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Tuesday Morning Miscellaneous

Phil Rogers confirms this morning my post from yesterday that the Cubs are hot after Kosuke Fukudome:

There's a lot of talk about Fukudome, the Japanese free-agent center fielder. Word is the Cubs are very much in pursuit of him, in part because he's a left-handed hitter and an on-base machine.

Fukudome sat out part of 2007 with an elbow injury but still wound up hitting .294 with 13 homers and a .443 on-base percentage for the Chunichi Dragons. He has hit for power in Japan (31 homers in 130 games in 2006), but some U.S. scouts compare him to Seattle outfielder Raul Ibanez, who has had three seasons of 105-plus RBIs but only one hitting more than 24 home runs.

I'd take an Ibanez clone, wouldn't you? Rogers goes on to say, however, that a Fukudome signing would allow the Cubs to "use Felix Pie in a significant trade, possibly with San Diego for shortstop Khalil Greene. But, like the Cubs' reported interest in Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, that's all speculation."

Not about Kuroda -- not from what I hear, that deal could be close to happening. And Pie's not going anywhere. If anything, a Fukudome signing would go a long way to shipping Jacque Jones out the door.

Last week, I spoke to Steve Marantz of; he's interviewed other bloggers including Larry Borowsky of Viva El Birdos and MSM journalists Rick Morrissey and Susan Slusser, among others. We talked about blogging and the Cubs, and for some reason he also wanted to know what my favorite restaurants were. You can read the entire interview here.

At last! The Blackhawks get out of the 1950's by putting seven home games on TV this year, starting with Sunday's game vs. Detroit on CSN, and in the future:

the team will be looking to add a local over-the-air television channel to combine with CSN to televise perhaps as many as 70 games next season.

CSN still would show the bulk of the games, but a smaller package would be pitched to channels such as WCIU-Ch. 26 and WPWR-Ch. 50. WCIU already airs a limited schedule of White Sox, Cubs and Bulls games.

And their timing is impeccable, because with several really good young players, the Blackhawks, who have been no more than a blip on the Chicago sports radar screen for years, might at last start to become worth watching again -- now that you actually can do so.

Finally, you don't often find Cub-related items in Michael Sneed's political and entertainment oriented gossip column. But today, buried beneath another Kobe Bryant item (allegedly, he's buying Michael Jordan's Highland Park house), there was this item of interest:

Dateline: The Hotline II --Hmmm. Real estate mogul Donald Trump is acting like he wants a firmer foothold in Chicago and claiming he's eying a possible Chicago Cubs bid.
  • To wit: The Trumpster talked about his dugout dreams during opening remarks at a Donald E. Stephens Convention Center seminar Sunday evening in Rosemont.
  • The whack: The ego man shot a barb at billionaire Mark Cuban, who is part of a group hoping to buy the Cubbies, by chiding him for not winning anything in his life.
  • The smack: Trump told the audience he was going to look into buying the Cubs Monday morning.
Trump? Buying the Cubs? No thanks. To me, that'd be having Mark Cuban-like ownership, only with worse hair.