Procedural Moves, Rules Change Blowback, Staff Departure, WBC, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Procedural Moves, Rules Change Blowback, Staff Departure, WBC, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I feel like I’ve been waiting for the official word to drop on an Eric Hosmer deal since this weekend … which was last year, so I’ve been waiting for parts of two calendar years.

I kid, but actually, given that we know the Cubs and Padres talked about Hosmer a couple years ago in a prospect-buying trade, this dance has actually been going on for muuuuch longer. It’s just that now he doesn’t come with a prospect, and the Cubs don’t have to pay his salary. The build-up isn’t necessarily reflective of the excitement of landing Hosmer – it would register as “ok, fine, I guess” – it’s just that it’s been on the table for so long. He already feels like an honorary Cub.

  • The holidays may have messed up the normal timing a bit, but just a random reminder that the Cubs still have three DFAs that have yet to be resolved, officially: Alfonso Rivas, Erich Uelmen, and P.J. Higgins. In each case, I’m certain the Cubs are hoping they can get the players through waivers and outrighted to Triple-A Iowa. Higgins, unlike the other two, would have the right to reject the assignment and hit free agency, though, for what it’s worth. (OPE: The Uelmen DFA resolved as I was typing these Bullets. He was traded to the Phillies. Tentatively expect that means Rivas will come down soon, and Higgins sometime thereafter.)
  • We’ve talked over the upcoming rules changes again and again, such that I feel like there is little left unsaid about the pitch clock, the pick-off limits, the shift changes, and the larger bases. But Anthony Castrovince found a new angle to write about: the historical reaction to big rules changes in sports, and – in my read – how over-the-top people can get. In particular, I found these comments about the shot clock being introduced in the NBA to be particularly humorous:

Rochester coach Les Harrison said the 24-second clock took away much of the “finesse” with which his Royals set up their buckets. And Lakers veteran Jim Pollard said the clock “eliminates smartness.”

“Before this rule came in, we’d work hard on defense,” Pollard said. “But when somebody got a hoop, we had a chance to rest a little. We’d take six, eight, 10 seconds to bring the ball up the court, then start setting up a basket. In 24 seconds, there isn’t time to plan. It’s just run, shoot, run. Nobody’s going to play a full game.”

  • Eliminating smartness? Sounds like the complaints about shift restrictions. Not being able to rest and plan? Sounds like the complaints about the pitch clock. It’ll all be fine …
  • Some of the special event dates this year, if you wanted a calendar reminder:
  • The answer, of course, is the July 31 Trade Deadline, because that’s when the Cubs will be adding a couple impact players for the stretch run, AMIRITE.
  • The Cubs are keeping Brad Wieck around, if you missed it, and Bryan makes a good side point:
  • The Cubs are losing a member of their player development infrastructure:
  • Congrats to Zeid on his new role; he had been with the Cubs as the pitching rehab coordinator and a player development pitching analyst.
  • Probably a pretty good mind to have giving thoughts in your front office:
  • This will probably wind up a pretty good experience for Lars Nootbaar, whose mother is Japanese, and here’s hoping Seiya Suzuki doesn’t give him any helpful tips:
  • A similar story for Tommy Edman, whose mother is Korean, and who will play for Team Korea:
  • At last check, the Cubs will have Seiya Suzuki playing for Team Japan, and Marcus Stroman playing for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, which will kick off with the various pools on March 8.
  • It’s pretty remarkable how often this has happened this season, where the refs screwed up, it cost the Bulls a game, and then they have to admit after the fact that, yes, they screwed up:

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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.