So much arguing about awards and trades and things today. Let’s go back to some baseball. Specifically, Game 1 of the NLCS when Matt Holliday took out Marco Scutaro at second base with a sketchy-at-best slide.
Holliday admitted at the time he made a bad slide and denied any attempt to hurt Scutaro. In Game 7, however, Matt Cain plunked him. Tim McKernan of InsideStl.com interviewed Holliday about it, and Holliday took issue with the timing of it:
The Cat: If he would’ve plunked you right after would you have taken it as part of the game and part of the medicine that you had to take? Would you say, that that would’ve gone down easier?
Matt: If you’re going to do it, I think that is when you do it. I wouldn’t be happy about it anytime. I just thought that in the situation that it actually did happen it was less than tough.
Is Jim Leyland the last guy in baseball who still uses the tried-and-true “horses–t” when talking about violations of the unwritten rules? I’ve always loved “horses–t.” It’s perfect. “Less than tough?” Just not feeling it.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”