twitter.com/oSSX5WZ83F
— Cameron Maybin (@CameronMaybin) January 3, 2022
• Maybin wraps his career after parts of 15 seasons with 10 teams (part of 2020 with the Cubs, and then some more minor league time with the Cubs in 2021). He hit .254/.323/.374 (93 wRC+) over that time, and posted a 14.8 WAR. He was never a superstar, but he was a guy a lot of teams were really happy to have in the mix for a really long time. Great career.
• Much more on the awesome story of how the Iowa Cubs’ former owners shared their sale proceeds with long-time Iowa Cubs employees:
After selling the Iowa Cubs, the owner gave employees $2,000 for every year they had been with the minor league baseball team, for a total of $600,000. “My jaw dropped,” one worker said.https://t.co/yVoEqBGSNO
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 2, 2022
• None of this is to say Nolan Arenado won’t still be a very good player for the Cardinals in 2022 and beyond, but this stuff is certainly worth noting:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 3, 2022
• A hot finish to the year got Arenado up to 4.0 WAR at FanGraphs, which is certainly nothing to look down on. He turns 31 in April, and is under contract – mostly now footed by the Cardinals – through 2027. I suspect the Cardinals are hoping for more from him over the next few years.
• The history of changes in the wood bats used in MLB, with as much detail as you could ever want on what makes for a good bat, what doesn’t, what invasive species can do, and why Joey Votto has been building and saving a stash of ash wood bats.
• Back in August, Fanatics won the exclusive rights to make all MLB trading cards starting in 2026 via a new company that had yet to be formed. My guess was that the new company would just wind up being Topps, the current license-holder. Sure enough, Fanatics is buying Topps:
— Sportico (@Sportico) January 4, 2022
Fanatics deal to buy the Topps trading card division was for $500 million, people familiar with the matter tell me and @andrewlbeaton. The deal doesn't include Topps' confectionary and gift card divisions.https://t.co/8X5vlQUfGI
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) January 4, 2022
The most interesting aspect of this deal is that Fanatics has the right to design and manufacture #MLB cards immediately and not wait until 2026 anymore — F1 and soccer licenses also part of the deal. #thehobby #collect pic.twitter.com/AYpeJIPHJ4
— Mitch (@firstpitchmitch) January 4, 2022
• I told you the Cubs already had their back-up shortstop on the roster – seriously, the second play here by Marcus Stroman is so smooth and natural-looking:
— マーカス・鷺ヌーマン (@L_CHC_HOU_16019) January 4, 2022
• Boy it sure must suck to be on one of these lists:
MLB teams with the longest active championship droughts pic.twitter.com/lrGOvYQ422
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) January 3, 2022
• Actually, I’m sure it really does suck. Not only do I remember what it was like before 2016, obviously, but it’s also like … five years feels kinda long already.
• After last night’s Bulls win:
For the first time since March 2012, the Chicago Bulls have won eight games in a row. pic.twitter.com/Q14YmgEoOS
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 4, 2022