Another day of meetings in the baseball world, and another very likely situation where we see teeny tiny movements on a couple lesser issues on one side. The meetings resume at noon central. Without a major move on a major issue, though, expecting a deal by next week seems a ludicrous suggestion.
It sure would be nice to be able to talk about some actual Cubs baseball. At least there is minor league baseball coming, no matter what!
Back page for Wednesday. We have baseball in Arizona, sort of. Our @maddie_m_lee at the Cubs — https://t.co/m4rDipkQeg— and our @CST_soxvan at the White Sox — https://t.co/h5HUhM8d3h pic.twitter.com/zkzxjiipCt
— Sun-Times Sports (@suntimes_sports) February 23, 2022
Meanwhile, from elsewhere in the baseball world …
• This is a really good overview of things from Jeff Passan in his appearance on PTI, particularly his comments on how little MLB seems to understand the long-term risks to which they are exposing themselves by failing to reach a deal, even if it were viewed as player-friendly:
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 23, 2022
• I suspect Passan is also right that we’re going to know by Friday whether a deal really can happen or not before regular season games are lost (even if the deal isn’t done by Friday, he suggests we’ll probably be able to guess by then). Based on the last couple days, it seems impossible, but I suppose I’ll hold open the door at least until Friday, but I’m at like 1% at this point.
• From one horrible story to another, though you just have to hope the Angels situation was an extreme outlier:
Nearly a dozen players, agents and major-league athletic trainers expressed surprise at the mere thought of an opioid crisis in Major League Baseball.
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) February 17, 2022
• Cubs pitchers have to just keep doing their thing to ramp up:
Big wrinkle. pic.twitter.com/9Z8X6XBok6
— Brad Wieck (@WieckBrad) February 23, 2022
• This is just a fascinating read for so many reasons, from the way aging players deal with inevitable decline, to the kind of person Joey Votto is, to the ways to analyze a swing:
“Help me fix this.” Inside Matt Carpenter’s cross-country quest to remake his swing. With insight from Carpenter, Joey Votto, Matt Holliday and others. https://t.co/kdKAmxlHMR
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 23, 2022
• While it was not a key part of the article necessarily, I have to share something that REALLY stood out to me. In evaluating Matt Carpenter’s swing to determine whether he was just done, there was this process:
Marucci, applying concepts from golf, uses three measurements to calculate what a player’s maximum exit velocity should be under the specific conditions at the lab on the day he is tested. Lower-body strength is measured through a vertical jump, core strength through an overhead toss of an 8.8-pound medicine ball at the end of a sit-up, upper-body strength from a chest pass of the medicine ball from a sitting position.
Carpenter said he was above major-league average across the board in all three measurements. But when it came to the analysis of his swing, he was considerably behind the other two major leaguers. The lab uses a dual force plate centered on the ground to measure a player’s vertical, horizontal and torque force when swinging, and a 3-D motion-capture system to assess different areas of his body.
“All the data was showing it,” Carpenter said. “It wasn’t necessarily a strength thing. It wasn’t aging. It was flat-out my swing had gotten out of sorts.”
• It’s an incredible implication: by measuring just a few strength items, you could figure out how well a guy SHOULD be able to do with his swing. And if he’s not doing it, then, in theory, if you could just improve his swing mechanics, you could improve the quality of his contact. (Swing decisions and plate discipline, of course, are entirely separate things.)
• One of a kind, indeed:
— MLB (@MLB) February 22, 2022
• Obvious Shirts hit Myrtle Beach:
A new shirt has landed on The Beach.
— Myrtle Beach Pelicans (@Pelicanbaseball) February 22, 2022
• The Peanut Punch:
Did you know that Charles “Peanut” Tillman — who is celebrating a birthday day — once forced 4️⃣ fumbles in a game?
Well, now ya do!
Happy birthday, @peanuttillman!
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 23, 2022
• I’m not even kidding or trying to be cute with this – I just mean it sincerely, because sometimes it helps:
Sure, I could be blisteringly angry about the lockout and what we're all missing right now.
Or I could remember that we are but specks of interstellar dust at a cosmic scale, so brief in our existence that to compare us to the blink of an eye would be a gross exaggeration. https://t.co/1yC4L8y33p
— Brett Taylor (@Brett_A_Taylor) February 23, 2022