1. Yesterday, the Cy Young winners were announced
In the American League, it was Robbie Ray.
Just look where he was last year, a 6.62 ERA and a front-row ticket to the things really can miraculously turn around, can’t they? storyline.
And in the National League, it was Corbin Burnes.
2. The stat-fact of the day: That 2014 Tigers pitching staff
That most famed, underachieving pitching staff known in all the land as having been the group with four Cy Young winners — well, now they have five.
PS: You’re not the only one who had no idea a young Robbie Ray was part of that roster, but now you can tell all your friends at the bar and library.
3. Tonight, the MVP awards will be announced
Coming up in a little while, at 6:00 ET on MLB Network.
4. Justin Verlander re-signs with the Astros
The news came from a pretty reliable source, you could say — his brother.
So, the sweepstakes are off, the scouts go home, the GMs around the league put their wallets back in their pockets, and Verlander comes back to Houston for what’s essentially a two-year deal for $50 million.
5. Here’s Justin Verlander, conjugated in French
Now this is baseball offseason posting.
6. The feel-good moment of the day: Kris Bryant answering this girl’s softball question
And kudos to the nice lady helping her work through her nerves and emotions to ask the question — worth the watch:
7. Brandon Belt returns to the Giants
One bit of good news, in the painful last month it’s been for Giants fans, with the loss to the Dodgers and the retirement of Buster Posey. At least one of the other veterans of the core group will be back for another run at it — as he accepted the qualifying offer for a one-year deal.
His numbers this past season: 29 HR, .274 AVG in just 97 games
8. On this day in baseball history: Sandy Koufax retires at age 30
Hard to imagine this happening today with one of the most premier stars of the sport, but then again we can understand why pitch counts are so focused-on today, and the scarcity of the complete game (Koufax threw 323 innings that final year, and 27 complete games).
9. A trivia question: How many Blue Jays have won a Cy Young award (and can you name them?)
Don’t look down at the tweet below, if you’d like to have a guess first.
Cover the screen, have a go, fail miserably (if you’re not a Canadian)— and then give a look to the elite club that’s just added another member.
10. Jose Berrios gets re-introduced in Toronto
From this afternoon at the Rogers Centre, following the announcement of his seven-year extension — and maybe, someday, he’ll become the sixth member of the Blue Jay Cy Young Club.
11. The Perth Heat (Australian baseball) will pay their players entirely in Bitcoin
The first sports club in the world to do so, and I’ve even attended a game once — all the way across the globe, in beautiful, sunny, Antipodean Perth.
Maybe someday I’ll return, dropping e-tokens for some shrimp on the barbie.
12. And lastly, this is what the offseason looks like
You can go classy.
Or you can go casual. The choice is yours.