Sorry everyone... I'm absolutely swamped with work, so no witty intro this time. You'll have to settle for a boatload of links, instead.
From Comcast SportsNet
- As you know by now, the Cubs hired Rob Deer as assistant hitting coach. What does it mean? CSN looks at why the Cubs jumped on a growing trend. And Jed Hoyer thinks the Cubs will connect with Deer.
- With the Cubs solidifying their rotation, much of the attention turns to what options the Cubs have at third base.
- Third base might be a spot... but the Cubs are definitely going to keep shopping. That link also has video from Patrick Mooney's appearance on this year's debut of Chicago Hot Stove.
- The Cubs have completely redone the playing surface at Wrigley. That article also notes that Darwin Barney and Brett Jackson are among the Cubs hard at work at the team complex in Arizona.
- Pat Hughes visited CTL to talk about Ron Santo and other topics.
- Sosa to the HoF?
- The Nationals got a lot of bad press for giving Jayson Werth a... um... healthy contract as a free agent. Patrick Mooney argues the Cubs are going to have to sign their own Jayson Werth.
From the Chicago Tribune
- Phil Rogers says the Hall of Fame needs to provide voters with clarity in regards to alleged and actual steroid users.
- If you're a fan of Theo-worship buzzwords, this article about the Cubs' Winter Meeting shopping list is a must read. The Cubs expect to be busy at the meetings, looking to pursue "pitchers across the spectrum."
- You know why you love the Q&As some beat writers do with fan questions? So you can find out why the Cubs sold their most dangerous hitter (from the first half) to Japan. I think it was a serious question. There were others of varying level of interest.
- Carrie Muskat chatted with MLB.TV about who might end up playing third base for the Cubs.
- Lee Smith is looking to close in on the Hall of Fame.
- Garza, Shark, Baker, Feldman, Wood. So the Cubs rotation is full, right? In the spirit of an ESPN colleague... Bruce Levine says, not so fast, my friend.
- Sammy Sosa belongs in the Hall of Fame... so argues Jon Greenberg.
From Cubs Den
- We've already chatted about this, but trading Starlin Castro for Giancarlo Stanton might make sense.
- A collection of nuggets on hiring Rob Deer, who might be available for the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft, whether Rick Porcello could be a Cub, whether Michael Bowden is a starter, and which body part really caused the Dan Haren deal to fall through.
- Many people will be excited to hear that the Cubs are aggressively pursuing Jeff Keppinger to play third base.
- More notes... more on the Feldman signing, what is Castro's trade value?, what's the Cubs' TV situation?, and what's happening with non-tenders (both coming and going).
- When I teach, I assign readings. Here at BCB... I'd like to assign this John Arguello article about how a rebuild works and how the Cubs are likely to work through the process. I know there are still plenty of people who won't agree with the process / choice to rebuild. But I will hold out the slightest hope that this article might limit some of the many misrepresentations running around. Naive, I know... but I must maintain hope.
- A Japanese closer appears to be down to the Cubs and Angels.
From the Daily Herald
- Welcome to the party, Bruce Miles! Bruce has some nuggets as well, many of which are rehash. But check out the bottom to find out what soccer, Billy Beane, ice, and Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa have to do with the Cubs.
- And Bruce says the Feldman signing settles the Cubs' rotation.
Today's food for thought
- Cats always land on their feet, right? And yet some people aren't happy about tossing cats out of a perfectly good airplane (with a parachute). Jenny Moos is great at these kinds of stories, by the way.