Yogi does Yoga. Hey Boo-Boo! I can't bear any more puns. On to the news.
From ComCast Sportsnet Chicago:
- Patrick Mooney: Youth movement will pay off in 2016. "The Hall of Fame shutout for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens...reinforces the idea this is a young man’s game again." So, PEDS=old guys? Wut? Some points raised, but consciousness lowered.
- Mooney: Sammy Sosa stays on the ballot for another year. Speaking of PEDs... "Sammy Sosa used to love the spotlight, but now it feels like his name only comes up in the Cooperstown voting or with the Cubs Convention question." Ah, that question. Yes. See below.
From CBS Chicago:
- Everybody who's anybody in the Cubs organization will be at the Cubs Convention. "If you were wondering which headliners and big names will be in featured at the 31st annual Cubs Convention that starts next Friday, the answer is yes." See above. A host of luminaries, and one player with the initials S.S., but a notable exception.
- Tom Ricketts on Sosa, players of PED era: "They owe us a little honesty." "There’s no change in the strained relationship between the Cubs and former slugger Sammy Sosa."
- Bruce Levine: Dexter Fowler continues to play the waiting game. Either Chicago team could conceivably figure into his future. Both clubs would be stronger on defense with their center fielders in right field.
- Levine: Tom Ricketts says he's talked with Theo Epstein about a contract extension. "Ricketts, a guest on 670 The Score’s 'Inside the Clubhouse,' talked on various subjects including his top baseball executive and the front office he has put together." Includes interview [AUDIO].
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers: Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist among convention attendees. Apparently this convention thing is kind of a big deal.
- Eno Sarris [Insider -- $]: Why the Cubs shouldn't trade Jorge Soler. "He's actually one of 2016's best breakout candidates." Just keep him upright.
- Bold Predictions -- 2016 National League. "If ESPN.com's MLB experts are correct, it'll be a banner year for Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper -- and for the Chicago Cubs."
- Rogers: Sosa falls short of the Hall again. Sosa has hovered around 7 percent since earning 12.5 percent in his first year of eligibility in 2013.
- Carrie Muskat: Ben Zobrist among headliners at Cubs Convention. New Cubs Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, John Lackey, and Adam Warren will attend the 31st Cubs Convention on Jan. 15-17, which will feature a seminar with Hall of Famers Ryne Sandberg, Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams.
- Muskat: Annual Cubs Caravan begins Wednesday. "Joe Maddon will open the Cubs Caravan by shopping, preparing and serving a traditional home-cooked Italian dinner to homeless community members at the Chicago Help Initiative..."
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Tim Bannon: Jason Heyward, John Lackey, Kris Bryant headline Cubs Convention. "More than 75 Cubs players, coaches, executives and alumni are expected at the 31st annual event. Anthony Rizzo has yet to make a prediction for 2016."
- Tracy Swartz: Cubs nutrition consultant to appear on "My Diet is Better Than Yours." Cubs nutrition consultant Dawn Jackson Blatner is slated to appear as a health expert on the new ABC weight-loss competition "My Diet is Better Than Yours, Thursday at 8 p.m.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Gordon Wittenmyer: Manny Ramirez on PEDs, Hall. "Sometimes you think you're doing right, but you're not." Next year Mark McGwire is off the ballot, and Manny Ramirez takes his place, for the first of potentially 10 shots at the Hall of Fame through voting of the baseball writers. When it comes to his Hall of Fame chances, Ramirez has no better chance than McGwire did.
- Rick Morrissey: Why is Sammy Sosa's cheating status so low among Hall of Fame voters? "Sosa is eighth on the all-time home-run list with 609. He was a seven-time All-Star and a former National League most valuable player. How do you ignore that if you’re a voter who doesn’t view steroids as an evil?"
- Cubs release their featured guests for the 2016 Cubs Convention. No word on where they were released from. But I hear that the list of attendees is both long and luminous.
From Cubs Den:
- Jared Wyllys: A look at year two WAR expectations. The sophomore jinx theory explored in part, using projections for Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Michael Cerami: A great profile on Jake Arrieta from Sahadev Sharma. I understand it is better than John Barrymore's profile. Who can possibly get enough good stuff to read about Jake Arrieta? Cerami reviews article. See below.
- Brett Taylor: Visualizing and Discussing the Exit Velocities for Chicago Cubs Positional Starters. "One of the more fun factoids we’d all shout out there during games last year was the exit velocity of a particularly well-scorched ball."
From Cubs Insider:
- Evan Altman: The Cubs shouldn't/can't re-sign Dexter Fowler. "He doesn’t fit with the team as it’s currently constructed."
- Todd Johnson: New Smokies skipper Mark Johnson is moving up the managerial ladder. "Are the Cubs grooming Mark Johnson to be a coach at the major league level?" Good question, in view of things like Theo Epstein's profuse praise of the man.
- Zach Bernard: Redefining Sammy Sosa's baseball legacy. "Sosa is now a relic of the past, one which the Cubs brass have made it clear they’d rather keep there."
- Sahadev Sharma: Great profile on Jake Arrieta. See above. Theo Epstein: "I probably shouldn’t have gotten half an hour into this press conference without giving kudos to him for just an incredible, breakthrough season." Love, SABR Style.
- Chris Kulawik, Chicago Cubs Online: Cubs have a blueprint to follow for sustained success. Ruminations about the Cubs modifying the Cardinals' strategies.
- Cubs sign 1B Jesus Guzman to minor-league contract. "An NRI should be included in his contract."
- Lazero Armentos held first showcase Friday. Lazarito is a potential five-tool player that has been compared to a 16-year old Bryce Harper.
- David Miniel: What kind of season will Kyle Hendricks have in 2016? A look into the scrying glass.
- Starlin Castro wants to see the Cubs again -- in the opposing dugout, during the World Series.
"And to my old city, Chicago, I want to thank you for such an amazing experience. I'll always hold Chicago close to my heart. And hey — maybe I'll still visit sometime.
Oh, the feels.
Food for thought:
and so it goes.