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Latest news on the free-agent front: the Cubs are apparently interested in lefthander Scott Eyre, who briefly pitched for Dusty Baker in 2002 in San Francisco. Eyre would make a good LOOGY, and an alternative to Will Ohman, who did a pretty good LOOGY job in 2005. The White Sox are also interested, which leads me to tell you this.

Note the AL MVP voting grid linked here.

Note specifically that there are exactly three White Sox on the list -- Paul Konerko, who finished sixth; Scott Podsednik, twelfth; and Jose Contreras, twenty-eighth. None of the three got a single vote higher than third.

What does this tell us? That, despite the thoughts of some that you have to simply write off "assets" and sign "new assets", regardless of cost, that building a winner has more to do with finding the right pieces, the right fits, rather than simply scanning the free-agent list and choosing from it as if you were looking at the proverbial "one from Column A, one from Column B" Chinese restaurant menu.

Of the last five World Champions, only two (the 2001 D'backs and the 2004 Red Sox) were in the upper half of the salary brackets.

Get winning players. If that costs money, fine. If you can get the right players another way, that's great too. Had I said to any of you a year ago, that Podsednik and Contreras would be key contributors to a World Series winner, you'd have laughed in my face.


Yesterday, the Cubs announced the schedule for their annual Caravan, which will visit schools and hospitals in the Chicago area, and various other venues nearby, including meetings with fans in Bloomington, Peoria, Rockford and several spots in northwest Indiana; the dates are January 11 and 12, and details are in the link above.

The Caravan always precedes the Cubs Convention by a couple of days. I note that many of you may be attending the convention. It occurred to Mike, when I was talking to him yesterday, and I agreed, that the convention might be a good time and place to have a BCB get-together.

If any of you are interested in something like this, post in the comments here. If there's enough interest, we can meet at the convention hotel, or if the group is large enough, somewhere nearby if there's no room at the inn, so to speak.