Chin Music, Episode 25: Let’s Not Test the Star Player

The podcast returns a day earlier than normal, as I am joined by special guest co-host Jorge Arangure of The New York Times. We begin by wrapping up a busy trade deadline, then discuss how Kumar Rocker is a victim of an anti-player rule set, before getting into all of the latest COVID news (while bemoaning the fact that there is always COVID news). Then we are joined by special guest Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post, who takes us through the Nationals tearing things down last week. She also happens to be in Los Angeles for the Dodgers/Astros series, so vibes are discussed. From there it’s your emails and a check-in on Jorge’s mental state as somebody who can’t walk away from the pandemic. Plus, seeing how The Wire holds up after nearly two decades.

As always, we hope you enjoy and thank you for listening.

Music by No Lights.

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You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes/Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Warning One: While ostensibly a podcast about baseball, these conversations often veer into other subjects.

Warning Two: There is explicit language.

Run Time: 2:07:51

Kevin Goldstein is a National Writer at FanGraphs.

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2 years ago

I don’t quite get a lot of the lamentations regarding the Cubs. Yes, they tore it down. But before they tore it down, they won the World Series for the first time in over 100 years. That was the whole point. It seems to have more to do with the Cubs being seen as some darling little franchise. The Phillies won the WS in 2008, went back in 2009, and then tried a few more times before tearing it down. The Royals won the AL pennant in 2014 and the WS in 2015 and then they let everyone walk. The Red Sox have rebuilt several times. The Giants won three WS and, until this season, they haven’t really been relevant since 2016. I don’t remember national writers wringing their hands over those rebuilds/reboots the way people are getting worked up over the Cubs. it’s kind of the opposite. Everyone points to those teams maybe locking up guys for sentimental reasons and prolonging the down turn instead of getting ahead of the rebuild. Some of the biggest pieces on the current Giants roster are guys from the 2014 WS team. But that seemed to come out of nowhere. Is that what people wanted for the Cubs? Four or five years of mediocrity followed by late-career heroics from Baez, Bryant, and Rizzo? That sort of thing is pretty rare.

There’s this idea that the Cubs should have built a dynasty and that letting these guys get to this point is all about them not offering them ten year contracts so that people can still go to Wrigley in 2029 and watch what’s left of Rizzo and Bryant try to rekindle the old spark.

Teams do this all the time. Eventually, even the Dodgers and Yankees will (probably) have to do it too. The tone of the discourse surrounding this Cubs rebuild is weird. They got the ring in 2016 and then they had those guys for five more seasons. Even if the Cubs has re-signed those guys in 2017 to ten year deals, they’d probably still be looking to move those deals around this time.