Be nice to the fill-in Cub Tracks writer, won't you please? It's been rather quiet in advance of the Winter Meetings beginning next Monday, other than persistent Jon Lester rumors.
From Comcast SportsNet:
- Now that the non-tender deadline has passed, other roster issues are coming to the forefront, writes Patrick Mooney.
- The Cubs are going before the city Landmarks Commission today with new signage proposals. It'll only be news if it's not approved.
- Carrie Muskat has another summary of where we stand in the Jon Lester derby.
- Joe Maddon is heading to the Winter Meetings with Theo & Jed.
From CBS Chicago:
- Bruce Levine sums up the "Jon Lester Noise" (could be a rock band name!) and specifically quotes Jed Hoyer on how long they've known Lester and how "special" management thinks he is.
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello shares thoughts on Jon Lester and non-tendered free agents and wonders if the Cubs could "rummage" the potential surplus.
From Chicago Cubs Online:
- The CCO has an intriguing look at batting the pitcher eighth in the lineup, something Joe Maddon did in all three games his Rays played at Wrigley Field last August. Hmmm. Could we have another Tony La Russa-type lineup constructor in the home dugout at Wrigley next year?
From Cubbies Crib:
- Interested in a rare game-worn Ernie Banks jersey? There's one up for auction. But Nicholas Blazek says you'll pay a lot for this gem.
- Kris Medlen used to be a pretty good pitcher. Then he got hurt. The Cubs have bought low on a number of guys like this, and Jacob Misener wonders if Medlen could be another such candidate.
From Chicago Cubs 101:
- Tim Duxbury grades the Cubs' offseason so far What offseason, you're asking? Why, the Tommy La Stella trade. (You might not agree with his grade.)
From Cubs Insider:
- Evan Altman on the somewhat sad history of Cubs backup catchers.
- The South Bend Cubs are unveiling their new logo and apparel in a news conference today at 2 p.m. ET, which is open to the general public at their ballpark, Four Winds Field. In or near South Bend? Go to the n/c and take some photos!
- Joe Maddon's Twitter account, which had been "RaysJoeMaddon" when he managed at Tampa Bay, had been changed to "Maddonini" after he left that club. Now he'll be known as CubsJoeMadd.
- New Cubs hitting coach John Mallee put on a hitting clinic in Elkhart, Indiana and did a detailed Q&A with writer Steve Krah about what makes for a successful hitter.
- Ever heard of vavel.com? Neither had I before I found this article by Dan Schmelzer suggesting the Cubs should take a flyer on power hitter Kyle Blanks. Intriguing idea for a NRI, I'd say. (And here's a discussion of using the word "flyer" vs. "flier" in this context. I choose "flyer.")
- ICYMI on the FanShot bar, BCB's Mike Bojanowski put together an updated Wrigley rendering showing the new sign positions plus adding the new Jumbotron sponsor.
Today's food for thought:
- These colorful photos look like modern abstract art, but they're actual buildings, mainly in Europe.
- Ever wonder what happens to the food you throw away? Insects eat it. Lots of it. You should probably not click on that link just before lunch.
- You probably know that movie producers and directors do lots of retouching of actors and actresses. But you probably didn't know how much. Here's how much -- more than you might have ever guessed.