You know, I really feel bad for Thanksgiving. No sooner did Halloween end than the Christmas commercials started in earnest. It's almost like Turkey Day turned into the Holiday That Time Forgot. Or at least got completely glossed over. But at least I know a couple of things that I want for Christmas now, courtesy of the latest from around the web:
From Comcast SportsNet:
- What's the next Cubs' apparel craze? Joe Maddon's glasses. And they're apparently now available at an unnamed Wrigleyville store.
- Tony Andracki looks back at some of the best quotes from the Maddon press conference on Monday.
- He also looks at the question that many people ask: What's the actual value of a manager?
- Patrick Mooney gets into the free-agent discussion, saying that the Cubs are comfortable this off-season with signing a player who turned down a qualifying offer.
- With that in mind, he looks at the decision of Russell Martin vs. Welington Castillo.
- Carrie Muskat also joins the fray of free agency talk and also believes that Maddon's hiring will make the Cubs more attractive to free agents.
- Bernie Pleskoff has been watching C.J. Edwards in the Arizona Fall League and gives a positive review of what he's seen.
- Dan Vogelbach has also come to life in the AFL, providing all of the offense in Mesa's win on Tuesday night.
- Jake Arrieta praised the hiring of Joe Maddon, and also said that when it comes to playing in Chicago, there's a lot of interest in the free agent market. No names were mentioned, though, so you'll have to use your imagination.
- And just as a reminder, just because Maddon was hired doesn't mean that Theo Epstein is changing his plan for the team.
- David Schoenfield looks at eight possible teams that could be candidates in a trade for Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.
- And here I was thinking that Jon Lester was going to be the free-agent drinking game: Jesse Rogers explains why Russell Martin makes sense for the Cubs.
From CBS Chicago:
- Theo Epstein spoke on the Mully and Hanley Show on Tuesday morning, and one of the lessons learned is that he probably underestimated how tough it is on new Cubs managers.
- [AUDIO] The full interview is here. The clip is over 17 minutes long, but the actual interview doesn't start until close to the six-minute mark.
- Dan Bernstein concurs with a statement made by Theo Epstein: The organization has priority over any one individual. Reminds me of Star Trek: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one."
- Bruce Levine mentions a free agent the Cubs should keep an eye on: Melky Cabrera.
- And he also chimes in on Russell Martin, primarily focusing on Martin's ability to help develop young pitching staffs and gain the confidence of veterans.
From the Chicago Tribune via RedEye Chicago:
- After Jake Arrieta's breakout performance in 2014, he's preparing for an even better 2015.
- Mark Gonzales talks about five potential free-agent targets. You can probably name all five of them before you click the link.
- And from the "news that isn't really news" department, major changes in the coaching staff are unlikely. And today there is a chance of light followed by a chance of darkness. Same for tomorrow.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Well, they went and changed the look of their site, and in the process they forgot to write anything new about the Cubs. And I think I liked the old look better, so that's a double whammy.
From the Daily Herald:
- Bruce Miles examines the question: What kind of manager did the Cubs get in Joe Maddon?
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello writes about the ways that Maddon is different than the managers that had come before him in the Epstein era.
- He also explains why he thinks the Cubs won't sign Russell Martin.
- Source-gate: Could the Indians be interested in making a bad contract swap for Edwin Jackson?
From Chicago Cubs Online:
- CCO continues its position analysis with a look at the starting pitchers.
- More source-gate: In the search for veteran leadership, two names that may have come up internally were Jonny Gomes and Michael Morse.
- More details on Joe Maddon's contract: There reportedly are incentives in his contract for the Cubs playing in the post-season. And there's no opt-out clause, so no worries about mid-contract interviews around the Cousin Eddie.
From Cubbies Crib:
- Nicholas Blazek turns the clock back 55 years and reflects on the back-to-back MVP awards won by Ernie Banks.
From Cubs Insider:
- Tom Loxas looks at how the Cubs could make a deal with the Royals, possibly with a name like Arismendy Alcantara in the mix.
- Ryan Davis gives his take on how much the Cubs could spend in free agency and where the 2015 payroll will land.
- Here's a lawyer's view of the recent settlement between the Cubs and Billy Cub. And BCB is even included in the sources!
- Now this could be potentially scary: TMZ Sports reports on a recent purchase by Starlin Castro of a 2015 Polaris 1000 all-terrain vehicle. And for the icing on the cake, he added four 24-inch waterproof speakers to it. The thing that surprised me the most about this story was learning that TMZ has a sports division.
Today's food for thought:
- Ever wonder what an owl looks like when it's flying right at your face? If I was the person behind the camera... I'm pretty sure I would have ducked.
- Teddy bears are cute... until you turn them inside-out.
- And if you ever wanted your own life-size replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, you can have one for the the low, low price of $100,000. I'm totally putting that on my BCB Christmas list. Al's got it in the budget somewhere, I'm sure.