I’m seeing some friends this weekend for lots of sports, food, beer, and – thankfully this morning – coffee. We watched the NLCS and Bulls on a projector last night, just using a garage door as the screen. It was pretty darn awesome, I gotta say.
Obligatory: Should you ever consider checking out projectors, here’s the rundown at Amazon. #ad
- If you want to get a little amped about the urgency with which the Cubs should be treating this offseason, Patrick Mooney writes about how there’s really no excuse for the Cubs not to make the playoffs in 2023. His opening line keeps things as blunt as possible: “It will be an organizational failure if the Cubs don’t make the playoffs next year.” The piece is more philosophical than analytical, but sometimes that’s a useful reminder: the Cubs are a major-market team in a division without that kind of competition, and they haven’t been to a REAL and FULL postseason series in five years, and haven’t won a postseason game in that same time.
- The concluding paragraph, fairly I think, simply notes that it’s reasonable to have expectations at this point:
There are no internal or external expectations that 2023 will be a championship-or-bust season at Wrigley Field. But this deep into the rebuild — the Darvish deal plus two sell-offs at the trade deadline and the wholesale changes initiated in baseball operations years ago — it’s not unreasonable to expect some results and accountability at the major-league level. As Friedman told The New York Times, explaining the importance of trying to win that year while maintaining a strong position for the future: “We’ve seen a lot of large-revenue teams go on a run of success and fall off the side of a cliff.”
- We got some big managerial news yesterday with the Rangers hiring long-time, very-successful veteran manager Bruce Bochy to a three-year deal, which probably means the Rangers are going to be very aggressive this offseason. More about the Cubs-related impact there later.
- One other bit of managerial news falls more into the heh-heh-this-is-kinda-fun category, with the Chicago White Sox reportedly ACTUALLY going to interview former manager Ozzie Guillen, per Michael Allardyce at NBCSC. The sides have already had talks, and the interview comes next week. Just placating a certain corner of the fan base? Or actually interested in bringing back Ozzie, who was the Sox manager from 2004 to 2011. I’m not even saying Ozzie would be a bad manager at this point, I’m saying only that he’s entertaining from a distance, and I would kind of enjoy watching that all play out. After all, we certainly enjoyed the White Sox previous managerial situation from a distance.
- For his part, Guillen earlier this offseason put it this way:
“It is not in my plans. I don’t know if it is in the White Sox’ plans,” Guillén said on NBC Sports Chicago earlier this month. “Even if they think I can help them for next year, I’m very open to listening to it.”
But Guillén agrees with fans calling for his return.
“Let me be cocky,” Guillén said. “Nobody in baseball knows this ballclub better than Ozzie Guillén.”
- Meanwhile, Terry Francona and the Guardians have confirmed that the 63-year-old veteran will return to manage the team next season. Francona has dealt with health concerns, but held up well enough this year that he wants to keep going.
- Six years ago today, one of the most important double-plays in Chicago Cubs history:
- And 22 years ago today, one of the most unhinged moments in playoff history:
- Roger Clemens claimed that he thought the oblong block of wood he’d grabbed and thrown at Mike Piazza was actually the baseball, which is, of course, absurd for at least two reasons.
- The Bulls couldn’t pull off a comeback late last night, but the Blackhawks pulled off a comeback win: