It was one week ago tonight that Kris Bryant threw across to Anthony Rizzo for the final out of the epic Game 7 of the World Series. The Cubs became World Series Champions, the drought was over and the celebration began.
It will never get old hearing Pat Hughes’ perfect call of the final out and on-field celebration.
Baseball’s off-season is in full swing. And Theo Epstein took a break from his month-long bender to attend the GM Meetings in Scottsdale with Jed Hoyer. Epstein and Hoyer are focused on building a roster that can repeat as World Series Champions. During what he called the halftime of his celebration of the Cubs winning The Series, Epstein said Tuesday that the second World Series title would validate the first one.
The Cubs have a plan in place on the moves and additions they would like to make.
The Cubs are looking for pitching and outfield depth. Dexter Fowler has reportedly declined the qualifying offer from the Cubs but there is mutual interest in him returning to the team that he just helped with The World Series.
The Cubs won The Series a week ago. And the best team in baseball plans on retaining that title next year.
Kris Bryant is the favorite to be named National League Most Valuable Player next week. Bryant would join Buster Posey and Bryce Harper as the third player to win the Golden Spikes Award, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards.
Kris Bryant has a very good chance at becoming the first player to ever win the College Player of the Year, Minor League Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in consecutive years.
Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward won Gold Gloves on Tuesday night. Rizzo is finally getting the recognition for his defense. Rizzo checked all of the boxes for the award and deserved it. Rizzo is the third Cubs’ first baseman to win a Gold Glove, joining Mark Grace and Derrek Lee.
Rizzo is the ninth player with 30 home runs, 100 RBI, a Gold Glove and World Series Championship in the same season.
Anthony Rizzo is the first since Mark Teixeira (2009) in seven years. And Rizzo is on the select list with Albert Pujols (2006), George Brett (1985), Eddie Murray (1983) and Mike Schmidt (1980).
More than 1,000 words …
— David Ross (@D_Ross3) November 9, 2016
Kyle Schwarber will make the Talk Show rounds on Thursday. And this could be very good, so set the DVR.
Schwarber is scheduled to be on Live with Kelly on Thursday. Alex Rodriguez is co-hosting that day.
Schwarber has appeared on MLB Network and on MLB Network Radio, along with ESPN 1000.
Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, David Ross and Dexter Fowler have been on various shows throughout the week. Schwarber talking baseball with A-Rod could be really good TV.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Comcast SportsNet explained how Theo Epstein operates and why Cubs won’t be satisfied with just one World Series Title.
• Bruce Levine reported they can start working on Theo Epstein’s Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown.
• Jerry Crasnick reported on Jed Hoyer sticking up for Joe Maddon and his World Series decisions.
• According to Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs are trying to find the next great closer “not repay Aroldis Chapman after an epic World Series celebration or reward Kenley Jansen for what he’s already done.” Patrick Mooney reported what many have started picking up on, Chapman is looking for a $100 million contract.
• Joel Sherman reported Aroldis Chapman appears to be the top choice of the Yankees and Dodgers.
• Scott Miller reported Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen stand out in a weak free-agent class.
• Comcast SportsNet explained why the Cubs aren’t planning another free-agent extravaganza this winter.
• The Sun-Times reported that after beating the Indians, the Cubs are chasing the Giants and Yankees to be possible dynasty in baseball.
• ESPN reported the Cubs young, curse-breaking core is a marketing dream.
• According to Bruce Levine, the Cubs do not include award bonuses in player’s contracts for winning the Cy Young or MVP.
• Manny Ramirez deserves credit, too according to Dan Bernstein.
• The Cubs success offers the White Sox cover to hold nose, tank and rebuild according to the Sun-Times.
• A Cubs’ executive admitted to John Perrotto that the Cardinals were the team they feared the most in the postseason. The Cubs “would have had their hands full” and he’s not sure if they could have gotten past the Cardinals.
• Dexter Fowler and Josh Reddick could be a fit for the Blue Jays according to Joel Sherman.
• With off-season construction starting at Wrigley, Tuesday was the last day that fans could leave messages on the exterior brick walls. The Cubs planned to photograph the walls and hope it will become a playoff tradition. The Tribune reported the Cubs will remove the chalk messages on the walls in the coming days.
• Jack Brickhouse is the overlooked voice of Cubs optimism according to the Tribune.
And last, but not least, ‘Go, Cubs, Go’ hit the Billboard charts for the first time. The song that has become the Cubs’ anthem was written by Steve Goodman and released in 1984. Thirty-two years and a World Series Championship later the song cracked Billboard.
News and Rumors Around Baseball
• Max Scherzer has decided to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic this spring.
• According to the New York Post, busy Yankees explore possible Brian McCann replacement and Rich Hill.
• Ken Rosenthal took a look inside the ‘brochures’ of some of baseball’s top free agents.
• A big market is emerging for free agent Boone Logan according to Jon Heyman.
• The Rays will consider trading Evan Longoria this off-season according to Jon Paul Morosi. The Dodgers could be one of the teams interested in the Rays’ third baseman if they do not re-sign Justin Turner.
• And the Rays have talked to the Braves about Chris Archer according to Jon Paul Morosi.
• The Giants are not only interested in Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen could fit their needs for a closer according to Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal.
• The Orioles are interested in Ian Desmond for a corner outfield spot. Jon Paul Morosi reported Desmond “is open to playing multiple defensive positions.” Desmond could “be a young Ben Zobrist with greater value” because he can play shortstop and center field.
• Jerry Crasnick reported that rumors of a potential Tigers’ selloff have been “a little blown out of proportion.” The Tigers think they “can make a run in 2017 with a rotation of Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmermann, Michael Fulmer, Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris.” The Tigers could “sell selectively” but it would take “a massive haul” to even consider trading Verlander.
• Matt Carpenter will be the Cardinals’ everyday first baseman next season according to Hardball Talk.
• Jason Kipnis held his annual gear giveaway for Indians fans.
This Day in Cubstory
2009 – Cubs granted free agency to Casey Fossum, John-Ford Griffin, Mark Johnson, Luis Rivas, Bobby Scales, Brad Snyder and Kevin Gregg
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Jason Anderson
2006 – Cubs signed free agent Wade Miller
2004 – Bob Brenly was hired to replace Steve Stone in the Cubs’ TV booth.
2002 – Cubs hired Dusty Baker. Jim Hendry signed Baker to a four-year contract to manage the Cubs.
1992 – Cubs released Hector Villanueva
1987 – Cubs granted free agency to Ed Lynch, Manny Trillo and Dickie Noles
1985 – Cubs signed free agent Ced Landrum
1984 – Cubs signed free agent Chico Walker
1979 – Dave Bush, born
1976 – Oakland released Billy Williams. Sweet Swingin’ Billy Williams finished his Hall of Fame career in 1976 by hitting .211/.320/.339 with 12 doubles and 11 home runs in 120 games for the A’s. During his 18-year career, Williams batted .290/.361/.492 with 2,711 hits 434 doubles, 88 triples, 426 home runs, 1,475 RBI and a .853 OPS. Williams walked (1,045) one less time than he struck out (1,046) in 2,488 career games.
1952 – Jim Riggleman, born
1925 – The Brooklyn Robins selected Rabbit Maranville off waivers from the Cubs.
1912 – The Reds selected Frank Chance off waivers from the Cubs.