Expanded playoffs have arrived
I thought this had already been decided, but the extra wild card has been approved. I'm kind of surprised that MLB would do this so close to the start of the season. Given the glacial pace at which MLB moved, I figured they had just decided that they were going to do it at some point, but whoa, whoa, let's not be all hasty here. As MB and I discussed yesterday, it doesn't really matter that much at this point if you add more teams. At 8 total teams the best team already has a very poor chance of winning everything, 2 more teams isn't going to make that much of a difference. And for the team that loses the wild-card play in game, I don't see how it's any more anticlimactic than say the 2008 Cubs postseason. 2 team playoff or GTFO, in my opinion.
Apparently most players are annoyed with the Braun situation too
Braun walking on this charge is no more of a threat to the drug testing system than a guy getting off on a burglary charge because the cops didn’t get a proper search warrant is a threat to the criminal justice system. You may hate the result, but the remedy is easy: get it right next time or change the rules to make what happened in that instance acceptable. It is not something that puts the entire regime in peril.
Finally, I’ll observe that these complaints all seem a little self-righteous to me. No one who ever wins on a procedural argument themselves ever seems to have a problem with it. And I suspect that the 80-90% of the players Olney spoke with here were under the gun themselves, they would not hesitate to make the same arguments Braun did if they or their legal advisors thought to do so.
Exactly. Be annoyed with the system that allowed this, not with the player('s lawyer) that shows how toothless it is.
Fireworks factory errata
The PBTNL have yet to be decided, but Hoyer said that the Red Sox will get the better PBTNL in the exchange. I don't think either of these guys will end up being worth anything – I fully expect both of the players moved to be organizational filler types.
Tom Ricketts to speak at SABR Analytics conference next month
Mind ——————> Blown
Cubs broadcasters ranked sixth in Fangraphs poll
Number 1 on the list is pretty obvious. As was number 31. It's too bad they didn't put any of the national broadcast teams in the mix (e.g. Buck/McCarver, Brennaman/whoever his stooge is, Miller/Morgan retro choice). I'd probably put all three of those teams just ahead of Hawk and the former Playgirl model.
The Cubs have a team psychologist in camp
Per Muskat. Did the Cubs have one around in the Hendry years? My memory is terrible. For some reason I think having around one might have come in handy over the past few years…
A.J. Burnett injured in his first week with the Pirates
It hasn't been a great offseason for him. He's out indefinitely with a fractured orbital bone after bunting a ball into his own face. This should put a big dent in the Pirates' dreams of passing the Cubs for 4th place in the NL Central this season.