No, not Led Zeppelin. My gifts to you:
From Comcast Sportsnet Chicago:
- Can Jason Heyward handle the pressure of the largest contract in Cubs history? "Every time money comes up, I feel like the media talks about it way more than I'm thinking about it," Heyward said at his introductory press conference in Chicago last week. How the outfielder embraces the target will go a long way toward determining the team's success overall.
From CBS Chicago:
- Bruce Levine: Is Dexter Fowler still a fit for the Cubs? "Judging by the moves made by team management so far this offseason, it would appear that the train has left the station without Fowler on board for 2016." But.
- CBS Sports: Mike Axisa: Is this Sammy Sosa's final year on the HOF ballot? Pros and cons of the case for/against Sosa and his contemporaries.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Buster Olney [INSIDER - $]: Ten most notable MLB stories. #2 is notable - The Cardinals versus the Cubs.
- Jim Bowden [INSIDER - $]: Imagine the Cubs with Jose Fernandez. "...his trade value will never be higher than right now." It would likely cost Javier Baez and Jorge Soler, for starters.
- Phil Rogers: NL Central is most competitive in MLB. "Do the Cubs really think they can beat the Cardinals at their own business?" Yes, Phil. Yes, they do. And they very well might.
- Happy Holidays from the Chicago Cubs. [VIDEO]
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello: A rivalry awakens: Cardinals grappling with Cubs' challenge to the old order. "By the time the playoffs came around, the Cubs were ready." No joke any more. Wait 'til next year.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Michael Cerami: Believe it or not, the Cubs have the top projected rotation for 2016. "According to MLB.com’s Paul Casella (utilizing the 2016 Steamer Projections), the Chicago Cubs will be the best starting staff in all of baseball, by WAR."
- Brett Taylor: Expect Cubs to pull starters early, and other bullets. Not so many digressions. Discussion of Cub-related topics.
From Cubs Insider:
- Michael Canter: The rundown: Cubs have allegedly received naming rights offers for Wrigley, Cardinals sign Leake, miscellaneous moves and notes. "I was told yesterday that the Cubs have allegedly received offers in excess of one billion dollars to lease the naming rights to Wrigley Field for twenty years."
- Evan Altman: On Theo Epstein's value and why the Cubs should just hand him a blank check. The title says it all. A discussion of the importance of the President of Baseball Operations.
- Leake on Cubs: "I wouldn't mind taking them down." You don't tug on Superman's cape?
- Adam Warren learned of trade watching tv while on vacation. Warren said his biggest rule when leaving the country is to turn off his phone, so it wasn't until watching TV at the hotel bar that he learned he was traded.
- "Bryzzo." Chicago Cubs young guns Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo certify BFF joint name. Let's don't, please.
- Projecting Pitching Matchups: Cubs and Cards 2016 as they stand. David N. Wilson analyzes the situation. "The Cubs have a great cadre of relief pitchers, and other options for the starting rotation that will no doubt shift things one way or the other."
- The best Christmas for "a baseball love story". George Castle strikes again. "If you didn’t like, if not love, Verlon 'Rube' Walker, you weren’t trying."
- Chicago Cubs: Prospect Dan Vogelbach could draw interest from the Red Sox. For Boston Red Sox designated hitter, David Ortiz, his time in Major League Baseball will come to an end after the 2016 campaign.
- The revitalization of Trevor Cahill. Owen Watson/Fangraphs provides elucidation. "For Cahill, maybe this is another evolutionary step in a game that requires a lot of them."
- Three trade rumors that keep popping up involving Cubs. Ray Fischer examines the Gladys Kravitz grapevine.
- Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers looking for ways to make Jose Fernandez trade happen.
- Cardinals manager leaves St. Louis to become Cubs first base coach. Heckle this.
Food for Thought:
- 11 weird and wonderful Christmas tree patents. "For much of that time, the Christmas tree has been simple: a live tree, some ornaments. Not much to improve on, right?" Wrong.
- International Space Station crew receives Christmas delivery. "Once the crew completes leak checks, the hatches will be opened, allowing them to unload the cargo." No chimneys on that "house".
- Deck the Halls with Science. "You are decorating your home; why not add a little science while trimming the tree?"
I like to give the gift of music for the holidays. The last three years, I've written one and performed/recorded three Xmas tunes. Here they are for your possible listening pleasure:
2015: Do You Hear What I Hear?
2014: Carol of the Bells
Thanks for reading, and happy holidays.