I can’t pass up a chance to put up a picture of Orbit.
At least one 2016 Cubs player managed to repeat in 2017.
Butter can’t save you now.
- Houston is still basking in the glow of their first World Series title, but the rest of us are looking forward to next season. Buster Olney writes that the Astros look like a dynasty, except that you would have said the same thing about the Cubs in 2016. Olney also reports that many in baseball expect Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton to end up with the Phillies.
- Richard Justice praises the Astros “grit” as the key to winning the World Series. If “grit” is a euphemism for “talent,” then I agree.
- Tyler Kepner recaps the Astros long franchise history of futility and how the team finally found a formula that turned their fortunes around.
- Steve Wulf looks at the long road veterans Carlos Beltran and Justin Verlander travelled to win their first World Series. Beltran may have won his first title in the final game of his 20-year career.
- The World Series wasn’t the only ring Verlander got this week as he married longtime girlfriend Kate Upton on Saturday in Italy.
- Many fans watched the victory parade from a parking garage in Houston. One fan dropped their cap but the crowd was able to toss it up eight stories to return it.
- Now that the Astros have won their first World Series title, Will Leitch looks at the seven other teams who have never won and what their chances are going forward.
- Stephen Loftus writes that Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was brilliant in game seven of the World Series, but that won’t stop the false narrative that Kershaw can’t pitch in big game.
- Partly that is because the game was already 5-0 when Kershaw came out of the bullpen. Starter Yu Darvish feels terrible for Dodgers fans and said “I couldn’t do it. I still feel sorry.”
- The Dodgers did take out a full-page ad in the Houston Chronicle congratulating the Astros. That was classy.
- Bradford Doolittle outlines how the Dodgers can break their title drought next season.
- On to the Hot Stove. Jim Duquette predicts landing spots for the top 25 free agents this winter.
- Matt Kelly has some under-the-radar free agent pitchers whom StatCast tips for possible breakout seasons in 2018, much like the Astros’ Charlie Morton this year.
- Tim Kurkjian has the ten biggest questions of the winter, including the aforementioned Giancarlo Stanton.
- It’s time for teams and players to make decisions about their contract options. The Pirates picked up their 2018 option on outfielder Andrew McCutchen. Mike Axisa looks at the Pirates options with McCutchen going forward: Keep, trade this winter or trade at the deadline?
- Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto will not opt out of his contract, so he’ll stay with the Giants through 2021.
- Royals pitcher Ian Kennedy will also not opt out, so he’s under contract in KC through 2020.
- Yankees hurler Masahiro Tanaka declined to exercise his opt-out, so he’s staying in the Bronx through 2020. That’s also good news for the other free agent starters this winter.
- And Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen declined to opt out out of his deal, which show that despite all the injuries Chen has suffered in Miami that have kept him off the field, his brain still works fine.
- Nationals catcher Matt Wieters exercised his option for 2018, so he’s staying in DC one more year. Of course, all these “staying in” comments have the “barring a trade” qualifier on them. Although some of these players have no-trade deals too.
- The Rays have placed a qualifying offer on pitcher Alex Cobb.
- The rules on qualifying offers have changed this season, so Whitney McIntosh gets you up to speed on what the rules are now. But short-hand, the penalties for signing a player with a QO have been reduced.
- Many observers have predicted the Cubs might sign Cobb, but R.J. Anderson reports that the Rangers are very interested in signing Cobb as well.
- Two former major leaguers, Roger Bernadina and Wilin Rosario, would like to return to MLB after successful stints in Korea’s KBO.
- Former Cubs outfielder Sam Fuld has retired and will join the Phillies front office.
- Mark Townsend looks at the dilemma the Mariners have in whether or not to bring back Ichiro Suzuki.
- Ryan Davis looks at some candidates for the 2018 Comeback Player of the Year.
- Here’s a model train enthusiast who built a 1:48 scale model of Ebbets Field. It’s kind of neat and extremely detailed, down to the bird droppings.
- And finally, congratulations to the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks who won the 2017 Japan Series with a walkoff “Sayonara Single.” Although he didn’t play in the Japan Series, Munenori Kawasaki was on the Hawks this season. Come to think of it, he didn’t play in the World Series last year either. But he does seem to be the ultimate good luck charm.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.