The Rundown: Let it Go Yadi, South Side Saloon Slams Door on Cubs Fans, Ian Happ Poised for Breakout Year

Since winter is officially here, would it be too much to ask to re-light the hot stove? I had a helluva morning yesterday and never even made it to work, and I do appreciate that Evan Altman so aptly filled in for me. Thank you, Winter Storm Indra.

Though I was eventually stuck at home for the day (it took me 75 minutes to drive three miles after digging out my car for two hours), I stayed off of the internet almost entirely, particularly social media. Cardinals fans have been extra ballsy since Yadier Molina “faced” Kris Bryant in defending the city of St. Louis (quoted because it was such a weak defense).

For what it’s worth, this is how I picture most Cardinals fans.

A quick perusal of the remaining available free agents indicated that no one named Indra is on the open market, so I can see why Cubs fans were not as enthused as they were when Winter Storm Harper breezed through the Midwest last weekend. Honestly, I don’t know why we started naming winter storms. It just seems so ridiculous. If it were my choice, I’d name every storm system that passes through during hot stove season Dan Plesac. I don’t think I’ll get any support from the Weather Channel however.

The climate is considerably more mild at the Wrigleyville offices this winter. The team officially announced the signing of Colin Rea yesterday, who I actually thought was a country & western singer. Buried in that scorching lead story was the signing of outfielder Zach Borenstein, who I actually thought was a sports talk radio host in Chicago. The 28-year-old journeyman has yet to see the big leagues. These are the fruits of the hardest working executive in baseball this winter.

Meanwhile, somewhere, day or night, the “Yadfather” is still talking about Kris Bryant.

And even if you could somehow convince me that the Gateway to the Midwest isn’t the most boring city in America — with the most boring nickname, mind you — facts show residents have been leaving the city in droves since the 1940’s. That should be a great selling point when the Redbirds attempt to sign and/or trade for major league players. I guess the Archway residents have struggled to find any real reason to stay once Stan Musial retired in 1963.

Cardinals fans may not want to pin their hopes on Paul Goldschmidt re-signing with the team next winter, especially if John Mozeliak expects to retain him at a discounted price.

If you’d like a shirt to commemorate just how boring St. Louis really is, check these out.

Cubs News & Notes

  • Amidst all of the fighting with St. Louis, White Sox fans want their turn at amping up what was thought to be a euthanized rivalry. A new speakeasy on the South side of Chicago has a few rules for anyone entering, including no cell phones, no MAGA hats, and no Cubs fans.
  • There are five big questions facing the Cubs as the team heads to spring training in a few weeks.
  • If the Cubs aren’t going to sign Bryce Harper, perhaps they should start to focus on the upcoming free agency of Mike Trout. Are we really going there?
  • If there is ever a job title that I would love to have, it is Director of High Performance. I wish I would have spotted that Cubs opening on Craigslist. I’ve yet to see any Josh Gordon jokes, but surely a few are coming.
  • Cole Hamels envisions himself as the ace of the Cubs’ 2019 staff. I like it. Hamels has resigned himself to signing one-year contracts for the rest of his career, and as long as he continues to pitch at a top of rotation level, I hope he remains in the team’s future plans.
  • I have a hard time picturing David Bote playing for the Padres. Though he slumped severely once his weaknesses were exposed by major league pitchers, he seems like the kind of player Theo Epstein would retain this year, which is to say he’s really cheap. However, the Cubs could use some minor league pitching, and the Friars are well-stocked there.
  • Ian Happ is poised to be the Cubs’ breakout star of 2019.
  • The Cubs have reportedly signed a pair of teenage Cuban prospects.
  • Thomas Ian Nicholas believes the Rookie of the Year remake will not feature the Cubs. Nicholas played Henry Rowengartner in the 1993 classic, a role that was almost given to Macaulay Culkin.
  • Robert Boarde Green, father of Cubs VP of communications and community relations Julian Green, was struck and killed Monday morning in an intersection in the 8500 block of South Cottage Avenue on Chicago’s South Side. Robert Green was a member of the Chatham Village chamber symphony, one of the only all-African American chamber symphony orchestras, and co-founded the Chatham Village Symphony Orchestra in 1974. Cubs Insider would like to offer our collective condolences to the Green family as they cope with the loss.

Thursday Stove

“Yadi being Yadi” is now a thing. That sound you hear is me chewing off my left arm at the elbow.

Drew Pomeranz has agreed to a one-year deal with the Giants. He’ll earn $1.5 million in 2019.

Other than Craig Kimbrel, Ryan Madson and Brad Brach are the last of the decent relief pitchers remaining in free agency. Both are drawing increased interest.

Newly inducted Hall of Fame DH Edgar Martinez was very successful against fellow inductees Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera throughout his career.

Alex Rodriguez believes Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are deserving of placement in the Cooperstown shrine. Of course, their Hall of Fame inductions would certainly boost his own case for inclusion in 2022.

Despite stating he hoped to be inducted as a Blue Jay before passing away, Roy Halladay will enter the Hall with no team affiliation at the request of his family.

One presumptuous Philadelphia writer disagrees with that decision.

Ichiro Suzuki has agreed to a minor league deal with the Mariners, paving the way for the 45-year-old to play in the Seattle’s season-opening series in Japan.

Extra Innings

I’m no fan of the Hall of Fame, and the debate as to whether Rivera should have been the first unanimous selection by the voting committee, and the debate over whether he should even be included at all because he is a closer, is mind boggling to me. I find it very redeeming that baseball has discovered sound reason to include essential players who were great at their positions throughout their careers, even if some consider closers and designated hitters part-time players.

I also find it ironic that baseball writers find the need to point out their collective flaws by dissecting the selections they have made historically. If you admit that you suck at something and have always sucked at it, maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to participate in that exercise any longer.

Additionally, the debate over who will be elected next winter started just seconds after this year’s inductees were announced. It is just so much overkill, usually accompanied by the middle-school mentality of those stubborn electors. Berry Tramel, a sportswriter for The Oklahoman, gets it wrong here on so many levels. Though I admit there are certainly players who were more deserving of the first unanimous selection, writers actually have no one to blame but themselves, which to me is the biggest flaw in an absurdly idiotic voting process.

Thursday Walk Up Song

I Think About You by Colin Raye. I can neither confirm nor deny that Cardinals fans were chosen to play supporting roles in this video.

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