I got tired of listening to public radio in the car so I changed the channel to the local “New Rock” station as I take my daughter to school. On the way in, they’re playing Nirvana’s “Breed.” After I pick her up in the afternoon, they’re playing Nirvana’s “In Bloom.” The next morning, they’re playing No Doubt’s “Spiderwebs,” which I guess is only 20 years old instead of 25.
“New” apparently has a different meaning these days from when I was growing up.
- Monday was the deadline for players to accept the qualifying offers and two players, Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and Mets second baseman Neil Walker, accepted the offers. The other eight players, including the Cubs Dexter Fowler, turned them down.
- Ken Rosenthal makes the case that the current system of qualifying offers and draft pick penalties for signing free agents needs to end.
- There is a report that the new CBA will end the current qualifying offer system.
- Grant Brisbee says that Hellickson’s decision to accept a QO just turned an awful free agent market for starting pitching into something even more terrible.
- With the free agent market for starting pitching so bad, there’s been lots of talk about the trade market for starting pitching, and in particular, White Sox hurler Chris Sale. Dayn Perry sums up the current state of the Sale market.
- Jon Heyman gives details on the Braves attempts to land Sale, which he terms “serious.”
- Ken Rosenthal looks at the Nationals strong interest in Sale, along with a whole bunch of other Hot Stove rumors.
- One pitcher whom every team in the majors would be interested in signing is Japanese phenom Shohei Otani, but J.J. Cooper explains that current international signing rules means there is no chance that Otani pitches in MLB in 2017.
- Speaking of which, a couple of Latin American showcases have been cancelled as trainers are boycotting them in protest of a proposed international draft.
- Ben Badler explains that for all of MLB’s talk about the need for an international draft to insure competitive balance and transparency, the only reason they want an international draft is to reduce amateur bonuses.
- Back to the states, Jonathan Bernhardt looks at what a Mets future without Yoenis Cespedes might look like.
- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig decided against opting-out of his contract. He would have been eligible for arbitration had he opted-out.
- Speak of the devil. The Mets have reassigned third base coach Tim Teufel to elsewhere in the organization. It would be ironic if they replaced him with Jim Gott, but the new third base coach is Glenn Sherlock.
- Anthony Castrovince lists the team in each division with the most interesting offseason ahead of them.
- The Marlins are not on that list, but Jerry Crasnick explains how difficult is has been to move forward to 2017 without Jose Fernandez.
- Castrovince also thinks that Terry Francona and Dave Roberts were worthy winners of the Manager of the Year honors.
- A breakdown of what Francona and Roberts did to win the award, including a list of their top games of the season.
- Tom Verducci looks at NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager as he exemplifies a youth revolution in baseball.
- Andrew Marchand says that despite losing out on the Rookie of the Year vote to the Tigers Michael Fulmer, catcher Gary Sanchez is the new face of the Yankees.
- Grant Brisbee looks at what kinds of careers Rookie of the Year winners actually end up having. Bob Hamelin, we hardly knew ya.
- Mike Axisa has some candidates to win the 2017 Rookie of the Year awards.
- Patrick Dubuque looks at the beauty, or lack thereof, of the unassisted triple play.
- The Marlins Triple-A affiliate is no longer the New Orleans Zephyrs. They are now the New Orleans Baby Cakes! What? You don’t like that name? Or the logo of a baby about to smash someone’s skull in with a bat? You’re not alone. I like goofy minor league names, but teams are taking them too far these days. (I did like the “Rumble Ponies” and “Fire Frogs” though. “Jumbo Shrimp” is awful.)
- Alright, let’s finish up with some Cubs news, since they are the World Series Champions. Matthew Trueblood has a history of the relationship between Steve Goodman and the Cubs.
- Ken Rosenthal tells the story of Mike Montgomery’s long journey to the final out of the Cubs first World Series title in 108 years. He confirms something I suspected: Montgomery was pretty upset when he heard that he’d been traded to the Cubs, at least until his suddenly-former Mariners teammates kept telling him how awesome it was that he was going to the Cubs and the playoffs. Anyway, you’ll want to read this one.
- The Pope got a Cubs cap from a Cardinal. (OK, it was the Archbishop of Chicago-kind of Cardinal. Not the St. Louis kind.) Now if only my Cubs World Series champions cap would arrive.
- And finally, yesterday’s New York Times crossword puzzle honored the Cubs by having a Cubs-themed puzzle with a whopping 11 Cubs-related clues.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. I hope.