Surrounded by hard-boiled scouts and cross-checkers, analytics wonks and the Chicago Cubs’ crack executive brain trust, Kyle Schwarber ping-ponged about the team’s draft room, rendering opinions on hitters’ swings and giving reports on players he knew from his college days. Whatever superlatives people want to lavish on Schwarber – and there were plenty after he played World Series hero Wednesday night – there may be no greater validation of what the Cubs think of him than an invitation into the draft room, a holy sanctum for any baseball team. It was there, two years earlier, that the Cubs drafted with the fourth overall pick a burly outfielder out of Indiana, one without a natural position, thus inducing the slings and arrows of an industry that did not understand what they did: Everything about Kyle Schwarber rendered his lack of a position moot.
Not Erica May-Scherzer though. The wife of Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer was determined to start the offseason with an organized home, and that determination nearly cost her husband one of his prized possessions. Perhaps this is Mrs. Scherzer’s idea of a good joke. Or maybe it’s time to get that jersey framed or at least packed away someplace safe so it’s not discarded like the lucky t-shirt from high school that the significant other can’t wait to throw away.
I turned on last night’s Fox broadcast fully expecting them to spend too much time on history and curses and billy goats and black cats and Steve Bartman and 1908 and 1948 and all of that jive while spending too little time on the game and the players at hand. I will admit now that I was pleasantly surprised that that was not, in fact, the case. To be clear, the pregame show was a friggin’ train wreck in this department. There the narrative framing was basically wall-to-wall. In the first segment, Fox studio host Kevin Burkhardt used the phrase “reverse the curse” within his first thirty seconds of speaking. Then, before much if any actual game stuff was referred to, Burkhardt mentioned all of