Smash NBC

Great Moments in Musical Numbers Involving Baseball

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Due to a misunderstanding with the wonderful Ms. Markie Post and a restraining order that is totally bogus, my contract with NBC specifically forbids me from talking about “Night Court.”  But I think I can talk about other NBC entertainment programming without running afoul of the contract.

Well, “Quantum Leap” may be off limits too, but that’s Dean Stockwell’s fault and HE KNOWS WHAT HE DID.

Anyway, a new show debuted on NBC last night. Because I really don’t watch much TV I hadn’t heard of it until, like, yesterday. It’s called “Smash” and it’s a musical and the very fact that I’m explaining it when all of you have probably already heard of it just underscores how out of touch I am with these things. It’s OK.

The reason I mention it is that there was a musical number about baseball in it. I gather that the overall plot of the show is pretty people making a musical about Marilyn Monroe, and that the baseball number is about her meeting Joe DiMaggio.  Anyway, this is it if you’re into that sort of thing.

Look, I realize that musicals in general and “Smash” specifically aren’t intended for the same demographics as the sports blogs are. But really, would it have hurt NBC to throw in some HardballTalk product placement here? Like, have Debra Messing hold up an iPad with HBT on it?

Synergy, people. Gosh.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images
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The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.