Former Cubs reliever Kyle Farnsworth is now a star football player


Former Cubs reliever Kyle Farnsworth is now a star football player

Former Cubs reliever Kyle Farnsworth always looked like he was made for the gridiron.

Now he actually is a football player.

The 39-year-old Farnsworth is currently a defensive end for the Orlando Phantoms of the Florida Football Alliance. And Farnsworth isn't just playing defensive end in the FFA, he's dominating the position.

Farnsworth leads the Phantoms in tackles (41) and sacks (11). He is also second on the team with seven tackles for a loss. His numbers stack up favorably among the league's best defenders:

Farnsworth's dominance in the FFA shouldn't come as a surprise to many Cubs fans. Standing 6-foot-4 with a chiseled 230-pound frame and equipped with a heat-seeking missile for a fastball, Farnsworth struck fear in his opponents during the prime of his career. Back in 2003, former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Paul Wilson witnessed that firsthand:

While Farnsworth says he's still baseball ready, the Phantoms better hope that MLB teams stay off his radar for at least a few weeks considering they're gearing up for a playoff run. Farnsworth had one his most successful seasons as a reliever in 2001, registering a 2.74 ERA and a career-high 107 strikeouts with the Cubs. Farnsworth last pitched for the Houston Astros in 2014.

Check out some other interesting factoids from around the FFA:

-Farnsworth's teammate Chris Perry is a two-time MVP and one of the most dangerous weapons on the field for the Phantoms. Although it isn't confirmed at this time, he may be the same Chris Perry that starred for the University of Michigan in 2003 and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

-Orlando Rage running back Levi 'Duke' Raines Jr., the FFA's leading rusher, is the nephew of former White Sox great Tim Raines.

-Phantoms wide receiver Chris Berrian is the brother of former Bears wideout Bernard Berrian.

-The league's top wide receiver Speedy Jones (awesome name by the way) was a three-star cornerback recruit for the Auburn Tigers and was one of the top preps track stars in the state of Georgia.

-Palm Beach Makos quarterback Josh McGregor is having quite the season. He leads the league with 34 touchdown passes and 2,285 passing yards.

Javy Baez loses out on NL MVP to Christian Yelich

Javy Baez loses out on NL MVP to Christian Yelich

Javy Baez had an absolutely fantastic 2018 campaign, but he is not the National League MVP.

Brewers star Christian Yelich was deemed the best player in the Senior Circuit, receiving 29 of the 30 first-place votes. Baez finished second with no first-place votes. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado finished third after leading the NL in homers (38) and posting a .935 OPS for a Colorado team that lost out on the division in Game 163 and then beat the Cubs in the NL Wild-Card Game.

It may not be popular with Cubs fans who love them some Javy, but it's easy to see why Yelich will take home the highest yearly honor.

The 26-year-old outfielder enjoyed a special season, leading the league in OPS (1.000), batting average (.326) and WAR (7.6 — FanGraphs), finishing 1.3 WAR above the next highest guy (Anthony Rendon — 6.3). For reference, Baez notched a 5.3 WAR.

Baez led the NL in RBI (111) and was among the league leaders in nearly every offensive category while also filling a huge role for the Cubs playing very good defense all over the infield (104 games at second base, 65 at shortstop, 22 at third base and even played an out at first base). 

It's easy to say Baez was the Cubs' most important and valuable player in 2018 and there's no way they win 95 games or maintain a share of first place through Game 162 without his contributions.

But the Brewers surged past the Cubs in the NL Central in large part because of Yelich, who slashed .372/.451/.762 (1.213 OPS) from July 14 on, driving in 68 runs and hitting 25 homers in only 68 games. He was even hotter over the last two weeks of the season — posting a .488/.621/1.116 slash line (1.737 OPS) while Milwaukee went 11-2 and caught the Cubs from behind. 

With both players under contract through at least the 2021 season in the same division, it'll be interesting to see if they can build off their breakout campaigns and continue to battle against each other for future NL MVP voting.

Bryce Harper professes love for Chicago food and oh hell yeah he's signing here

Bryce Harper professes love for Chicago food and oh hell yeah he's signing here

Ooooohhhhh it's happening. 

Recently, TMZ Sports, your trusted news source for all things sports and all things in general, caught up with superstar free agent Bryce Harper. 

They asked him which city had the best food scene, and his answer was *clearly* an indication of where he's going to sign: 

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We can confirm that fancy steak and deep dish pizza are both delicious, so this checks out. 

Choosing where to spend your life based on nearby food choices is deeply, deeply relatable.