Dave Kaplan of CSNChicago.com reports that “significant progress has been made” in negotiations between the Cubs and Red Sox over compensation to be paid in exchange for the Sox letting Theo Epstein out of his contract to join the Cubs. Kaplan says that a deal could be done as soon as today and that, pending MLB approval, an announcement could come tomorrow.
There is a lot of good information there too about (a) the dynamic of the compensation talks, which focus mostly on a disagreement over the value in the Cubs’ minor league system; and (b) insight into what Tom Ricketts is looking to do with the organization overall. Specifically, Kaplan spoke with a guy who was interviewed for the job prior to the club turning to Epstein, and that guy is convinced that Ricketts is going to fix and build the organization properly as opposed to looking for quick fixes.
Exciting times to be a Cubs fan.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.