The Rundown: Javy Second in MVP, Cubs Fans Dropped Most F-Bombs, Theo Being Reactionary?
Christian Yelich and Mookie Betts are your National and American League MVPs. Javy Báez finished a very strong second in NL voting, earning the most second-place votes of any candidate, but Yelich was near-unanimous. The Milwaukee outfielder received 29 of 30 total first place votes. Jacob deGrom received the other.
The reality of Javy’s second place finish comes down to a monstrous final three weeks of the season for his Brewers counterpoint, but a lack of walks may have been his undoing as well.
The final numbers:
- Yelich led the National League with a .326 batting average, a .598 slugging percentage, and a 1.000 OPS. He also put up a .402 OBP with 36 home runs, 110 RBI, 118 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases.
- Báez batted .290 with a .554 slugging percentage, and a .881 OPS. His OBP was just .326 and he slugged 34 home runs, 111 RBI, 101 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases. The multi-position infielder is just shy of 26 years old and will likely contend for future MVP awards.
In the AL, Betts became the first Red Sox player to win MVP since second baseman Dustin Pedroia in 2008. The 26-year-old outfielder led baseball with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage, and 129 runs scored. He also put together a .438 on-base percentage with 32 home runs, 80 RBI, and 30 stolen bases while ranking among the best defensive outfielders. Betts was worth 10.9 WAR, the highest total by a position player since Barry Bonds in 2002 (11.8). Mike Trout finished in second place.
.@mookiebetts & @ChristianYelich are the first pair of MVPs to have at least a 1.000 OPS since Josh Hamilton and Joey Votto in 2010. pic.twitter.com/4sDjepuyIK
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) November 15, 2018
Free Agent Profile: Charlie Morton
Charlie Morton is the third-best starter available in free agency this winter according to MLBTR and if you consider Nathan Eovaldi a reliever. No knock against Morton, but that shows the lack of starting pitching depth in this year’s market. It’s comforting to know that the Cubs rotation is set heading into spring training.
Not shy with commanding the inner half of the plate, Morton led the league in hit batters for the fourth time in six seasons. The right-hander made his first All-Star team, finishing with 201 strikeouts in 167 innings while allowing just 130 hits. Morton was an unsung hero of sorts for the Astros behind big guns Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Dallas Keuchel.
Morton’s fastball plays up but his changeup is absolutely sick and nearly unhittable. Due to ongoing shoulder soreness and age, teams will have to exercise due diligence before inking the 35-year-old to a contract. His preferred destination is an east coast team if he doesn’t re-sign with the Astros, and the Phillies look like a good fit for the pitcher on a one- or two-year deal. The only way the Cubs would be interested is if Yu Darvish is still fighting elbow issues.
- Yesterday: Andrew McCutchen
- Monday: Nelson Cruz
Cubs News & Notes
- Former GM Jim Hendry admitted that the Cubs had Báez ranked ahead of Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor in an interview with David Kaplan and Luke Stuckmeyer. Hendry drafted the all-world infielder ninth overall in 2011.
- You could argue that all the offseason buzz surrounding Joe Maddon and Kris Bryant is just an angry Theo Epstein venting after what he felt was was a disappointing end to the season. But a closer look at the Cubs’ recent fortunes suggest there could possibly be a bit of fire coming out of all that smoke.
- Ben Zobrist can start customizing his cleats again. Yesterday, MLB and its owners approved an amendment to the basic agreement that finally loosens restrictions on the design and colors of players’ footwear in games.
- The Cubs sent out invoices to season-ticket-holders yesterday with an average price increase of 2.6 percent.
- The increase in ticket prices added to revenues earned from MLBs new streaming service should result in a nice offseason bonus of $14.8 million for Tom Ricketts, nearly enough to offset the luxury tax penalty for signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.
- Chances are good that Harper will sign with one of the Chicago or New York franchises if he makes his decision based on his preferred restaurants.
- Maddon’s Respect 90 Foundation will provide Thanksmas meals to the Tampa Bay area homeless for the 10th year. He also will hold similar events in his hometown of Hazleton, Pa., and Chicago.
- This is beyond awesome:
For the second consecutive year, we are proud to join forces with other Chicago sports teams to help reduce violence in our city. #ChicagoSportsAlliancehttps://t.co/37wn1qDLK2 pic.twitter.com/E6hfHWED2d
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 15, 2018
Harper and the Braves seems like a good match on paper.
A trade of Yasiel Puig for JT Realmuto would make sense for both the Dodgers and Marlins.
The Marlins will have a new look in 2019.
Major League Baseball (MLB) green-lighted three deals this week as they extended the contracts of Commissioner Rob Manfred and their broadcast partner Fox while agreeing to a new deal with John Skipper’s online platform, DAZN.
Manfred’s five-year extension was unanimously reached on Thursday and acts as a bit of mandate on what Manfred has already accomplished, yet there’s little doubting that he faces a number of challenges going forward, including a possible work stoppage at the end of the current CBA in 2021.
Manfred was the former head of labor for the league before ascending to the position of commissioner. That gave the owners a bit of an advantage when they reached a new five-year labor deal with the players in December of 2016.
The Rangers signed free agent catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year deal. The deal is pending a physical.
Jim Bowden thinks that it is “a joke” that the BBWAA did not vote Red Sox skipper Alex Cora AL Manager of the Year.
Kyler Murray of the A’s, the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft, recreated the iconic Bo Jackson Nike photo and it’s actually pretty cool. In addition to playing baseball, Murray plays quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.
you vs. the guy she told you not to worry about pic.twitter.com/C1gr3Zg4v1
— Drew Silva (@drewsilv) November 16, 2018
A study by TickPick monitored the news and discussion aggregator Reddit during the playoffs to see how frequently the F-word appeared. Despite the team’s exit after the win-or-go-home wild card game, Cubs fans dropped the most F-bombs of any fanbase, with 432 in the postseason. The term “f— you” was directed at the Yankees more than any other team, while Machado generated the most profanity-laced comments of all players involved.
Friday Walk Up Song
Tub Thumping by Chumbawamba. A great, upbeat Friday song and a decent theme for the 2019 Cubs.