Taking stock of the top relief pitching options

In Commentary And Analysis by berselius361 Comments

A wild blog post appears!

To paraphrase something Theo Epstein said during the 2015 playoffs*, whoever wins the World Series will prove the Right Way to Win and every other team will follow suit in the offseason. In 2016 the conventional wisdom has turned out to be having a relief ace or two that you can ride to death in the playoffs. Just witness that the Cardinals have jumped out in front to sign Brett Cecil to a 4/30 deal. Cecil is better than his 2016 numbers and front offices are way more numerate than in the Jim Hendry days, but I'd still think that teams might ask for a bit of a discount on a reliever who nearly posted a 4.00 ERA, whatever his BABIP/strand rate/HR per FB might be.

*I can't find the quote since "Theo Epstein World Series" was more or less googlebombed by some assholes this October

When it comes to filling the big, whiff of human garbage smelling hole left by Aroldis Chapman, the Cubs have a few options:

  1. Re-sign Chapman
  2. Sign Kenley Jansen
  3. Sign Mark Melancon
  4. Stay out of the high-end RP market

To be honest I'm leaning towards number four here myself, but I can take off my Randy Wells colored glasses for a second and note that while Rondon was a dominant reliver pre-injury, he has not looked good since returning. I thought Strop did look good but Joe obviously did not, given how he used him in the playoffs. If anything last year's team proved that depth was important, and it would be pretty interesting to peek into the alternate universe where someone else traded for Chapman and Strop and Rondon went down not long after. It's easy to say this now that the Cubs finally have that championship (dying laughing).

As far as the big names go, I thought when I started this that there was one clear option:

  Chapman Jansen Melancon
2016 IP 58 68.2 71.1
2016 ERA 1.55 1.83 1.64
2016 FIP 1.42 1.44 2.42
2016 xFIP 1.92 2.41 2.99
2016 K% 40.5% 41.4% 24.1%
2016 BB% 8.1% 4.4% 4.4%
2016 K%-BB% 32.4% 37.0% 19.6%
Age 28 29 31
Draft pick compensation N Y N
DV arrests 1 0 0

I think I'd still take Mark Melancon over both of those guys, but it's not quite as big of a gap as I thought. I'm too old to chase down the weak contact numbers on Melancon, but I bet they're pretty good considering how many cutters he throws. Normally I'd say he costs less too, but if this is a market where Brett Cecil is getting 4/30 and Chapman is looking for seven figures everyone is going to be overpaid. They might be able to get a good deal in the relative sense for Melancon though, considering that Chapman cost Gleyber Torres while Melancon cost a MLB-level relief pitcher and a live arm in A-ball at the trade deadline.

Working against Chapman, aside from whatever penalty you may feel his past actions might incur on the fanbase (again), is the chance that something could happen again off the field. But even aside from that there are enough questions on the field to balk at offering him a long term deal. While Chapman was more than game to go multiple innings in the playoffs, I still think it's something he's relatively uncomfotable with compared to guys like Jansen, Miller, etc. He was clearly gassed in game seven, though blame for that can certianly be spread around. And to be fair, Andrew Miller wasn't exactly himself by the end of that marathon of a series. Fanfuckingtastic story as it was, I don't think David Ross homers off a rested Miller. But I do think this is another shadow cast over Chapman, even if I'm engaging in some NYT-worthy innuendo here. Finally, as we've seen from time to time when Chapman does get gassed, he's much more hittable throwing 98-99 than most other relievers. The inexorable passage of time destroys all, and while Chapman is the youngest of the big three I think it's easy to see him having the biggest dropoff if he hits a setback.

Based on my extremely subjective eyeball norm, Jansen had much less of a problem with multiple innings when asked. He also came to pitching late so he may have more bullets left in his arm than most of these guys when they hit free agency. But he costs a draft pick to sign, and that is the kind of capital that this front office hates to part with. Everything has its price, and without the compensation he'd be the easy pick here. At least in this case the pick that the Cubs would stand to lose would be at the end of the first round, probably just before the pick they stand to get for Fowler if they don't resign him. Chances are they'll get the guy they want, though not two of them. Or the bonus pool money. If Fowler is not in their plans they could make a play here anyway.

My own preferences would be

1. No one (and re-sign Fowler)
2. Melancon
3. Jansen
 

 

 

 

(huge gap)

 

 

4. Chapman

 

 

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Comments

  1. SK

    I don’t think spending big money on RPs (or even medium-sized money in multi-year deals*) is a good idea, even if the entire profession of the RP is being redefined in 2017.

    If we’re short, trade for the next Strop and Rondon and add them to the mix. Re-sign Cahill and Wood for reasonable money. Trade for a rental star RP at the deadline if available. Done deal sealed.

    *lookin at you, Mike Remlinger and Bob Howry

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  2. dmick89

    If it’s Fowler or one of these relievers, I’d go with Fowler, but I’m not sure why it’s one or the other. The Cubs are a large market team who have gone deep into the playoffs two years in a row, including a world series championship. I’m getting the same impression that the Cubs don’t have much to spend, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I guess I don’t care which of the three relievers they sign or if they sign any of them. That being said, I’d much rather spend on one of these guys than give up half the farm system to acquire a similar talent at the deadline.

    I’d probably put them in this order: Chapman, Melancon, Jansen. I think Jansen is the best of the three, but he’s going to cost more money and will cost the Cubs a first round pick.

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  3. Author
    berselius

    SK,

    I know what you mean, and not signing any of them and working around the margins is still the top option for me. But I’m trying to step out of the “the Cubs need to get value on every deal” bubble a bit, since they can probably fill the entire infield with stacks of money and set it on fire and still make a profit after last year (dying laughing).

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  4. dmick89

    One advantage the Cubs have over a lot of teams when valuing these relievers is that the Cubs are pretty good bets to reach the postseason in the coming years. That maximizes their value to the point where even 7-figures may not be an overpay.

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  5. Ryno

    dmick89:
    cerulean,

    Shows just how meaningless the Cubs winning a championship is for most sane fans. Sure, it was great, but I’d happily trade it for a number of things that happened this year.

    I’m still processing the fact that they won the WS. Maybe I’ll feel differently after I finish, but I was more happy about the NLCS win. I felt like they gave me something they owed me since 20013. #narcissism

    I was OK with the team losing in the WS all the way up until they were up with a few outs to go. That moment when I let myself think they were going to win it.

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  6. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: I’m getting the same impression that the Cubs don’t have much to spend, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    Pretty sure we had the same impression a year ago this time, only to find out otherwise in rather dramatic fashion.

    For my part, I think it’s either the Cubs are old-fashioned and still believe in reliever volatility and not paying 30+ year-old OFs for their decline (though I think in Fowler’s case they should reconsider), and they are about to dazzle us with their discipline to these probably wise principles, or the rumors we’ve heard so far reflect the not-much that’s leaked so far to the mongers and sportswriters, and the Cubs have every intention of trying to either retain or land a 100+MM closer and keep Fowler once his market takes shape.

    I seriously doubt it’s the Cubs can’t afford anything good.

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  7. cerulean

    I think Chapman is looking for nine figures, though I expect he’ll only get eight. If it only takes seven and the Cubs don’t get him, the World Champion Superfriends will invoke invoke the wrath of the Chapman curse and never blow a save in game seven of the World Series again. I am not sure I want my children’s children’s children to never see that happen in their lifetimes.

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  8. Smokestack Lightning

    cerulean:
    I think Chapman is looking for nine figures, though I expect he’ll only get eight. If it only takes seven and the Cubs don’t get him, the World Champion Superfriends will invoke invoke the wrath of the Chapman curse and never blow a save in game seven of the World Series again. I am not sure I want my children’s children’s children to never see that happen in their lifetimes.

    Based on what we know, which admittedly isn’t much, I lean more toward the Cubs paying Jansen if they’re paying any reliever at all. I think they underestimated the controversy the Chapman move would generate (and I don’t really blame them for such, the DV story had pretty much faded up until the point he was traded; it is a little strange that it came roaring back just because he switched uniforms), and I imagine at this point the dollars plus the character issues plus the less-flexible routine he prefers have them on board the Jansen-or-bust train.

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  9. Myles

    Interesting story :

    I work with a pretty big Cubs fan who is also a very attractive woman. She went to Prism Saturday night with her husband and some friends, and at midnight Baez and Chapman came to the bar. Her husband dragged her over to meet them (she’s a huge Baez fan but didn’t want to embarrass herself). They ended up all hitting it off and stayed at that bar until 5am Sunday morning. Got a lot of pictures and said that Baez was super nice and personable in person. Chapman was also nice but not as outgoing (my coworker only speaks a little Spanish, though). Baez apparently picked up the tab at the end of the night.

    Was glad to see that Baez is apparently delightful in person.

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  10. cerulean

    Why don’t we dispense with the nominal value of these contracts and just look at the number of wins above a stack of burning money.

    Looking at things that way, Cecil’s contract is for 3.5₩ (because Won is the past tense of win, obvs), less than 1₩ a year. Chapman is looking for 11.5₩ over five or six. Jansen could probably be had for 10₩ over that kind of timeframe.

    Of course, when looking at things this way, it’s important to consider the upside. Given current usage rates, the best case scenario for the actual value of Jansen or Chapman is two to three WASBM. That’s not a lot of surplus.

    However, as DMick mentioned, the Cubs are more likely than any other team going to benefit from such a reliever’s services during the postseason, very possibly contributing a win when wins are the most scarce. Given the Cubs’ on-field abilities, I would prefer they go big for Jansen because he is the best.

    The Yankees don’t achieve the heights they did in such short series without Rivera, even if he blew game seven versus the Dbags in 2001—a series the Yankees nearly stole despite a run differential of -21 at that point with four one-run wins—and three against the Red Sox in 2004. (It’s worth noting that since 2002 when I presume BS became a stat, those three blown saves where the only ones he had in the postseason—and they all came in that one series. Against the Red Sox. Choker. Three Bronx cheers for Mariano.)

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  11. cerulean

    My other idea about signing Rich Hill for the Sutter role still stands. Hill has been as lights out as anyone. I do believe that he would excel in that kind of role without aggravating the blisters to the extent he does as a starter. He and Edwards finishing out games two innings at a time would be huge, especially when factoring potential injuries to starting pitchers.

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  12. Edwin

    cerulean,

    I like it, but I think Hill probably prefers to start, and will get paid plenty of money to start. Cubs would probably need to pay pretty heavy to convince him to be that 2-3 IP per appearance guy.

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  13. cerulean

    Smokestack Lightning,

    Not signing Jansen is a bigger risk than not signing Fowler in my opinion. And what is the purpose of having money if not to manage risk? If they find out they have a Dellin Betances and an Andrew Miller as well, all the better.

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  14. cerulean

    Edwin,

    If he averages an inning a game, that’s 162 IP, 50 more than he had last year. I think he could be convinced, especially when considering the Andrew Miller effect. It wouldn’t be a demotion put that way.

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  15. cerulean

    Edwin:
    Are the Bears better off simply trading their 1st round picks? Seems like they aren’t doing shit with them anyways.

    Are the Bears still a team? I thought they were disbanded when Lovie, Devin, Peanut, Urlacher, and others all died in that tragic plane crash.

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  16. Perkins

    I’m just completely floored that we’re talking about the same Rich Hill who lost the strike zone about eight years ago.

    Baseball.

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  17. Rizzo the Rat

    An important point that everybody seems to be overlooking: Jansen’s experience as a minor league backstop could make him an ideal candidate to be the Cubs’ third catcher next year.

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  18. Smokestack Lightning

    cerulean:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    Not signing Jansen is a bigger risk than not signing Fowler in my opinion. And what is the purpose of having money if not to manage risk? If they find out they have a Dellin Betances and an Andrew Miller as well, all the better.

    No argument from me on wanting a Jansen or Chapman and Fowler back. I’m all for spending the dollars and going into 2017 as the same dominant force the Cubs were in 2016.

    But from the most prudent team-building perspective I can’t say it’s a bad move to let Fowler walk and pass on six figure closers either.

    (dying laughing), so basically the Cubs can do no wrong this offseason.

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  19. Rice in limbo

    Rizzo the Rat:
    An important point that everybody seems to be overlooking: Jansen’s experience as a minor league backstop could make him an ideal candidate to be the Cubs’ third catcher next year.

    Would still be behind Javy on the depth chart.

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  20. Author
    berselius

    Rizzo the Rat:
    An important point that everybody seems to be overlooking: Jansen’s experience as a minor league backstop could make him an ideal candidate to be the Cubs’ third catcher next year.

    (dying laughing)
    (dying laughing)
    (dying laughing)

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  21. Author
    berselius

    cerulean:
    My other idea about signing Rich Hill for the Sutter role still stands. Hill has been as lights out as anyone. I do believe that he would excel in that kind of role without aggravating the blisters to the extent he does as a starter. He and Edwards finishing out games two innings at a time would be huge, especially when factoring potential injuries to starting pitchers.

    Hill is tons of fun to watch when he’s not facing your team (dying laughing). I think the Cubs should stay away, I think it’s safe to say that his injury history is a huge risk, whether he starts or he agrees to be Miller’d.

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  22. dmick89

    cerulean:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    Not signing Jansen is a bigger risk than not signing Fowler in my opinion. And what is the purpose of having money if not to manage risk? If they find out they have a Dellin Betances and an Andrew Miller as well, all the better.

    I think not signing Fowler is probably the bigger risk because you have to get to the postseason first. I think they could probably do it without Fowler, but it would be easier with him. Jansen could potentially be worth more in the postseason. Sign them both in my opinion.

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  23. EnricoPallazzo

    wasn’t it rich hill that had all of those anxiety issues? seems like that kind of makeup would not thrive in an andrew miller-role. maybe i’m thinking of someone else though.

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  24. Author
    berselius

    dmick89:
    GW,

    I do recall there was some speculation about that. I think “anxiety issues” was kind of the nice way of saying “he sucks” back then.

    I can confirm first-hand that sucking does lead to anxiety issues.

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  25. Edwin

    Hill had extreme command/control issues, which people may have assumed was due to anxiety. Seems more like people simply trying to tie a narrative to the situation than an actual thing though.

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  26. Author
    berselius

    Edwin:
    Hill had extreme command/control issues, which people may have assumed was due to anxiety.Seems more like people simply trying to tie a narrative to the situation than an actual thing though.

    I always just assumed it was due to chronic back issues fucking with his mechanics.

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  27. cerulean

    dmick89,

    If the Cubs don’t make to the postseason, it isn’t because they didn’t sign Fowler. However, a shutdown guy like Jansen pays off in the postseason.

    But why choose—sign them both!

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  28. cerulean

    berselius: Hill is tons of fun to watch when he’s not facing your team (dying laughing). I think the Cubs should stay away, I think it’s safe to say that his injury history is a huge risk, whether he starts or he agrees to be Miller’d.

    Given the paucity of starters on the market, he will likely be priced higher than he should be given his age and injury history. However, the guy was worth nearly four wins above sacks of burning money in a scant 110 IP. I’d say that he gets a max of 6₩ for at least three years. He could be worth double that in just 400 IP. Maybe he only gets to 300 IP—9 WASBM is still a pretty decent bet.

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  29. Ryno

    Edwin,

    They’re not as bad as Cleveland…

    Hasn’t Leonard Floyd been pretty decent this year? I figured he wouldn’t really contribute until next year.

    I know Long at least had been good. White and Fuller not doing anything for you?

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  30. Edwin

    Ryno,

    Fuller hasn’t really done much since that one 49ners game his rookie year. He’s decent enough that he’s not a total disaster, but otherwise he’s been a pretty quiet player. And this year he’s been hurt all season.

    White seemed to show some flashes earlier as to why the Bears thought so highly of him, and then immeadiately got injured for the season. I’m not too big on players coming out of college who miss 90% of their first two NFL seasons, especially when they were considered “projects” at the time of draft.

    Floyd’s been playing better lately, although he’s still really one dimensional at this point. Now he’s probably going to miss the rest of the season, which could stunt his growth, and who knows how a guy comes back from injuries.

    I think the last time the Bears drafted someone who went on to have a productive career for the Bears, it was Urlacher in 2000, or maybe Tommy Harris in 2004. Otherwise pretty much everyone else has been either traded, bad, or hurt. I guess Kyle Long is ok.

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  31. Perkins

    So I still haven’t gotten any information about STH renewal/relocation and have been told it’s coming sometime in December; I get the feeling that a lot of the operations staff got a well-deserved holiday after the World Series. The timeline is behind last year’s by a few weeks. I’m also curious how much they’re going to hike ticket prices next season. Demand is going to be pretty high.

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  32. Myles

    Perkins:
    So I still haven’t gotten any information about STH renewal/relocation and have been told it’s coming sometime in December; I get the feeling that a lot of the operations staff got a well-deserved holiday after the World Series. The timeline is behind last year’s by a few weeks. I’m also curious how much they’re going to hike ticket prices next season. Demand is going to be pretty high.

    I have a source deep inside the Cubs and they said prices are going up “a fuckload.”

    Hope this helps.

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  33. Edwin

    dmick89,

    Global economists are currently concerned about a decrease in the forecasted supply of fuckloads, leaving many citizens with few or even zero fucks to give about anything.

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  34. Perkins

    Myles: I have a source deep inside the Cubs and they said prices are going up “a fuckload.”

    Hope this helps.

    As long as I can resell most of them for “a fuckton,” then I should be okay.

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  35. Ryno

    Edwin:
    Ryno,

    Fuller hasn’t really done much since that one 49ners game his rookie year.He’s decent enough that he’s not a total disaster, but otherwise he’s been a pretty quiet player.

    That’s why I don’t like taking CBs in the first round. True lockdown corners are so rare. The best you can usually hope for is solid, consistent play.

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  36. Perkins

    So there’s apparently talk from the owners about locking out the players. A few points in the CBA negotiations are contentious.

    That’s unexpected.

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  37. Perkins

    Rizzo the Rat,

    Yeah, the owners want that in exchange for giving up the QO system. I’d heard the JDA is another point of disagreement. Hard to believe any of that would outweigh the gravy train they’re all enjoying, though.

    In any case, I’m glad the Cubs got the World Series out of the way this year.

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  38. SK

    Given the context of the last month or two (Cubs-wise, not dystopian hellscape-wise), I’ve been listening to various Cubs podcasts. Enjoyable (Cubs won the World Series bitches) but so, so nerdy.

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  39. dmick89

    Perkins,

    I’m not even sure why we are seeing reports of a lockout when spring training doesn’t even start for almost four months. I’d be surprised if an extension isn’t worked out and I hope there’s no international draft.

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  40. Ryno

    dmick89,

    Yeah, it’s a good time to be a Raiders fan. They did a great job of building that team to this point and they could end up running that division for a few years.

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  41. Rizzo the Rat

    If MLB wants to eliminate "tanking" take 20 non-playoff teams & reverse draft order in 1st round. Incentive to win as many games as you can

    — Len Kasper (@LenKasper) November 23, 2016

    Interesting idea. I’m not a fan of how the current draft system incentivizes losing for non-competitive teams.

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  42. Rizzo the Rat

    The downside I see is that losing teams prepare for the future by trading away talent for prospects, and this proposed system would work against that. i.e., Len’s idea might make rebuilding more difficult.

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  43. dmick89

    Rizzo the Rat,

    yeah, I’d rather see a lottery than what Len suggested. i wouldn’t mind something like it, but a mix of good and bad teams. Something like this for draft order: 11th best record, 12, 13, 14, 15, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21.

    That way you are incentivizing winning, but also not incentivizing giving up prospects just for a chance to get a better pick when you know you aren’t making the postseason.

    I’d prefer to just leave things as they are. I have no problem with tanking (I hate that word though). I don’t see it as tanking. I see it as putting your team in the best possible situation to win at a later date.

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  44. Rizzo the Rat

    dmick89,

    Yeah, MLB teams don’t really tank on purpose. Managers and players always try to win and even FOs don’t really try to build the worst team they can so much as they spend more conservatively and focus on the long term when they aren’t in contention. My concern is more that, as I fan, I always hated how the Cubs were punished for winning with a lower draft pick. i.e., I wanted to see them succeed on the field, but not at the expense of their future success. That tension made those lean years even harder to take.

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  45. Rizzo the Rat

    I once proposed that the top draft pick be rewarded to the team with the longest championship drought. However, upon careful reflection, I have recently come to see the folly of my ways.

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  46. Smokestack Lightning

    Rice in limbo:
    That Dbacks/Mariners trade is certainly interesting. Pretty much Taijuan Walker for Jean Segura. What do y’all think?

    Can either of them be flipped for Nolasco? Otherwise, I’m not sure what the point was.

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  47. cerulean

    Happy Eat-Pre-Slaughtered-Native-American-Bird Day.

    America used to be great and slaughter native American birds on the day of, but now we import all of our birds from Mexico. Sad.

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  48. Author
    berselius

    I made sure to show the brined turkey to our rooster, as a warning. The dude has been kind of a cock recently.

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  49. Author
    berselius

    SK,

    (dying laughing) at one of Al’s interns giving a whitewash of a review while putting Yellon on a pedestal then giving the book four starts

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  50. dmick89

    berselius:
    SK,

    He crapped that one out pretty quick. Did he just republish his blog posts?

    Yeah, I’m not really sure how a book can be out about it yet. I’ve been thinking about rewatching the postseason and marking down every time Joe did something stupid so I can write about it, but that seems kind of pointless. The Cubs won. Get over it, dmick89. (dying laughing)

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  51. dmick89

    I got a kick out of this:

    On his website, Al Yellon did the following:

    – Drafted an open letter to Theo Epstein in 2013, asking him how long Cubs fans had to wait for a World Series title (key quote: “How many more tears, Theo?”). In 2016, Al quietly deleted this post from his website (although it was later reinstated, ostensibly after people called him out for taking it down).
    – Questioned if the 2014 acquisition of Addison Russell was enough of a haul for the inevitable summer trade of starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. (“Addison Russell is a fine prospect, for sure, but that’s way too small of a payoff, in my view, for..Samardzija and..Hammel”). Then he lamented that the starter for the next day’s game was in question due to the trade.
    – Advocated that it would make a difference to the team’s psyche if the 2014 Cubs team went 73-89 instead of 72-90, because avoiding a 90-loss season was seemingly important.
    – On the day Joe Maddon was hired in 2014, stated the following: “The. Cubs. Have. Not. Been. A. Contending. Team. Since. Theo. Took. Over. That’s a fact.”
    – On the day after Kris Bryant won the 2016 NL MVP award, authored an article entitled “Kris Bryant is LITERALLY Joe DiMaggio” (emphasis added).

    I didn’t know people were still reading his site in 2013.

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  52. SK

    Rice in limbo,

    Please tell me you didn’t think I’d bought the book.

    All due respect to Pat, it’s just a five page summary of the Cubs season described very boringly. Almost as if Pat gave the project the due care it deserved.

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  53. Smokestack Lightning

    Apparently Levine is reporting Cubs are interested in Chucky Blackmon as a Dexter replacement.

    30 years old, but two years of control left. I could be okay with this move.

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  54. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    I’d be fine with Blackmon, but I imagine he’s going to cost a decent amount.

    I would imagine he would. But he represents one of the few non-Mike-Trout-acquiring scenarios where the Cubs lose Dexter and don’t miss a beat.

    Rockies seem to love bad pitching. Any one of the Cubs farm arms could end up being quite bad, especially with the Rockies preternatural skill at turning any pitcher into the worst version of himself. Seems like a perfect fit.

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  55. mcalis2

    I think Rich Hill would be the better addition over trading for Blackmon or going after Kenley Jansen. Less money, no draft pick and not giving up any prospects. Considering 2016’s long playoff run, I’m envisioning Hill rounding out our rotation and Monty making 2 starts a month when everyone is healthy. Everybody gets an extra days rest 1-2 times a month and we see how Monty looks as a starter in limited capacity. I see Joe carrying an extra bullpen arm in the place of a third catcher so that Monty stays stretched out.

    Bringing Hill in on what im guessing will be a 3 year deal allows the cubs to be in a better position in 2017 when Jake and Lackey leave for FA. I recognize Hill is a very “win now” asset but we should really look at Jake’s last year as a mini window.

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  56. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    I guess I’d rather give up some talent for a starting pitcher and re-sign Fowler.

    My choice as well, but I’m near 100% convinced Dex is gone. Not that that feeling is worth much. (dying laughing)

    mcalis2,

    I was fine with acquiring Rich Hill for the stretch run last year. I want no part of Rich Hill at market price going forward.

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  57. cerulean

    Kellogg, Moreno, Hedges, and Paulino in the C+ bucket are each interesting.

    Hannemann, a C with no write-up, over Paulino on the 40-man is baffling for a team that needs pitching in the near term. I know Paulino is still raw, and a team would be taking a risk whether he can give at least replacement level innings in the bigs while maturing, but if I am running the likes of the Reds, I would take that chance. The worst that could happen for them is they mess with his development and break him, then return him with a better draft standing.

    Effing nepotism.

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  58. Edwin

    In addition to winning the World Series in a landslide, the Cubs won every game if you deduct the millions of runs which were scored against them illegally.

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  59. Author
    berselius

    Edwin:
    In addition to winning the World Series in a landslide, the Cubs won every game if you deduct the millions of runs which were scored against them illegally.

    (dying laughing)

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  60. Smokestack Lightning

    Edwin:
    In addition to winning the World Series in a landslide, the Cubs won every game if you deduct the millions of runs which were scored against them illegally.

    Yuge, if true.

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  61. cerulean

    EnricoPallazzo,

    I think that has to do with compressing a player’s proximity to the majors and the wide range of potential at that level into a single grade system. Basically, I think that he is valuing the unknown in the further away Clifton a bit more than the known in the likes of Happ.

    I am guessing he sees Happ as a switch-hitting Chris Coghlan. Passable at second, good on-base skills and enough power to play the outfield so long has his hit tool sticks around. Coghlan did win the ROY after mashing in the minors, but the BABIP authority he displayed before the bigs rather disappeared.

    Sickels seems to be showing a novelty bias too, highlighting those that are on the ascent over those who have been at the top if for no other reason than the established prospects being a year older without forcing their way through the system, which in the Cubs’ case, requires a lot just to get a shot.

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  62. Rizzo the Rat

    Edwin,

    2) Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Grade B+: Acquired today from Padres for Andrew Cashner. Nobody should panic about 128 at-bats. Although he’s not going to hit .300 in the majors, Rizzo should provide plenty of power and walks and I think he’ll make the needed adjustments. Maximum outcome: Ryan Howard. Worst-case: Chris Davis.

    Um…

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  63. dmick89

    Edwin:
    In addition to winning the World Series in a landslide, the Cubs won every game if you deduct the millions of runs which were scored against them illegally.

    Screw that. The cubs were robbed of millions of wins.

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  64. cerulean

    dmick89:
    Rizzo the Rat,

    I think minor league scouting reports on defense are mostly complete shit. Kris Bryant “might” be able to stick at 3rd base.

    I was always worried about the strikeouts. There is no way in hell he can be a productive player and strikeout as much as he does.

    I wonder if he still has any trade value. Is Nolasco available for a deal? Or would that be asking too much?

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  65. Author
    berselius

    Rizzo the Rat:
    Perkins,

    Maybe trading Chris Archer for Matt Garza wasn’t such a shrewd move after all.

    Hak-Ju Lee was the centerpiece of the deal, IIRC he’s still in high A or something.

    EDIT: He’s been in AAA for three years. Still seems to have a good eye walk rate-wise but can’t seem to hit the ball out of the infield. Or infielders’ gloves.

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  66. Ryno

    I remember reading that the Cubs were a potential player if the orientals posted Shohei Otani next year. Is that for real or just the usual attaching the Cubs to anything for clicks?

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  67. Berselius

    Rizzo the Rat:
    berselius,

    I think Archer was generally a higher-rated prospect, though some saw him as a potential closer.

    I remember not thinking that he would make it as a starter at the time due to his walk rate and associated high pitch counts.

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  68. Perkins

    Berselius: I remember not thinking that he would make it as a starter at the time due to his walk rate and associated high pitch counts.

    I remember thinking it was weird to trade for Matt Garza in a season when the Cubs would obviously be bad.

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  69. Myles

    I’m trying to work out a framework for a Soler for Greinke trade, but jesus Greinke is 5/172 (!!!!). I think Greinke is on the market, and a team is going to trade for him, but there will have to be some money coming to whatever team trades for him. I imagine that Soler would be appetizing for the Diamondbacks.

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  70. uncle dave

    dmick89,

    I’m still giggling about him dropping 20 posts in a closed thread.

    Myles,

    I’m not sure I’d drop that kind of scratch on a guy who is going to be 34 and has been worth 3-4 wins save for a couple of career years. Then again, maybe I’m underestimating the cost of pitching.

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  71. BVS

    So BN has a summary of top contracts for RP. My summary, don’t spend big, you are nearly guaranteed to throw half your money away. Also if you spend big, don’t spend on anyone over 32 or more than three years.

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  72. Author
    berselius

    BVS:
    So BN has a summary of top contracts for RP. My summary, don’t spend big, you are nearly guaranteed to throw half your money away. Also if you spend big, don’t spend on anyone over 32 or more than three years.

    Don’t tell me what to do.

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  73. Rizzo the Rat

    I’m a little surprised La Potencia didn’t hold out for a longer contract. He must love playing for the Mets.

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  74. Smokestack Lightning

    Rizzo the Rat:
    Maybe he’s replacing Coghlan, not Fowler.

    Maybe I’m just not up with inflation, but 8MM seems a lot to pay a backup OF. From what I can tell, it looks like the Jay/Almora show in 2017.

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  75. Smokestack Lightning

    Maybe Dex is going to get something close to 20MM per over 5 when all is said and done. I do believe the one of us with a source said that prices are a fuckload higher this year.

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  76. Smokestack Lightning

    Rizzo the Rat: This isn’t ideal.

    Most definitely not. I suppose some small part of me is rejoicing at seeing the Cubs not overpay an OF into his mid-thirties, as it isn’t probably the most prudent move long-term, and if Jay sucks it’s not like he’ll be around very long anyway.

    I guess Bryant will just have to hit a few more HRs next year to make up for the lost wins.

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  77. Smokestack Lightning

    SK:
    Someone please tell me Jay is a defensive wizard out there and then everything will be fine.

    I’m pretty sure CF is Almora’s to lose at this point.

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  78. Rizzo the Rat

    An outfield of Heyward, Schwarber and Zobrist (or Bryant) should be well above average. I’ll be disappointed if Jay gets regular playing time.

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  79. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: I can’t. Schwarber in LF, Heyward in CF and Zobrist in RF (Baez at 2nd) is way better than Jay in in CF for a meaningful amount of games.

    Perhaps the Cubs feel Heyward has enough on his plate next season getting his swing back.

    And I think this is probably about Almora seeing the most time in CF, not Jay. That may or may not make it better. (dying laughing)

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  80. BVS

    When the wind blows in I’d think it would br Schwarber, Heyward, Soler.

    Basically looks like Fowler and Coghlan out, Almora amd Jay in. Plus semi-cameos in OF by Zo and KB.

    If Heyward reverts to 2015 and Soler is a little more consistent then Jay and Almora are just defense and we won’t miss Fowler much. I think Almora starts in AAA again anyway to fix strike zone issues.

    Not sure who leads off though, maybe Zo.

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  81. BVS

    If Baez forces his way into the line up, maybe he plays 3rd, Zo 2nd, and Bryant goes to right or center. ..

    Zo 2b
    Schwarber lf
    Bryant cf/rf
    Rizzo 1b
    Contreras c
    Russell ss
    Heyward rf/cf
    Baez 3b
    Arrieta p

    Power off bench with Soler. D off bench with Almora and Jay.

    And Montero sending drunk tweets.

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  82. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    I think it’s about Almora too, but my previous comment is still true. Just change Jay to Almora.

    Could be right. I’ve tried to get worked up over this, but just can’t do it. Long way to go this offseason still, and being WS champs is quite the calming influence. I figure if Theo wants to see what he’s got in Almora, then fine. He’s Theo. He’ll probably end up being right. Meanwhile, the rest of us have been wrong so often around here I sometimes wonder why we bother to have opinions at all. (dying laughing)

    Anyway, if he’s right, Cubs saved a ton of money that can go elsewhere. If he’s wrong, meh, fix it midseason or next year. Team should still win most days even if they decide not to send out a CF at all. Granted, no Dex in 2017 probably means it’ll be a tick or two harder to win the whole thing again, but that would probably be the last year we would be able to say that, and the Cubs would be on the hook for up to another 4 years of diminishing returns at top dollar. It sucks Fowler won’t be around for next year’s run, as the dropoff could be even steeper post-2017 if this FO doesn’t address the long-term rotation outlook soon, but I don’t mind as much as I thought I would the idea of the FO opting to adhere closer to their ideals now that they’ve bagged the big one. And I’ll never get too upset about not paying for every year of a player’s decline.

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  83. Perkins

    I’ll miss Fowler, but if any team can get away with a glove-first CF in Almora, it’s a team with Bryant, Rizzo, and Schwarber in the lineup.

    As with this year, playing time seems to be an issue, barring trades or injuries. I have to think Schwarber gets at least a few starts at C (maybe once every two turns through the rotation) just to get more reps for Javy and Soler. Probably more rest for Russell and Heyward as well.

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  84. Author
    berselius

    I’m fine with Jay as a depth guy. Even with Fowler leaving PAs are going to be at a premium with War Bear picking a lot of those up.

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  85. Perkins

    Didn’t Trump threaten Joe Ricketts during the primary season? I’m sure it was an idle threat because Trump is a vain toddler, but I seem to remember his threatening to run ads showing whatever dirt he claimed to have on Joe since he’d supported one of the other contenders.

    It’s really fucking depressing to see how many people Trump insulted sell their souls and kiss the ring. If someone said the kind of things about my wife that Trump said about Heidi Cruz (for example), my only public statement about that person would be that I hope he or she commits suicide.

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  86. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    JonKneeV,

    Jesus, the Cubs just won the World Series and they’ve already gone back to being an embarrassment.

    False. Losing Todd Ricketts to Trump is a +1 for the organization, I don’t care what Phil Rogers says.

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  87. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning,

    Wrong. There’s nothing the Cubs can do at this point to distance themselves from the racist, homophobic, mysognistic piece of shit that will soon live in the White House.

    Todd Ricketts didn’t do shit for the organization so the Cubs don’t gain anything except the recognition that one a member of the Ricketts family works for that racist pile of garbage.

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  88. dmick89

    I didn’t have a problem rooting for the Cubs after they acquired Chapman and still will obviously root for them, but this is even more fucked up than acquiring someone like Chapman.

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  89. JonKneeV

    dmick89,

    Trump literally quoted in his press release that Todd is an impressive part of the Cubs ownership group and he helped the Cubs win the World Series (dying laughing).

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  90. uncle dave

    dmick89,

    I can’t decide whether it’s funny or terrifying that he’s picked the least talented Ricketts. Terrifying, I guess. His cabinet has about enough combined brainpower to light a 40-watt CFL.

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  91. uncle dave

    I’m not a huge fan of the Jay signing, but I can’t complain too much about an outfield where we’ll have Almora and Heyward side by side. You could basically park Almora in left-center and have him go all Kelly Leak any time a ball was hit to Schwarber/Soler.

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  92. Perkins

    uncle dave:
    dmick89,

    I can’t decide whether it’s funny or terrifying that he’s picked the least talented Ricketts.Terrifying, I guess.His cabinet hasabout enough combined brainpower to light a 40-watt CFL.

    He’s also considering Sarah Palin for VA Secretary, apparently.

    James Mattis and Mitt Romney are the only people getting serious consideration who are both adults and not terrible or incompetent. Petraeus as well, I guess, but it would be ironic to see him get the nod after all the “lock her up” crap about Hillary during the campaign.

    Whoever gets elected in 2020 is going to have a hell of a mess to unravel.

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  93. EnricoPallazzo

    there are some “Choose Your Own Adventure” books written by R. A. Montgomery.

    there are some other “Choose You Own Adventure” books written by Ramsey Montgomery.

    i had always assumed that R. A. Montgomery and Ramsey Montgomery were the same person. it actually turns out that R. A. is the father of Ramsey!

    you’re welcome.

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  94. uncle dave

    Perkins,

    All that I have left to hope for is that the idiots he picks are actually too lazy to put in the work required to unravel the various agencies and bureaucracies that they’ve been put in charge of. (Palin, for instance, does not strike me as someone who will put in 60-hour weeks.) Maybe that’s false hope, but it’s what I have. My job basically depends on a healthy HUD, sooooo…well, Ben Carson looks like a guy who would literally fall asleep at the switch, right?

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  95. Perkins

    uncle dave,

    I generally don’t think of hope as a strategy, but the hope I have, such as it is, centers around this. Trump is fundamentally lazy, especially intellectually. He has never shown the patience, attention span, or intellect to comprehend anything more complex than “something I like good; something I don’t like bad.”

    If his administration’s laziness and incompetence exceeds its will to power, we may get out of this with minimal damage. I think it’s a somewhat reasonable hope, but not one that should prevent continuous resistance and vigilance throughout his time in office.

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  96. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    Wrong. There’s nothing the Cubs can do at this point to distance themselves from the racist, homophobic, mysognistic piece of shit that will soon live in the White House.

    Todd Ricketts didn’t do shit for the organization so the Cubs don’t gain anything except the recognition that one a member of the Ricketts family works for that racist pile of garbage.

    Dude. I was fucking kidding. Good grief.

    I’ll check back in around 4 years. Maybe we’ll all have figured out by then matching unhinged with unhinged is not helping matters.

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  97. SK

    The Ricketts funded a PAC that ran ads against Trump in the primary.

    Trump called them out as corrupt, hiding secrets, and bad at Cubs ownership.

    After the nomination, the Ricketts funded a PAC in SUPPORT of Trump.

    Trump appears lazy, but I wouldn’t expect those he is hiring to be so. They don’t have to take these jobs. They are idealogues, and/or billionaires who enjoy pulling the strings of power. Second-tier appointees (with the exception of Todd) may even be evil dudes with sick agendas like Bannon.

    I’m a liberal type person so I’m one of those who looks at Trump and his posse with fear. I’m actually scared of what they will do to the US and the world.

    What are Trump voters feeling right now? That’s it’s awesome that Wall Street is now moving into Washington and rolling up its sleeves, while Trump watches CNN and twitter all day, making Mitt Romney grovel like an Apprentice contestant?

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  98. Perkins

    SK,

    As a classical liberal (or small “l” libertarian), he’s terrifying. He’s an existential threat to the Western alliance that has existed since the end of WWII, through either his sheer incompetence and ignorance, or his desire to wave his micropenis at the weaker members of the alliance.

    He’s also a huge threat to the Constitution, again through ignorance or through hostility to its fundamental principles like free speech, equal protection under the law, protection against self-incrimination and unreasonable search and seizure…

    As to the people who voted for him, I’m amused that so many of the much discussed white working class are unlikely to find themselves better off since they mostly lost their jobs to automation. I’m genuinely curious if they’ll hold him accountable at the ballot box in 2020. I’m also sad that they likely don’t understand what a precarious position they’ve put the world in just so they can feel good that someone is pretending to listen to them.

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  99. cerulean

    dmick89:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    Wrong. There’s nothing the Cubs can do at this point to distance themselves from the racist, homophobic, mysognistic piece of shit that will soon live in the White House.

    Todd Ricketts didn’t do shit for the organization so the Cubs don’t gain anything except the recognition that one a member of the Ricketts family works for that racist pile of garbage.

    I would like to be a part of Trump’s cabinet. The worst thing is not Donald Trump—the oversized toddler—it’s the assholes that surround and enable him. I would sacrifice my dignity just to fight for reason.

    But if nothing else, maybe Todd can keep Trump off that trigger for nuclear holocaust because the Cubs are worth not destroying civilization for.

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  100. EnricoPallazzo

    Tyler Kepner ✔ @TylerKepner
    Strong indications now that there will be no lockout. Sides seem close enough that they’ll get a deal by midnight or extend deadline a bit.

    my first thought upon reading this was “hey that’s great news”

    then my second thought was “wait they can just extend the fucking deadline????” why the hell hasn’t anyone brought this up before?

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  101. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    Sorry, dude.

    Don’t worry about it, man. We’ve all been a little tetchy since the election, and I’ve been no different. I have large amounts of both sides of the political aisles on both sides of my family, and to put it mildly, Thanksgiving did not go well this year. My ears are still ringing.

    Honestly I can’t figure out who I’m more confounded with. Those whose temper tantrum got Trump elected in the first place, those throwing a temper tantrum now who seem to want to confirm the worst thoughts of the first tantrum throwers and make sure he get two terms, and myself, for simply not taking this election seriously at all, because I didn’t ever find it plausible he’d actually win (not to mention my own occasional tantrum, which is basically me yelling at everybody, then myself, then going to bed feeling superior, then waking up and realizing I’m as big an asshole as anybody, maybe bigger).

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  102. Rizzo the Rat

    uncle dave,

    I don’t want Almora and Heyward side by side. I’m fine with starting Almora over Heyward against a tough lefty, but I don’t think Almora’s bat is good enough to play in the everyday lineup of a contender.

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  103. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning,

    I know what you mean. I tell someone at least once a day that I can understand why some people (the non-racists) voted for Trump and go on to explain why that might be. Then I also at least once a day go on and bitch about all of them as if they should be all lumped together when that’s far from fair. It’s a fucked up situation and it sucks. Contrary to what many Democrats think, they are also to blame for this shit. Had they just nominated someone (anyone) other than Clinton, I don’t think it’s possible that Trump wins. Both parties nominated the candidate least likely to win the general election and one of them did.

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  104. cerulean

    No 26th man with a restructuring of how September call ups are handled. Damn. Oh well. The Cubs surely would lose Paulino if it were it were instituted.

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  105. cerulean

    dmick89,

    I actually don’t know about that. Clinton was villified, as any Dem would be, including Bernie, though given the fact that he is an old white dude probably would have made him more competitive. Don’t underestimate the misogyny. She’s a witch. Burn her.

    That Ctrl-Alt-Right machine is the result of a confluence of terrible moments in time—the boomers longing for the golden postwar past that never was, an irrational to the point of existential crisis kind of fear of the other, and gamergaters in their parents’ basements looking for lulz and a scapegoat for their unhappiness.

    And dammit, I am so sick of Baby Boomers running this damn country.

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  106. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    I know what you mean. I tell someone at least once a day that I can understand why some people (the non-racists) voted for Trump and go on to explain why that might be. Then I also at least once a day go on and bitch about all of them as if they should be all lumped together when that’s far from fair. It’s a fucked up situation and it sucks. Contrary to what many Democrats think, they are also to blame for this shit. Had they just nominated someone (anyone) other than Clinton, I don’t think it’s possible that Trump wins. Both parties nominated the candidate least likely to win the general election and one of them did.

    Agreed.

    cerulean: Don’t underestimate the misogyny. She’s a witch. Burn her.

    Eh. I don’t think that’s the case with HRC anymore than it was when we were all losing our minds about Sarah Palin being one heart attack away from the presidency eight years ago. Palin was terrible regardless of gender, and we all knew that, and nobody thought she was getting jobbed because she was a woman. And HRC, while not a Palin-level DEFCON disaster obviously, was not a good candidate by any metric, and I say that as someone who nearly broke his pen coloring the oval next to her name.

    I also think it’s comforting to think it was all the bad-racist-sexist-old people who caused all these problems, and fall back into blaming everything on any and every ism we can come up with, but that doesn’t have the ring of truth to me this time. And if this past holiday dealing with family showed me anything, it’s that left and right do not understand each other, and we all sound fucking stupid and mean when we try to engage the other side, self included. I said something similar to what you wrote above in conversation about a week ago and thought it was pretty insightful. But the more I keep thinking about this stuff, the more I’m beginning to think I was completely talking out of my ass, and I don’t know as much as I think I know, particularly about other voters who don’t do what I want them to do.

    Which I guess means I’m saying you too are talking out of your ass (dying laughing) (but please know I don’t say that maliciously; we’re all grappling with some serious shit right now). I know those elements you mention were present in an alarming number of Trump voters (and by alarming number, I mean anything more than zero), but as an explanation for the entire phenomenon? Nah. That’s a load of shit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very tidy load of shit that is very comforting to believe (and I want to believe it), but it’s shit. We’ve got to start thinking better than this.

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  107. BVS

    The league that wins the All-Star Game no longer will get home-field advantage in the World Series, which instead will go to the pennant winner with the better regular-season record

    espn

    Hooray. 2nd dumbest thing in sports is gone.

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  108. Author
    berselius

    Smokestack Lightning: Agreed.

    Eh. I don’t think that’s the case with HRC anymore than it was when we were all losing our minds about Sarah Palin being one heart attack away from the presidency eight years ago. Palin was terrible regardless of gender, and we all knew that, and nobody thought she was getting jobbed because she was a woman. And HRC, while not a Palin-level DEFCON disaster obviously, was not a good candidate by any metric, and I say that as someone who nearly broke his pen coloring the oval next to her name.

    I also think it’s comforting to think it was all the bad-racist-sexist-old people who caused all these problems, and fall back into blaming everything on any and every ism we can come up with, but that doesn’t have the ring of truth to me this time. And if this past holiday dealing with family showed me anything, it’s that left and right do not understand each other, and we all sound fucking stupid and mean when we try to engage the other side, self included. I said something similar to what you wrote above in conversation about a week ago and thought it was pretty insightful. But the more I keep thinking about this stuff, the more I’m beginning to think I was completely talking out of my ass, and I don’t know as much as I think I know, particularly about other voters who don’t do what I want them to do.

    Which I guess means I’m saying you too are talking out of your ass (dying laughing) (but please know I don’t say that maliciously; we’re all grappling with some serious shit right now). I know those elements you mention were present in an alarming number of Trump voters (and by alarming number, I mean anything more than zero), but as an explanation for the entire phenomenon? Nah. That’s a load of shit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very tidy load of shit that is very comforting to believe (and I want to believe it), but it’s shit. We’ve got to start thinking better than this.

    Maybe

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  109. dmick89

    I like the 10 day DL.
    I don’t like how they muddied the qualifying offer system yet again. Just get rid
    If it.
    I’m ok with the penalty for teams that go $40 million over the luxury tax.
    The raise to league minimum was a joke.
    I love that the ASG has no impact on the World Series. That was the dumbest thing ever.

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  110. Myles

    Smokestack Lightning: Agreed.

    Eh. I don’t think that’s the case with HRC anymore than it was when we were all losing our minds about Sarah Palin being one heart attack away from the presidency eight years ago. Palin was terrible regardless of gender, and we all knew that, and nobody thought she was getting jobbed because she was a woman. And HRC, while not a Palin-level DEFCON disaster obviously, was not a good candidate by any metric, and I say that as someone who nearly broke his pen coloring the oval next to her name.

    I also think it’s comforting to think it was all the bad-racist-sexist-old people who caused all these problems, and fall back into blaming everything on any and every ism we can come up with, but that doesn’t have the ring of truth to me this time. And if this past holiday dealing with family showed me anything, it’s that left and right do not understand each other, and we all sound fucking stupid and mean when we try to engage the other side, self included. I said something similar to what you wrote above in conversation about a week ago and thought it was pretty insightful. But the more I keep thinking about this stuff, the more I’m beginning to think I was completely talking out of my ass, and I don’t know as much as I think I know, particularly about other voters who don’t do what I want them to do.

    Which I guess means I’m saying you too are talking out of your ass (dying laughing) (but please know I don’t say that maliciously; we’re all grappling with some serious shit right now). I know those elements you mention were present in an alarming number of Trump voters (and by alarming number, I mean anything more than zero), but as an explanation for the entire phenomenon? Nah. That’s a load of shit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very tidy load of shit that is very comforting to believe (and I want to believe it), but it’s shit. We’ve got to start thinking better than this.

    I’m taking a wait and see approach.

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  111. Smokestack Lightning

    Perkins:
    BVS,

    Our long national nightmare is over.

    Indeed. Tho I am happy Cubs got four games out of Schwarber instead of three because of it.

    Also, I don’t think there’s any way the Cubs win a game seven of the WS at home. Certainly not if the game seven 8th inning we got would have repeated itself at Wrigley.

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  112. cerulean

    Smokestack Lightning,

    It wasn’t just the sexist/racist/old people—a lack of education with the wishful thinking and gullibility it produces also played a big part.

    And don’t turn a blind eye to the sexism. You forget that in the halcyon days of 1959, women’s work was still in the home, and ever since they have been taking jobs from men. I thought #gamergate was ridiculous from the outset—but the fact that I have met people duped by it has changed my opinion significantly on the latent misogyny of the general populace. I am pretty convinced that a Hal Rodham Clinton would not have been as easy to raise objections about being “too weak” for office. A woman is either too weak for office or too domineering. To put into words of the alt-fascist, she’s a pussy of a bitch. (vomiting in my mouth)

    That said, the voter suppression tactics used by some of these swing states were effective, as were the fake news and overblown inquisitions. Sexism happened to be an effective vector of attack against a woman that—I am sad to say—colored my views of her and the views of everyone on this blog. It’s easy to say that a better candidate would have won, but if you narrow the scope to women that are overqualified enough to be a democratic presidential nominee, it’s Clinton or Elizabeth Warren or Nancy Pelosi. Would the other two have fared better?

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  113. EnricoPallazzo

    dmick89:
    I like the 10 day DL.
    I don’t like how they muddied the qualifying offer system yet again. Just get rid
    If it.
    I’m ok with the penalty for teams that go $40 million over the luxury tax.
    The raise to league minimum was a joke.
    I love that the ASG has no impact on the World Series. That was the dumbest thing ever.

    i’m all for the ASG rule and the 10-day DL. as for the QO stuff, agreed that they should just fucking get rid of it, but it’s definitely a much better situation than it was before. also, i keep reading that the details on the league minimum raise haven’t been worked out yet – why do you say it was a joke? did you see a specific number?

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  114. cerulean

    Smokestack Lightning,

    I forgot to add that so called right-wing movements are happening all over the world. This is not just an American thing. France just elected their version of Trump on a platform of xenophobia. Brexit happened mostly out of fear about the freedom of movement of terrorists, aka muslims. Austria is expected to elect a demagogue preying on these same fears.

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  115. Perkins

    cerulean,

    My principal objection to HRC was her use of a private server and subsequent glib dismissal of its importance (though she eventually accepted responsibility and apologized). Having held a clearance, I found it unconscionable that she’d transmit and store classified (up to Top Secret) information on an unsecured server, order aides to reproduce classified information digitally on the low side, and that she’d try to claim the “it wasn’t’ marked classified at the time” defense with information obviously natively classified (such as information about Special Access Programs like drones). In any normal election, that would have been enough to sink a candidate for me, man or woman. Huge security violation and huge breach of integrity.

    I still voted for her though, because holy shit have you guys seen or heard everything Donald Trump has said and done in his lifetime and especially in the past 18 months.

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  116. Rice in limbo

    If what is being tweeted out right now is true, not only are international signings limited to $5MM, the age has been stepped up to 25. So I doubt someone like Otani is getting posted soon…

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  117. Author
    berselius

    Perkins,

    Yeah, same here. I also love how there were so many “dark clouds” and “shadows” and corruption allegations over potential Clinton foundation stuff, and now everyone is just kind of shrugging when the thought foreign governments are giving sweetheart deals to Trump properties is mentioned.

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  118. Smokestack Lightning

    cerulean,

    I agree in principle with much of what you’re saying—though I resent the idea that just because I disagree with your take on sexism in this election, I’m turning a blind eye to that. Stop that shit. We do this all the time. Someone disagrees and they’re blind, stupid, ignorant, horrible, awful, etc. We just disagree. We can both have eyes wide open on this issue and come to different conclusions.

    My personal take is stuff like sexism in regards to HRC is the comforting way out, a cop-out. Otherwise we might have to engage the opposition on other grounds, and that takes work. It’s easier just to dismiss them and paint them as the worst thing every. For once, I’d like to take a break from that. It’s not doing any good or winning anyone over.

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  119. Smokestack Lightning

    berselius:
    Perkins,

    Yeah, same here. I also love how there were so many “dark clouds” and “shadows” and corruption allegations over potential Clinton foundation stuff, and now everyone is just kind of shrugging when the thought foreign governments are giving sweetheart deals to Trump properties is mentioned.

    Yep. Same old shit. Nobody cares what’s being done if it’s their side doing it. Just about done with it all.

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  120. dmick89

    I think sexism played a part just as racism played a part in the 2008 and 2012 elections. I think Warren wins this election. Not sure about Pelosi. She’s probably sitting in the same boat as Clinton (leading the popular vote by quite a bit and losing the electoral college.

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  121. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    JonKneeV:
    dmick89,

    Trump literally quoted in his press release that Todd is an impressive part of the Cubs ownership group and he helped the Cubs win the World Series (dying laughing).

    He helped by staying the fuck out of the way.

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  122. Perkins

    berselius,

    No shit, some people I served in the Army with said that HRC might be the most corrupt person ever to run for the presidency. This despite Trump’s pattern of stealing goods and services from employees and contractors, attempts to do business in embargo-ed Cuba, shady-ass financial ties (exacerbated by his flat refusal to release his tax returns), evidence his campaign was in contact with Russian officials (and the rewriting of the GOP platform on the Ukraine during the convention), and his myriad personal and moral failures (repeated sexual assault, rape of his first wife, apparent desire to bone his daughter, and serial lying and suborning conspiracy theories).

    While I’m sure sexism was a factor for many people, Hillary was a deeply flawed candidate. The private server alone would have sunk most ordinary candidates, but she was running against the most loathsome individual ever to be nominated by a major party and somehow still lost. There was a persistent false equivalence between the two, that it was okay to shrug one’s shoulders and say, “I think they’re both terrible.” Or that the media should have devoted equal time to Hillary’s one or two scandals versus Trump’s literally dozens of scandals.

    And while they were indeed both terrible, their defects were not even close to the same neighborhood. Barring some sort of atonement and/or efforts to contain a lot of the shit Trump said he wants to do, there are a number of people in my life whom I can never respect again. Anyone who looked at the two of them and decided Trump was the better option (or at least no worse) is not someone whose intellect merits respect. This election made me completely lose faith in the American people and media, and it shook my faith in a number of our institutions (as well as making me fear for their safety and continued existence).

    I realize that engagement with the other side is a necessary and productive endeavor. That we’re not going to fix what currently doesn’t work without that (and that where we’re at is largely a product of political polarization, non-competitive districts, campaign finance, and lack of education/anti-intellectualism). And I’m certainly interested in conducting that engagement for the sake of the republic. But I can’t pretend to have empathy for anyone who voted for Trump, however desperate or frustrated they might have been. Literally the only reason I hope they don’t all make abject failures of the rest of their lives and starve to death is that it would bring about even greater instability and likely armed violence. So I may not be ready for engagement just yet. (dying laughing)

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  123. SK

    cerulean:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    I forgot to add that so called right-wing movements are happening all over the world. This is not just an American thing. France just elected their version of Trump on a platform of xenophobia. Brexit happened mostly out of fear about the freedom of movement of terrorists, aka muslims. Austria is expected to elect a demagogue preying on these same fears.

    False. Although it could happen when France holds its election in April.

    Brexit was also about closing the door on non-terrorist refugees, and the Poles and Romanians that have come in their droves as members of the EU. Foreigners taking out jobs (and entitlements) legally! A bridge too far! And also some general giving the finger to the bureaucratic monolith that is the EU. Not surprisingly, it was old and rural (white) people that voted for it.

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  124. Edwin

    I didn’t find the e-mail/private server issue to be that big a deal. I think it was an error in judgment, one whe was very slow to admit, but otherwise not a big thing. She was bad with technology, wanted a way to be more efficient, and made some dumb decisions. She’s been thoroughly investigated, and the FBI concluded that there really wasn’t much of a case against her criminally. I found this to be an interesting listen: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/601/master-of-her-domain-name

    And other than that, I didn’t really see anything else which would make her a “terrible” candidate. Does she have a lot of powerful and rich connections, which she’s used for her benefit? Sure, but that’s pretty par for the course as far as politics go, and it’s almost impossible to take money and influence out of politics.

    Policy wise, she’s fairly stable. Nothing big, pretty much a “stay the course” candidate, which I don’t think is so bad, considerng the policies she supports are the same policies we’ve had the past 8 years, which has been 8 stable years of growth. I just dont’ see any way someone could actually consider her “terrible” in the same way that Donald Trump is terrible.

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  125. Perkins

    Edwin,

    For what it’s worth, mishandling classified information like that would almost certainly have gotten me time in military prison and a dishonorable discharge. Granted, UCMJ is a different standard than civil law, but what she did is serious offense for a civilian or a service member. From friends of mine who work or have worked at State, it sounds like the entire department is more or less uniformly awful at information security, which maybe makes her conduct more understandable).

    There was also at least the appearance of pay to play for Clinton Foundation donors while she was SecState, which would be bad (though in the grey area of normal politics). Beyond that, she’s terrible inasmuch as she’s not as inspiring as someone with her qualifications ought to be. I totally get why she comes off as she does (and I actually sympathized with her in a couple respects during the campaign), but she needed to be able to provide a compelling vision for our future and articulate it clearly. She didn’t really do that.

    Still, she’s nowhere close to as bad as Trump, whom I believe to be an animate sack of turds stuffed into an ill-fitting suit.

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  126. Edwin

    Perkins: but she needed to be able to provide a compelling vision for our future and articulate it clearly. She didn’t really do that.

    I agree with this. Maybe if she had pushed for some more exciting policies, she would have gotten better turnout. Paid Family Leave, Universal Income, Public Option for Healthcare, finding a serious way to take on climate change, those would have been interesting issues which could have driven discussion.

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  127. Smokestack Lightning

    Edwin: Policy wise, she’s fairly stable. Nothing big, pretty much a “stay the course” candidate, which I don’t think is so bad, considerng the policies she supports are the same policies we’ve had the past 8 years, which has been 8 stable years of growth. I just dont’ see any way someone could actually consider her “terrible” in the same way that Donald Trump is terrible.

    Well, maybe I’m missing things, but I’ve gotten the distinct impression that a certain segment of the population isn’t dazzled like the rest of us by press scorecards saying things are stable and getting better the last eight years when that’s not been the case for them. Add to that a candidate who all but ignored them during the campaign, while the other candidate specifically said I got your back and will fix your shit, and it’s really not too hard to understand why they ultimately threw their lot in with him.

    Not that I’m not pissed at them for not seeing through the ruse. Trump won’t help these people. But he at least pretended to give a shit. Hillary really didn’t. Sad!

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  128. Smokestack Lightning

    I mean, since when does the Democratic Party election platform not feature a clear, articulated message geared toward helping working class voters?

    I guess once it decided it wanted to lose all the elections. (dying laughing, but bitterly)

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  129. Author
    berselius

    Edwin: I agree with this.Maybe if she had pushed for some more exciting policies, she would have gotten better turnout.Paid Family Leave, Universal Income, Public Option for Healthcare, finding a serious way to take on climate change, those would have been interesting issues which could have driven discussion.

    The election wasn’t about issues at all though, as evidenced by all those Trump voters who are going to be shocked when they find out the R’s have no real plan to replace Obamacare and even worse nuke Medicare and replace it by laughably ineffective vouchers. One can certainly blame Clinton for not trying to force actual issues into the conversation, not that the media seemed to care very much. I thought her biggest problem is that she is a fucking terrible campaigner / campaign strategist, but I’d trust her over any other politician if it came to actually getting into a room and actually doing shit.

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  130. Edwin

    I’m interested to see how the new Jobs Policy of giving companies tax breaks so that they only ship half their jobs away plays out.

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  131. uncle dave

    berselius: The election wasn’t about issues at all though, as evidenced by all those Trump voters who are going to be shocked when they find out the R’s have no real plan to replace Obamacare and even worse nuke Medicare and replace it by laughably ineffective vouchers. One can certainly blame Clinton for not trying to force actual issues into the conversation, not that the media seemed to care very much. I thought her biggest problem is that she is a fucking terrible campaigner / campaign strategist, but I’d trust her over any other politician if it came to actually getting into a room and actually doing shit.

    I dunno if what we’re seeing means that the election wasn’t about issues for the fabled ‘white working class’ who voted for Trump. I’m more inclined to believe that those folks did vote on the issues, but that there was a severe information deficit related to both horrid messaging on the part of Democrats as well as the nature of programs such as Obamacare that do help those voters.

    The former problem isn’t anything we didn’t already know. The Democrats have been bad at that for a long time, but were further hamstrung by the conflict between defending Obama’s legacy and admitting that there are broad swaths of the country that have not benefitted from the recovery.

    I’d not given much thought to how difficult selling Obamacare to a lot of people really was until recently, though. I think that the folks who frequent this blog are both smarter and more tuned in than many other Americans are, and it’s relatively easy for us to understand the core benefits of the ACA even if we’ve never directly experienced them. For someone who isn’t paying attention, though, what does the program look like? You don’t notice the preexisting condition ban until you can’t buy an individual policy. You don’t notice the lifetime out of pocket limit until you face medical bankruptcy. You might not even notice that you’re getting a subsidy if you either weren’t insured before or if you weren’t aware of how expensive insurance is because you’d previously gotten it through an employer-sponsored plan.

    If you’re one of those people, Obamacare doesn’t feel like much of a benefit. I work through byzantine federal programs for a living, and one of the most complicated things I’ve ever dealt with in that regard was helping someone navigate the insurance exchange. So for what appears to be next to no upside, you have to go through this bureaucratic maze, pay for the privilege, and get fined if you don’t do it. You know what that sounds like to me? Paying your taxes.

    Never mind that Obamacare would have been critically important for millions of people, of course. If nobody knows that, it’s not going to be a politically durable program. And it wasn’t. What it needed to be was “you can go to the doctor and not pay.” THAT is a program that people would never have voted against.

    I can’t say that I lost respect for a lot of people who voted for Trump, primarily because those folks that I know who did have been known racists and misogynists for a long time. It feels a bit different to me, but I’m not exactly learning much new about them. I’d made up my mind about most of my extended family a long time ago. But I also don’t think that they sat down and said, “hey, we can vote for a racist asshole, so let’s do it!” I just think that they didn’t care he’s a racist asshole, because they live in towns that are entirely populated by white Christians and Trump’s bad behavior literally does not affect anyone they know. I feel like that’s still morally reprehensible, but I’m reluctant to join the RACIST ASSHOLES VOTED AGAINST THEMSELVES ZOMG (dying laughing) PWND crowd because I think that their thought process is far more complicated than those folks are giving it credit for. And the Democrats need to think a bit harder about that if they want to peel off some of those voters.

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  132. uncle dave

    EnricoPallazzo,

    Fair enough. I think that it’s worth noting that there’s quite a bit of difference of opinion among women as to what their proper role in society should be, while I don’t think you’ll find many Muslims who would volunteer to be catalogued and interned.

    I’m not saying any of this to defend racist or misogynist behavior. Just noting that it may not have been at the top of the decision tree.

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  133. Author
    berselius

    EnricoPallazzo: “MSM and especially Crooked OV keep trashing me instead dealing with the real issue which is cast iron cookware. Pathetic!”

    I only buy Trump cookware. It's made of solid gold, the best, so classy. It's low melting point means it makes the best fucking eggs you ever tasted.

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  134. Smokestack Lightning

    Perkins:
    Jaime Garcia—–>Barves

    This went unnoticed. Hate to say it, but think the Cards did well here to unload Garcia.

    Also, word is Dex is looking for 18MM a year. I think he gets it.

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  135. cerulean

    SK,

    I misunderstood a headline. I guess he just won the conservative party’s version of a primary. Oops.

    But given the state of the world, chances are it’s a fait accompli.

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  136. cerulean

    Smokestack Lightning,

    I started a really long post about reasons this and reasons that, even with a side rant equating linguistic determinism to the Freudian interpretation of Capgras delusion, and deleted it intentionally.

    Suffice it to say that I am a prejudiced and sexist and racist bigot. My admonition as much to me as any man. Take it as a compliment that I hold you to the same unattainably high bar that I hold myself.

    And sorry I try to mansplain. It is part of my nature to assume I understand the shape of the world.

    Dammit. None of the above is supposed to be anything near condescending or passive aggressive. Communication is as hard as community.

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  137. Edwin

    I keep wondering how different this post would have been if it was titled “Making stock of the top relief pitching options”.

    I’m partial to just using a slow cooker.

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  138. uncle dave

    Not to distract us from the core discussion here, but anyone have a particularly good summary of the new CBA they can link to?

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  139. Author
    berselius

    Edwin: I keep wondering how different this post would have been if it was titled “Making stock of the top relief pitching options”. I’m partial to just using a slow cooker.

    We've been busy prepping the OV cookbook, "How To Cook For         Humans"

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  140. Smokestack Lightning

    cerulean: Dammit. None of the above is supposed to be anything near condescending or passive aggressive. Communication is as hard as community.

    I didn’t take it that way so no harm done. As I said above, we’re largely in agreement on principle, and when you get right down to it probably only a little diff on how we’re interpreting recent events.

    And you can mansplain to me any day, you magnificent sky-blue bastard.

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  141. Rizzo the Rat

    Personally, I wish they had decided to spend all their FA money on pitching. They don’t need positional depth (unless they have some kind of trade planned. Soler, maybe?).

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  142. cerulean

    Given the restrictions on international signings, I really hope the Cubs find a nice chest to hide their embarrassment of riches. That Kenley Jansen model looks pretty cool. The Rich Hill model is certainly interesting, but I find the branding a bit too on the nose.

    Also, any chance Otani could sign a one year deal for five million next year and then get extended?

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  143. cerulean

    Ben Revere was almost as “valuable” as Andrew McCutchen last year. The Nationals just non-tendered Revere and will probably land McCutchen.

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  144. Rice in limbo

    cerulean:
    Given the restrictions on international signings, I really hope the Cubs find a nice chest to hide their embarrassment of riches. That Kenley Jansen model looks pretty cool. The Rich Hill model is certainly interesting, but I find the branding a bit too on the nose.

    Also, any chance Otani could sign a one year deal for five million next year and then get extended?

    It’d be pretty awesome if he goes to Cubs on that deal to bet on himself. If he’s badass then pay him whatever he wants the next year.

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  145. BVS

    Perkins:
    Tyson Ross—–>non-tendered

    5 mo and World Series rings later, we can get him without shipping Soler to SD.

    He pays for his own band aids per new CBA right?

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  146. Berdj J. Rassam

    Relief pitching will continue to be an important need for all teams serious about advancing to the playoffs and beyond.

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  147. dmick89

    So the Nationals are going after McCutchen, Chris Sale and Kenley Jansen. They're trying to enter the season with the kind of advantage the cubs had entering 2016. 

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  148. JonKneeV

    dmick89:
    So the Nationals are going after McCutchen, Chris Sale and Kenley Jansen. They’re trying to enter the season with the kind of advantage the cubs had entering 2015.

    I’d still take the Cubs. Plus Cubs are younger, more flexible financially, and wouldn’t have a ton of money committed long term.

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  149. dmick89

    JonKneeV,

    I would too. Especially long term, but depending on how the offseason unfolds, the Nationals might be in the better position in 2017. I’m still kind of bummed about the Cubs releasing Jason Hammel so they can use Mike Montgomery. That’s quite a step down.

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  150. Smokestack Lightning

    Perkins:
    Melancon ——-> Giants

    Yep. 4/62.

    Pretty good payday for a closer who, while very good (for now), doesn’t strike out a batter per inning.

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  151. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    JonKneeV,

    I would too. Especially long term, but depending on how the offseason unfolds, the Nationals might be in the better position in 2017. I’m still kind of bummed about the Cubs releasing Jason Hammel so they can use Mike Montgomery. That’s quite a step down.

    Given what we know I feel compelled to think the plan is to acquire another option that will push Montgomery back to the 6th starter/swing role. Otherwise there’s no reason to let Hammel go (unless the Cubs don’t think he can pitch anymore), especially if the Cubs are not serious about Chapman or Jansen, and won’t bring back Dexter either. Hammel is not expensive, he’d only be around another season at most anyway, and the Cubs prize SP depth. Makes no sense unless they need the cash to land Jansen or retain Chapman or Fowler. You don’t let Hammel go so you can pay Jon Fucking Jay.

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  152. cerulean

    Smokestack Lightning,

    I would put the Cubs chances of not landing a starter meant to help in the rotation for at least three years at 10%. And half of those times, they shell out for Jansen or Chapman. Since 3/5ths of the rotation comes off the books next offseason, they have to look for starters this offseason—getting three of a kind is hard to do.

    But to get started this offseason—and generate some goodwill on account of the players that might choose them—they made Hammel’s option mutual. It’s a risk they might regret, but if I may use a word that is oft despised in these circles, the payoff is intangible. If there exists a team that can absorb that kind of risk, it’s these Cubs.

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  153. Perkins

    Thinking about the Cubs and spending a ton on a closer (or on retaining Fowler), I’m remembering a lot about Theo’s motivation to leave Boston in the first place, namely that ownership didn’t trust in the process and told him to go out and get a bunch of big names through free agency and/or trades (AGon, Crawford, etc.). He said something in an interview that Henry seemed more concerned with the optics of appearing to compete every year (and marketing) than about actually being sustainably competitive.

    While the Cubs are at a point where they should probably seek to minimize volatility and increase their short term odds of winning another World Series, I can see why they would prize financial flexibility and trying to find the next Jansen or Fowler, rather than paying for the current ones. This is especially true if they’re bearish on the TV deal outlook in 2020…best not to spend too much of the money they don’t yet have in hand.

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  154. cerulean

    Perkins,

    I don’t think signing Jansen would be about optics. Someone like him greatly enhances the Cubs’ postseason chances. He is the closest to Mariano Rivera that can be had today. There is worry about the body breaking down—big men often don’t age gracefully—but I worry about the other Rivera-esque outlier available (Chapman) losing velocity in the same way.

    Bringing back Dexter would be about optics insofar as it’d be about sentimentality—and highway robbery according the Player’s Association.

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  155. dmick89

    Perkins,

    Considering the new gm traded a lot of those guys that you mentioned after Theo left, I have a difficult time believing he was mandated to do anything like that. If Theo said something like that, sounds more like trying to save his own ass.

    I think the Cubs will do something big. They’re still in on Jansen and I expect them to acquire a starter. Hard to believe they’d go with Monty over Hammel. I hope not anyway.

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  156. Perkins

    dmick89,

    I’d hope they go for either Jansen or Chapman inasmuch as high leverage innings mean more to the Cubs than to most teams. I also think they’ll go for a starter, but I’m genuinely curious what they give up. Cleveland could use some power in its lineup, but I don’t think Soler is the starting point of those discussions anymore. I expect they’ll do something big, and this front office’s MO has generally been to keep it close to the vest until a move is complete or nearly complete, so I’m not sweating the relative quiet.

    I’ve read a couple of things the past few years talking about how the Red Sox were expecting to enter a couple years of “blip” (similar to StL in 2007-08) before their next impact players would arrive, and that Henry didn’t want them to miss any years of contention. Could have been Theo covering his own ass after the fact. Could also be that the 2011 collapse convinced Cherington/Henry that the “acquire the big names” strategy was a bust. I don’t really know.

    One scenario in which I could see Monty as preferable to Hammel is if Hammel’s injury woes from late in the season are more serious than we thought. It could also be that the front office/coaching staff thinks Monty can become much more effective with some tweaks to mechanics/pitch selection. I know I’d much prefer him as a 6th starter/long reliever, at least based on the information we have.

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  157. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: Considering the new gm traded a lot of those guys that you mentioned after Theo left, I have a difficult time believing he was mandated to do anything like that. If Theo said something like that, sounds more like trying to save his own ass.

    I’m surprised you have difficulty believing that. It’s pretty much common knowledge, even among Red Sox fans, that Theo was mandated to go spend a bunch of money that offseason. It took almost a complete bottoming out and a pre-Friedman Dodger org that wanted star power and didn’t care about money before Cherington got permission to unload. It didn’t happen right away.

    And while Theo is certainly not immune from fuckups, especially in free agency, it’s not been his MO not to own up to them, so a CYA thing doesn’t fly with me.

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  158. Perkins

    cerulean,

    Jansen or Chapman would certainly not be about optics, but they would also be a large payroll commitment during a period when Bryant, Russell, and Schwarber can be expected to get hefty raises in arbitration. I’m not saying the Cubs can’t swing it, or that they shouldn’t, but that I understand if the front office wants to take a more fiscally prudent approach to the bullpen.

    That said, I really hope they get one of Chapman or Jansen. Ideally Jansen since Chapman doesn’t seem to have as much beyond his overwhelming velocity, and may not age as well.

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  159. Smokestack Lightning

    Perkins: I’ve read a couple of things the past few years talking about how the Red Sox were expecting to enter a couple years of “blip” (similar to StL in 2007-08) before their next impact players would arrive, and that Henry didn’t want them to miss any years of contention. Could have been Theo covering his own ass after the fact. Could also be that the 2011 collapse convinced Cherington/Henry that the “acquire the big names” strategy was a bust. I don’t really know.

    Also forgetting a Yankee WS win in there, which may have had something to do with the sudden impatience too.

    And if what I’ve read is true, the binge was partly about filling seats. The Red Sox had apparently lost some of their sizzle. Seem to recall something about wanting “sexier” names on the roster. (dying laughing)

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  160. Smokestack Lightning

    Robothal sez Cubs after Wade Davis.

    He was pretty super back when the Royals were going to the WS every year. But I don’t recall if he’s healthy these days. Depending on cost (Soler is being rumored), could be a worthwhile get.

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  161. cerulean

    Smokestack Lightning,

    Get Wade Davis and sign Kenley Jansen.

    ALL YOUR RELIEVER ARE BELONG TO ME!

    But seriously, getting pitching for Soler from an AL team sounds pretty nice to me. I don’t think a one-for-one makes sense given Wade’s salary for a single year of control and some injury risk, but a decent prospect or two may make all the difference.

    The Cubs’ strategy so far seems to be for short-term stopgaps until their pitching matures.

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  162. Smokestack Lightning

    Perkins: Could also be that the 2011 collapse convinced Cherington/Henry that the “acquire the big names” strategy was a bust. I don’t really know.

    Now that I think about it a bit, I would say not. After unloading and winning the WS by going back to basics, the Sox turned around and started binge-spending again after another last-place finish. If anything, the schizo reactiveness of that organization from year to year over the last five lends credence to Theo’s version of events.

    (dying laughing) I know I’m probably coming across like a Theo homer right now, but the CYA thing bothered me for some reason.

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  163. Smokestack Lightning

    cerulean: Get Wade Davis and sign Kenley Jansen.

    ALL YOUR RELIEVER ARE BELONG TO ME!

    Ya know. I kinda thought the same thing a second ago (curiously, after I read every word of your post). I’d be all for that.

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  164. Perkins

    Smokestack Lightning: Ya know. I kinda thought the same thing a second ago (curiously, after I read every word of your post). I’d be all for that.

    It would clear some of the outfield logjam and turn a lot of games into 5 inning affairs (assuming a return to form for Rondon and Strop).

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  165. Perkins

    cerulean: Then trade Schwarber for Andrew Miller and re-sign Dex. Who needs starting pitching anyway?

    I just bought a Schwarber jersey. Selfishly hoping they don’t trade him. (dying laughing)

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  166. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning: I’m surprised you have difficulty believing that. It’s pretty much common knowledge, even among Red Sox fans, that Theo was mandated to go spend a bunch of money that offseason.

    The Red Sox had been spending gobs of money for a long time. They were always 2nd in payroll to the Yankees and their fans bitching about the Yankees payroll was always laughable. The Red Sox spent money so it’s no surprise they spent big. Maybe it was always the owner mandating the team to spend big, but it’s on Theo to spend it wisely. I don’t know what happened, but I know the Red Sox had been big spenders for awhile and see no reason to suddenly think ownership mandated a different course when it had proven successful.

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  167. cerulean

    Shame Rich Hill is off the market. 4 years for $50M, maybe $55M would have been worth it—maybe as good as Jansen or Miller will be per inning. 6₩ is not unreasonable, even in the limited role I proposed.

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  168. cerulean

    Perkins: I just bought a Schwarber jersey. Selfishly hoping they don’t trade him. (dying laughing)

    Don’t worry, I don’t think they will sign both Chapman and Jansen either.

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