With the Cubs two wins away from the World Series, the Associated Press is asking an important question: which celebrities will be happy if Chicago wins it all?
Bill Murray, of course. Everyone knows he’s a Cubs fan. Eddie Vedder. Nick Offerman and Stephen Colbert. George Will’s Cub fandom is known by people who care about George Will. His answer about the genesis of his Cubs fandom is somewhat peculiar, though:
“I grew up in Champaign, midway between Chicago and St. Louis,” he said. “My friends became Cardinals fans and grew up cheerful and liberal and I, for reasons I don’t understand, became a Cubs fan.”
While geography can certainly weigh in on one’s political orientation and on one’s sports fandom, I wasn’t aware that political orientation and sports fandom were linked in any robust way. I guess if you take a big scoop of Braves fans, for example, you’ll find more conservatives because you’re also scooping southerners and if you take a big scoop of, say, Giants fans you’ll find more liberals because you’re also scooping Bay Area people, but I wasn’t aware that the scoops work the way Will says they do in central Illinois. Oh well, the more you know.
There’s no corresponding story about celebrity Dodgers fans because, well, all of the celebrities are assumed to be Dodgers fans until they make a point of claiming other fandom, usually around the time of the World Series. Like Paul Rudd and that guy from “Modern Family” did with the Royals in 2014. Each time a newish team makes the Series we learn who their celebrity fans are, but I don’t think the Dodgers get that privilege, even if they haven’t been in the thing for 28 years.
In other news, Tom Hanks is apparently an Indians fan. Had no idea. I thought it was just Drew Carey, by himself, wearing the old Wahoo. So I guess there are two of them.
A month ago San Diego Padres A.J. Preller was suspended for 30 days by Major League Baseball for withholding medical information from the Boston Red Sox in connection with the Drew Pomeranz trade. As of yesterday Preller is back in the captain’s chair, reports the Union-Tribune.
Where the ship is going is unclear, however, as Preller’s antics will no doubt impact other general managers’ trust in him when it comes time to talk about deals. How much of an impact is unclear. As the Union-Tribune notes, the first test of that will likely come next month at the GM meetings.
Additional uncertainty surrounds the Padres chain of command, as the club fired team president Mike Dee while Preller was suspended. Preller used to answer to Dee, now he answers directly to team ownership. Will that change the way he does his job? Will he have different marching orders and expectations than before?
The Padres under Preller have done a good job in the past year of improving the farm system. Indeed, it’s now one of the best in the game. They’re heading into a weird offseason, however.
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Cincinnati Reds have signed a new long term TV deal.
It’s with the old network, however, Fox Sports Ohio, and it is not one of those transformative multi-billion deals that we’ve seen a lot of big market clubs sign in recent years. Buchanan, reporting the words of Reds COO Phil Castellini, characterizes it as “a nice increase” over the current deal, however. Exact terms were not disclosed, but the deal is for 15 years and will run through the 2032 season. The Reds had initially explored creating their own cable network but decided against it. They will, however, get an equity stake in Fox Sports Ohio.
This isn’t likely to change the Reds’ approach on the field. They’re in the middle of a rebuild and, even if this deal did represente a financial windfall, which it doesn’t seem to, it’s not like the Reds are in a position to go out and splurge on big free agents in the short term. And that’s before you realize that there aren’t that many good free agents available these days.