2020 MLB Mock Draft Version 4-7-20

2017-MLB-MOCK-DRAFT

We don’t have any actual real sports, anywhere, for the foreseable future, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While playing games again, especially with fans present, is most likely months away, the respective drafts can still go ahead as planned, albeit in a very modified version.

As of now, the first of the four major U.S. sports drafts, the NFL edition, is still on. They’ll have to scale down and do it completely different, so as to adhere to CDC social distancing protocols, but it’s better than nothing. In that spirit, here is the link to our latest NFL mock draft. NBA can be found here, MLB is below and NHL can be found here.

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I Watched Marquee Sports Network All Day and This Happened

I honestly came up with this idea back in the salad days of February; we were all so young and innocent then. If you recall the simpler times of this year’s second month, it was when the Chicago Cubs launched Marquee Sports Network, the new venture they own jointly own with Sinclair Broadcasting.

Since day one, it’s been a lightning rod for criticism. Opinion about it almost always polarizes and before a global pandemic engulfed us all, we had the luxury to get angry about how Marquee Network wasn’t available in many homes in the Cubs’ market. Now we’re wondering if we’ll even have a baseball season?
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Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Revisiting the Spanish Flu and 1918 World Series (Podcast)

september 1918

In October of 2018, we published a podcast, “Let’s Get Weird, Sports #5” that focused on the Spanish Flu and the 1918 World Series, in which the Boston Red Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs. The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe in recent history, actually deadlier than World War I, and it was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin.

The Coronavirus outbreak, and the worldwide hysteria it is causing, are drawing a tremendous mount of comparisons to the Spanish Flu, hence we are re-publishing our podcast from 18 months ago, which is embedded and easily accessed below:

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Marquee Sports Network Debuts Today, Cubs Fan Backlash Strengthens

We’re just hours away now from the start of the Chicago Cubs exhibition season, so you now what that means? Time to like cable carriage fees! And broadcasting license agreements! All that fun stuff that Cubs fans typically associate with the start of spring training games.

We’re joking of course, but this is the world we live in, as Marquee Sports Network commences broadcasting, mere minutes from now. As it stands, Marquee Sports Network STILL has no deal in place with Comcast or Xfinity, and that’s just the start of a long list of service providers who have not reached agreement with MSN. It’s easier and shorter to just run through the list of who is hooked up at this point. And for convenience, here is where you can get Marquee, if any of these are your service provider.

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Cubs Let Nick Castellanos Go, Continue Falling Behind in NL Central

When the Cincinnati Reds dominated the season series against the Chicago Cubs in 2019, it was an upset to say the last. If/when it happens in 2020, it won’t surprising at all. While Nick Castellanos was widely-expected to be a rent a player in 2019, the positive impact he had on the team, both tangibly and intangibly, should have made re-signing him a priority.

He’s the doubles machine of all doubles machines, and his uplifting effect on the club house is difficult to quantify. The Cubs letting him in go is one thing. Letting him go to a NL Central division rival is another. Letting him go, to a rival, and doing nothing to replace him is another animal entirely.

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Backlash Against Marquee Network Story of 2020 Cubs Convention

During his session today at 2020 Cubs Convention, club President of Business Operations Crane Kenney said he feared no boos; not for Marquee Network, nor anything else. Kenney told the assembled crowd he’s been booed before, for several things, including the jumbotron and the team mascot Clark.

The latter reference is poignant as the pants-less but friendly and inviting cartoonish bear was pretty much the headline story of Cubs Convention 2014. Why? Because he was a new addition to the club in a winter when the team made no real new additions to the player roster. The team was coming off a bad season (66-96) and moving towards the next one in which they were projected to be bad (they were, 73-89) again.

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Theo Epstein Says He Wants to Improve the Cubs Roster, but ‘Obstacles’ in Way

Chicago Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts may not be aware of how disgruntled the fan base currently is, but President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein sure is. He understands how malcontent (and deservedly so) Cubs supporters are right now and he’s hoping to get something done between now and opening day that will make the fans feel better about what kind of team they’ll have in 2020.

Epstein, along with his long time business partner, Cubs Vice President and General Manager Jed Hoyer appeared at the first panel on the second day of Cubs Convention. During the session, two fans basically asked the same question, but in different wording, and it’s one of only two Q&As that actually matter right now. Why hasn’t the team done anything at all to improve the roster this offseason?

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Tom Ricketts Doesn’t See How Disconnected He Really is from Cubs Fanbase

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Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, along with his sister Laura, were the first guests to come on stage for Ryan Dempster’s session at the 35th annual Cubs Convention Friday night, an endeavor that appears in the form of a late night talk show.

Ricketts’ intro and exit music was, wait for it, “Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People.” You know this classic 1970s soul tune by its very familiar refrain: “Iiiiiiiiiiiiii am every-day people!” Yes, billionaires! So like us! We can relate to having a family business……..which Charles Schwab buys for $26 billion!

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Chicago White Sox Pull Even with Cubs on World Series Odds

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We could be headed towards a major shift in the balance of power in Chicago baseball. The Chicago White Sox unquestionably won the 2019-20 Major League Baseball off-season, filling important needs in free agency and making sure key players stayed put.

Meanwhile the Chicago Cubs diddled their thumbs for the second consecutive offseason, treating their competitive window with utter neglect. How it all plays out on the field remains to be seen of course, but the odds makers have certainly taken heed.

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Chicago Cubs Following Tottenham Hotspur Business Story Arc

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The date is July 25, 2014; Tottenham Hotspur FC are in Chicago to play the Fire in a friendly at Toyota Park the next night. On this evening, members of Tottenham’s side are doing a public appearance at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Budding face of the franchise and English football Harry Kane throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Cubs take on the San Diego Padres.

Kane, Michael Dawson and Anthony Rizzo do a shirt swap in this Cubs-Spurs international exchange program, but there’s a much bigger reason to revisit a photo-opp five and a half years later. The two franchises, an ocean apart, are set to progress along very similar paths over the next half-decade.

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Chicago Cubs Get Aggressive in Ticket Sales, Demand Likely Decreasing

The ticket sales agents of the Chicago Cubs seem to be more aggressive than usual this offseason. It could be that the franchise is just going more full on Glengarry Glen Ross in their sales tactics for 2020, or it could be that they’re not hitting their quotas and thus have to be overly aggressive.

It’s probably the latter, given the off-the-record conversations we’ve had with numerous Chicago Cubs season ticket holders and perennial purchasers of game tickets. Commons sense tells you that if salesmen and saleswomen are calling you more often than they usually do, well, they’re obviously trying to keep busy because they are NOT occupied by taking and processing orders.

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How David Ross Hire Impacts Chicago Cubs 2020 World Series Odds

david ross jon lester

We’ve seen it time and time again- former catchers make great managers. There are many reasons for that, but primary is the fact that they played one of just two positions directly involved in every single play in the field. The other is pitcher of course, but hurlers have their back turned to everything else that’s going on in the diamond behind them.

Catchers see it all and perhaps that’s why they often develop an enlightened knowledge of and keener sense for the game. The Chicago Cubs are hoping that this will be the case with David Ross, who won the World Series with the club as a player in 2016. Yesterday brought Ross’ official product rollout/launch (a grand exercise in talking without saying anything), something that is formally referred to in the business as an “introductory press conference.”

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