This is fun. Video from MLB Productions of the 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers at spring training. Mostly Leo Durocher jawing at his third baseman during fungo drills. He refers to the guy as “Nick.” Could be a nickname, but there was no third baseman named Nick on the ’45 Dodgers. Or the ’44 Dodgers for that matter. My guess: a tomato can wartime fill-in who didn’t make the club.
Also: note the bare trees in the outfield. This isn’t Florida. It’s Bear Mountain, New York. In 1945 wartime travel restrictions were still on, so teams trained near home. Now imagine catching a ball or hitting in March weather in the Hudson Valley.
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.
It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.
Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.
Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.