Here are a few news items I've found -- some Cub-related, some not -- along with my thoughts on them; you, of course, are invited to share yours:
- The Cubs purchased the contract of 24-year-old Mets farmhand Angel Pagan, an outfielder with middling speed and decent defensive stats.
COMMENT: This guy is Jose Macias lite -- basically, Triple-A roster filler. Nothing to get excited about. Oddly, although Wade Miller was listed on the 40-man roster when he was acquired on Monday, today his name is gone, and Pagan's is there.
- MLB is considering retiring Roberto Clemente's #21 in honor of Latino players, as they did for Jackie Robinson's #42. Robinson's daughter Sharon says don't do this, because, as she says:
Jackie Robinson was a very unique situation and historical. Clemente did an awful lot of good things and was a terrific ballplayer, but I don't think it's the same type of situation as Jackie Robinson. And if you do it for him, where do you go? Where do you stop? Then you neglect someone and create some big controversy.
COMMENT: Sharon Robinson is right. Roberto Clemente wasn't the first Latino player, and though he did indeed accomplish a lot on and off the field, this isn't the way to honor him.
Frank Thomas signed a one-year deal, with incentives, with the A's.
COMMENT: Thomas' stats for his first ten seasons were not only sure Hall of Fame numbers, but they put him on pace to break several career records. Injuries made him primarily a DH by the age of 30, and now he's played almost the same number of games (960) at DH than he has at 1B (971).
Thomas also has a reputation as a difficult person, dealing not only with his teammates and management, but with the media. He had a "diminished skills" clause put into his contract, then whined when Jerry Reinsdorf actually invoked it.
That said, if healthy, Thomas could put up huge numbers for the A's, a team that has enough good hitters that Thomas won't have to carry them -- and they also draw tons of walks, which could give him big RBI totals if he can play every day.
- Former Rockies pitcher Denny Neagle reached a plea agreement on charges of soliciting a prostitute, and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service.
COMMENT: Neagle's an idiot, and got off easy -- he could have been sentenced to six months in jail.
- Finally, Louis Sockalexis, a Native American ballplayer who played briefly for Cleveland in the 1890's and was viewed in his time as someone with great talent whose career was derailed by alcoholism, may in fact finally be recognized as the very first Native American in the major leagues -- the linked article cites new research showing that James Madison Toy, who is now given that honor, might have in fact been white.
COMMENT: Good. Sockalexis deserves this recognition, because no matter what you may have thought or been brainwashed into thinking by the politically-correct crowd, the Cleveland Indians were named to HONOR Sockalexis and his ancestry.