Two Terrible Months, Crazy Harry Caray Story, Urias and the Brewers, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Two Terrible Months, Crazy Harry Caray Story, Urias and the Brewers, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Incredible: When Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl, the Chicago Cubs were known as the White Stockings and their infamous World Series drought would not even begin for another 19 years.

Of course, Brady is only PROBABLY retiring, so I guess I’ll save the real gushing about the former Montreal Expos draftee for later …

•   Today is Day 60 of the MLB Lockout, which is about as un-fun as an anniversary gets. We know that reps for the players and owners had a couple days of meetings early last week on the core economic issues (moving a little, but still being far from “close”). We also know that they met on non-economic issues at some point later in the week. But where exactly things stand is a bit of a mystery as we approach February. I’d love to hear that more in-person negotiating sessions are scheduled for early this coming week, but we don’t know that yet for sure.

•   Your reminder that, in order to have a normal Spring Training, a deal had to be done by February 1, give or take a day or two. That is clearly not even close to happening at this point, so now the open questions are (1) how long does Spring Training have to be to give players a safe and effective ramp-up for the season, and (2) how long does Offseason Part Two have to be in order to complete the many, many things that need completion? The “it’s a stretch” numbers you hear for them are three weeks and one week, so if you want to know the drop dead date for the regular season starting on time, it’s probably March 1. Anything between now and then, though, is going to create problems for Spring Training, which has been the best case scenario ever since the owners decided to wait a month and a half to make the first offer of their lockout (“We have to start a lockout! To spur negotiations! By the way, we’re going to do nothing for a month and a half, ok bye!“). Every time I let myself think on the timeline again, I get so angry. It didn’t have to be this way, but now a crappy Spring Training situation – and a far too condensed Offseason Part Two – are virtually assured. Happy 60 day crappiversary.

•   Just watch this story. How have I never heard this before? This is WILD:

•   Speaking of that duo, it is alarming how accurate this is:

•   Heads up – Caesars hooked us up with a huge promo code here for today’s games. DraftKings has one without a promo code here.

•   MLBTR explores Luis Urias’s great season for the Brewers in 2021, and I do think it is something that has gone underdiscussed, given the unique trajectory of his still-young career (top tier prospect who arrived super young, struggled to make the MLB leap, was kinda cast off by the Padres, still struggled to make the leap with the Brewers, and then finally put together a great big league season in his fourth try, but again, is still only 24). The only caution I’d offer if I were “buying” on Urias is that so much of his success in 2021 was predicated on power he’d never really shown before, which absolutely could be a step forward, or it could be a little flukey (his expected slugging was about 20 points below his actual slugging, his expected homers was a couple less than he actually hit). Urias’s calling card as a prospect was his absurd contact rate – and still taking walks – while being a line drive hitter very young for his level. So I don’t quite know what to make of him posting an ISO near .200 this past year. It could be physical and swing development because of his age, or, like I said, it could be just a little flukey. Either way, I’m sure the Brewers are very happy to have him in the fold, and incredibly, he still doesn’t even have three full years of service time. (Man, the Padres sure sold low on him, didn’t they?)

•   Adbert and Frank getting after it:

•   More hiring news for the Cubs, as they are definitely in the zone of filling out the coaching and development staffs:

•   Pairing these two videos together is Art:

•   Two big hirings for the Bears – basically the number two in the front office, and the number two on the coaching staff:

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.