Thursday, December 8, 2016


OK, here's my theory (this week, anyway):

Theo Epstein is a master hypnotist.

He pulls out a shiny pocket watch, waves it back and forth in front of all those other dopey baseball execs, and they begin clucking like chickens.

OK. So they don't.

Actually, they bark like dogs.

OK. So they don't do that, either.

What they do (actually) is give Theo what he wants.

Oh, you want Wade Davis, the best reliever in baseball over the last three seasons? And all you give up is Jorge Soler, whom you don't even really need?

Yes, Theo. Right away, Theo.

OK, so it probably didn't go down like that. But, boy, did it go down. Davis goes from the Royals to the Cubs; Soler goes from the Cubs to the Royals. Done.

What the Royals get is a promising young outfielder who nonetheless played in only about half the Cubs' games last year (86), batting .238 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI. What the Cubs get is a closer who has a 1.18 ERA and has given up just three home runs over the past three seasons, and whose career ERA of 1.51, according to the metrics geeks at ESPN Stats & Information, is the lowest ever among pitchers with at least 250 career innings in relief.

So, you know, that's fair.

Of course, that isn't all. The Cubs needed a closer because Aroldis Chapman wanted way too much for his services. So Theo let him go to the Yankees, who are now left holding the bag for a 5-year, $86-million deal most seasoned observers think will never pay off.

And now, in the back of your mind, you know what you're seeing.

You're seeing a room. You're seeing Theo. You're seeing a chair, and Yankees GM Brian Cashman sitting in it, and ... a shiny pocket watch.

Brian ... you're getting verrrry sleepy, Brian ...

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