The Cubs are World Series Champions and the biggest sports story in decades topped Sports Illustrated’s ranking of the Most Memorable Sports Moment of the Year.
The Cubs ended the longest title drought in the history of American sports on Nov. 2 in Cleveland. In what was an epic Game 7 of one of the best World Series off all-time, the Cubs took a 6-3 lead into the eighth inning. The Indians tied the game at six in the eighth. After both teams failed to score in the ninth, the game went to the 10th inning of Game 7 tied 6-6.
Play resumed following a 17-minute rain delay. Kyle Schwarber singled. Albert Almora Jr. ran for Schwarber and went to second on a deep fly to center off the bat of Kris Bryant. The Indians intentionally walked Anthony Rizzo.
Ben Zobrist delivered what turned out to be the biggest hit in Cubs’ history, a double to left that scored Almora Jr. with the go ahead run. With the bases loaded, Miguel Montero singled to left and Rizzo scored the run that ended up being the difference in the game.
The Indians cut the Cubs lead to 8-7 with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Joe Maddon called on Mike Montgomery. And he induced a grounder to third off the bat of Michael Martinez. Kris Bryant fielded the ball as he cracked a smile and threw across to Anthony Rizzo for the final out.
From 10 to 1, Sports Illustrated’s Top 10 Most Memorable Sports Moments of the Year: Alabama gamble pays off against Clemson in National Title game; Leicester City defies odds to win Premier League title; Final Five dominate women’s gymnastics at Rio Games; Colin Kaepernick take a knee during National Anthem; Warriors make history with 73-9 regular-season record; Michael Phelps cements legacy at Rio Olympics; Muhammad Ali dies at 74; Kris Jenkins lifts Villanova in all-time NCAA title game; Cavaliers rally from 3-1 down to win NBA Finals; Cubs win World Series
Todd Hollandsworth is leaving the Cubs and Chicago to take a job with FOX Sports Florida in Miami. Hollandsworth is the new color commentator/analyst for Marlins’ games, joining Rich Waltz in the booth.
And for the @cubs organization, fans and friends….thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your love and kindness to me and my fam????❤
— Todd M Hollandsworth (@hollytime28) December 22, 2016
Todd Hollandsworth won a World Series with the Marlins in 2003 and signed with the Cubs the following December (Dec. 18, 2003). Holly played for the Cubs over two seasons (2004-05) before finishing his playing career with the Reds and Indians in 2006.
Hollandsworth was a pre- and post-game analyst for Cubs games on Comcast SportsNet with David Kaplan the last seven seasons. Holly was a finalist to be Pat Hughes’ partner on the radio side in 2013. Ron Coomer has been Mr. Hughes’ partner for the last three seasons.
The Indians added a big bat to their lineup for next season. According to multiple reports Thursday night, the Indians and Edwin Encarnacion agreed to terms on a three-year, $60 million contract that includes a club option for a fourth season. Encarnacion’s deal includes a $5 million buyout on a $25 million club option for the 2020 season.
If the Indians pick up the option, Encarnacion will make $80 million over the next four years. His contract is not believed to include an opt-out.
- Buster Olney – The Indians get a big bat
- Ken Rosenthal – The Encarnacion deal: Good for the Indians. Good for Baseball
- Jeff Passan – Why Cleveland, Edwin Encarnacion are such a perfect fit
Nova received a three-year, $26 million deal that includes a $2 million signing bonus. When taking out the money that Nova will receive up front, he will be paid $8 million per year for the next three seasons. According to Jon Heyman, Nova can earn an additional $2 million per year in performance bonuses.
The Pirates acquired Nova from the Yankees before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline for two PTBNL. The Pirates sent Tito Polo and Stephen Tarpley to the Bronx on Aug. 30 to complete the deal.
In 32 games, 26 starts, between the Yankees and Pirates last season, Nova was 12-8 with a 4.17 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 4.11 FIP. With the Pirates, Nova thrived working with pitching coach Ray Searage. Nova was 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 2.62 FIP. In 11 starts, Nova allowed 27 runs, 22 earned, on 68 hits with three walks and 52 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings.
Nova received a no-decision against the Cubs on Sept. 29. In his last start of the year, Nova allowed one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. The Cubs and Pirates played to a 1-1 tie thanks to the weather.
Travis Sawchik pointed out that Ivan Nova and Daniel Hudson will combine to make the same in 2017 as Francisco Liriano. The Pirates traded Liriano and his $13.66 million contract to the Blue Jays last Aug. 1.
According to FanGraphs, Ivan Nova slipped through the cracks.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Comcast SportsNet reported on Eddie Vedder, the Cubs Way and how winners write history.
• ESPN asked if projected superteams deliver super results.
• The Pirates are still working on a deal with the White Sox for Jose Quintana and possibly trading Andrew McCutchen. After the Bucs re-signed Ivan Nova, Buster Olney detailed what the Pirates could look like next season without McCutchen and with Quintana in the rotation behind Gerrit Cole.
• Major League Baseball suspended five minor leaguers for using drugs … Arnaldo Hernandez of the Royals for methamphetamines, Mario Alcantara for amphetamines, Jake Romanski of the Red Sox for amphetamines, Brendan McCurry of the Astros for methamphetamines and Dakody Clemmer of the Indians for a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
• The top eight deals signed by pitchers this off-season … Aroldis Chapman ($86 million), Kenley Jansen ($80 million), Mark Melancon ($62 million), Rich Hill ($48 million), Brett Cecil ($30.5 million), Ivan Nova ($26 million), Edinson Volquez ($22 million) and Mike Dunn ($19 million).
• Daren Willman compared Javier Baez’s swing percentage from last season to the league average …
This is Javier Baez swing % last year compared to league average… Yikes pic.twitter.com/g79WwRuhYo
— Daren Willman (@darenw) December 22, 2016
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Cubs released Brendan Ryan
2015 – Pirates selected Yoervis Medina off waivers from the Cubs
2015 – Cubs selected Edgar Olmos off waivers from the Orioles
2014 – Cubs signed free agent David Ross
2014 – Cubs signed free agent Chris Valaika
2014 – Cubs selected Mike Kickham off waivers from the Giants
2014 – Orioles selected Ryan Lavarnway off waivers from the Cubs
2014 – Brewers selected Shane Peterson off waivers from the Cubs
2013 – Cubs selected Brett Marshall off waivers from the Yankees
2013 – Orioles selected Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Cubs
2011 – Cubs acquired Travis Wood, Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes from the Reds for Sean Marshall
2008 – Yankees announced two exhibition games against the Cubs would be the first ballgames played in new Yankee Stadium in April 2009. Bleacher seats for the exhibition games with the Cubs were cold for .25 cents and grandstand tickets for $1.10, the same cost of tickets when the original Yankee Stadium opened in 1923.
1997 – Cubs traded Doug Glanville to the Phillies for Mickey Morandini
1994 – Cubs granted free agency to Jose Bautista
1991 – Cubs signed free agent Chico Walker
1982 – Brad Nelson, born
1941 – Ken Hubbs, born
1941 – Milwaukee (American Association) purchased Johnny Hudson from the Cubs
1939 – Cubs released Carl Reynolds
1933 – Elder White, born
1900 – Danny Taylor, born
1880 – Doc Gessler, born