At the time of this writing - July 22, 2016 - the Cubs are good at baseball. Let’s keep it that way.
To be exact, they’re 20-games over .500 at 57-37 with a half-game lead over the San Francisco Giants for the best record in baseball. And if anything, they’re under-performing as they have nearly 100 more runs in the positive on their differential -- they’ve scored 151 more runs than they’ve given up this year. The Giants have scored 59 more than they’ve given up. Again, they’re good.
Really quick disclaimer: I have not watched the Cubs in a couple of weeks. We got rid of cable, haven’t hooked up the “government box” for normal channels and haven’t figured out the whole online streaming thing yet. That said, I read the box scores and follow the updates online, on the radio, and in the paper.
Anyway, with the MLB Trade Deadline looming on August 1st, the Cubs tend to be a team of “buyers” looking to improve and pick up some blockbuster pitchers like Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller from the New York Yankees. The problem with getting so much in return means you have to give up a ton, and in this case, teams are asking about Kyle Schwarber.
Please don’t trade Kyle Schwarber.
Look, there are only a few exciting “Must Watch at Every At-Bat” players in the game. The Cubs have two already with Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. Schwarber is the third - a roly poly of a ballplayer who can just absolutely rake it at the plate. He’s injured for the entire year after tearing his ACL early in the season, so he won’t play in 2016, but the Cubs have him until 2020.
Trading Schwarber makes sense to upgrade the 2016 roster, but that means we may miss out on an additional four years of this.
Sure, if a trade means a World Series win (or at least appearance), and “Flags Fly Forever” is a great way to run an organization (in short, do whatever it takes to win the World Series.) I get it, but the Cubs have been great (so far) without Schwarber. It’s too soon to give up on the guy.
Let’s give it another run - with Schwarber - and stand pat. Or make a big move, but just don’t trade the big man.
Here are your Links of the Week:
Looking through this “Where are they now” bit on MTV Total Request Live hosts, I realized I must have stopped watching the show very early because I don’t recognize the majority of them. [Warming Glow]
A home run derby into Lake Michigan? Yep, sign me up. [Yahoo Sports]
TechCrunch had an interesting piece this week on the internal turmoil within Reddit that resulted from Reddit “cleaning up” some of its subsections and how some people take “cleaning up” as doing the right thing and others take it as censorship. [TechCrunch]
This one is a bit old (but hey, LOTW was on hiatus the past few weeks), but The Ringer’s Shea Serrano, a lifelong San Antonio Spurs fan, reflects on the career of Tim Duncan, who was drafted in 1997 by the Spurs and recently retired. To give that some perspective: Where were you in 1997? [The Ringer]
For the second year in a row, the podcast industry hosted “upfronts”, which essentially entices more brands to advertise (and support) some of the biggest podcasts around. What this means is that podcasting is coming out of its infancy - very cool to see. [Adweek]
Team USA Basketball kicks off their Olympic exhibition training ahead of the Rio Olympics on Friday and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has a nice look back with Coack K on the resurgence of Team USA basketball after some embarrassing showings from 2002-2006. [ESPN]
I don’t know about you but “How to Sleep Comfortably in Any Position When You Have Back Pain” is pretty much my new Bible. [Lifehacker]
How to Write a Headline 101: "Scientists found something unexpected on Mars – and it could require us to rethink the planet’s history" [WeForum.org]
It’s a Ting Tings kind of weekend. Make it a good one.