Three things about the Chicago Cubs:
- They are extremely good. They are, especially following their 1-0 victory last night over the San Francisco Giants, as good of a pick as any to win the World Series.
- Theo Epstein may be the greatest baseball executive of the free agency era. As impressive as his work with the Boston Red Sox was, and continues to be, what is happening in Chicago is simply incredible.
- The Chicago Cubs are not simply an uplifting tale of homegrown superiority.
And to be clear, I don't consider the third point to be an indictment of the Cubs in any way. If anything, I appreciate their balanced approach to building an undeniably impressive roster.
Anthony Rizzo and Jake Arrieta were acquired via trades that were probably at least somewhat lucky breaks: the Cubs may have seen more in these players than other teams did, but they almost certainly did not expect this.
The entire Cubs outfield last night was signed this off-season via free agency (though Dexter Fowler was initially acquired by the Cubs via trade). Catcher David Ross was a free agent signing, as was last night’s starter Jon Lester, as was probable Game 4 starter John Lackey. As shortstop Addison Russell was acquired via trade (a shrewd move by Epstein, but calling Russell ‘homegrown’ is slightly disingenuous), the only two Cubs starters last night who were developed by the Cubs from start to finish were Kris Bryant and Javier Baez.
And again, I don't mind this. It would be next to impossible to build a championship team from scratch. But to prop up the Cubs as a unique standard is asinine. They are a big market team that has built a great roster the way savvy big market teams do: by building a farm system, but also by spending money.
Anyway, yes, the Cardinals! Here's stuff about them.
Yesterday I wrote about one of my favorite pet topics: the qualifying offer, and whether the Cardinals should give one to Brandon Moss.
Game 5, 2011 NLDS
Yesterday marked the five year anniversary of a game that Lil Scooter deemed the best game of the 2011 postseason, an assessment with which I think I disagree. Which says a lot about the quantity of great games in that postseason run.