"Attention! Attention, please! Have your pencils and scorecards ready, and I will give you the correct lineups for today's ballgame."
The Lead-off Man: paying the Pieper homage department
- Burt Constable: Attention, please. Push on to honor old Cubs voice. This is the 100th anniversary of field announcer Pat Pieper taking on the job. I remember his voice. And his face. He did the famous Babe Ruth called shot [VIDEO] in 1932, and the 1929 World Series [VIDEO].
The First Inning: Tweet in the suite:
- Patrick Mooney: Cubs owner: Mets fans are really, really obnoxious. He really said it -- "I don’t know if you guys know this, but Mets fans are really, really obnoxious," Todd Ricketts said during a Q-and-A session with ownership. Embrace the target.
Todd Ricketts not a Mets fan, neither is his wife. "She really, really hates the Mets."— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) January 16, 2016
So it isn't just the Cardinals. I like it. The Cubs have attitude, all the way down.
Jake Arrieta (@JArrieta34) October 4, 2015
The Second Inning: the Javier Baez story:
Tony Andracki: Try not to suck: Javier Baez takes his swag to center field. He embraces the prospect with typical panache:
Just dont hit it to CF when im there.— Javier Báez (@javy23baez) December 20, 2015
- Bill Chastain: Can Rays turn on the speed? Mailbag questions address Cubs/Rays trade including Baez, reference Phil Rogers article. Nobody's ever said that this line of speculation is done with. The teams seem natural trade partners.
The Third Inning: Depth of perception
- Bruce Miles: "Winning mode" won't change the Cubs' plans to stockpile talent. Why should it? The idea is to keep on winning.
- Patrick Mooney: Cubs still in position to make the big trade when they need it. "This is Year 5 for the Theo Epstein administration and the Cubs still haven’t really sacrificed an elite prospect in assembling a team that advanced to the National League Championship Series last season."
- Jonathon Mayo. Albert Almora on MLB Pipeline's all-defense prospect team. "Almora has gone a bit under the radar. He has future Gold Glove potential as well."
- Jesse Rogers: New Cub Adam Warren in right place at right time. Soooo, let's just call him Mac Rebennack then? He's going to be a big part of the pitching staff. "I want to start but I’ve pitched successfully out of the bullpen as well," he stated.
- Mark Gonzales: Cubs have insurance to guard against pitching injuries. The biggest insurance policies may be the re-signing of Trevor Cahill, the tendering a contract to left-hander Travis Wood, and acquiring Adam Warren from the Yankees.
The Fourth Inning: Don't be fuelish
- Gordon Wittenmyer: Jason Heyward: Cardinal critics entitled to their opinions. Outfielder doesn't add more fuel to fire.
- Rick Morrissey: Hard to imagine Sammy Sosa making a public apology to Cubs, baseball. "At some point, something will happen that will allow us to welcome Sammy back." That "something’’ is an apology or, as Ricketts put it to The Score, "a little bit of honesty.’’
The Fifth Inning: TV or not TV?
- Patrick Mooney: Cubs still planning to launch TV network (but not expecting Dodger megadeal). "Got to get it right," Tom Ricketts said. "Like everything we do, whether it’s Kiss Cams or anything else, we’re studying it to death to look at the pros and cons and weigh the risks of launching on our own, or launching with a partner," added Crane Kenney.
The Sixth Inning: Quid pro Con.
- Jesse Rogers: Love, tears and other observations from 2016 Cubs Convention. "It’s nuts," shortstop Addison Russell said with a smile after one session with some diehards. "These fans are really passionate." "It feels great," Ryne Sandberg said. "Chicago is my home and I’m a Cub." "She really, really hates the Mets," Todd Ricketts stated, referring to his French-Canadian wife Sylvie.
- Kyle Thele: The first look at the 2016 Cubs at Cubs Convention. "The regular season may still be four months away, but for some fans baseball season is already starting. For the Cubs, things got rolling over the weekend with the annual Cubs Convention."
- Rick Telander: Cubs get an Amen at convention. "I swear, all this thing needed was a canvas tent above it, a grassy field around it filled with cars and bikes and walkers and baby strollers and crutches, and you had ‘‘Brother Ricketts’ Traveling Salvation Show.’’ Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies, everyone goes, everyone loves Brother Tom's show... Telander acts like it's a bad thing.
- Evan Altman: Cubs Convention Recap: New Cubs receive warm welcome, give love back. "It was clear from the start that all five men were impressed with the reception they had received since donning royal blue pinstripes. And judging from the standing-room-only crowd, the fans were just as impressed with their new stars."
- Evan Altman: Cubs Convention Recap: Joe Maddon and coaching staff talk strategy, Kyle Schwarber's future before things got awkward.
2016 slogan?: pic.twitter.com/lHw8ar94AH— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) January 16, 2016
The Seventh Inning: The Kids Are Alright
Kyle Thele: Anthony Rizzo plans on spoiling his coming niece or nephew like crazy.
- Carrie Muskat: Edwards thankful to watch Cubs' 2015 run. Carl Edwards Jr. was with the Cubs for the entire 2015 postseason, but he never pitched an inning. Instead, he had the opportunity to see what it was like to play October baseball, and the experience was priceless. "The crazy thing is, nothing changed," Edwards said of the Cubs' players approach during the postseason. "Nobody put pressure on themselves. It was the same baseball from when I first got called up."
- Bruce Levine: Kris Bryant's whirlwind offseason about to end. "It’s important not to look at the negatives when you play this game. I am a pretty positive person. I think last year was a really good year for me. I hope to have an even better one," said the Cubs’ young star.
- Brett Taylor: Kris Bryant talks about his service time grievance and his role. The Cubs' star has a few words to say about this and that.
The Eighth Inning: The brushbach effect -- speculative friction
- Jim Bowden [Insider -- $]: Four trades I'd like to see. The Cubs one involves Ender Inciarte and Julio Teheran. In exchange, Atlanta acquires Jorge Soler and pitching prospect Ryan Williams. Hmm. What do you think?
- Tim Baffoe: Let's imagine how a Jake Arrieta arbitration hearing would go. Yes, let's please do. I admit it, I laughed out loud. I had to read it three times to get all of the jokes.
- Jared Wyllys: (Is there) room for Chris Coghlan on defense? Given that he'll be on the roster, the problem lies with what to do with Coghlan to get him on the field and to the plate as much as is possible.
- Michael Cerami: Arbitration: Final settlement numbers, next steps for Cubs and Jake Arrieta. If there is no agreement to be had, arbitration hearings are scheduled to begin in February. A Theo Epstein-led front office has never gone to arbitration with a player.
The Ninth Inning: A View from the top.
- Michael Cerami: Jed Hoyer speaks: Baez in center, pitching versatility, playable prospects, more. Hoyer took some time to speak to Spiegel and Goff on 670 the Score and addressed the possibility of more moves, the additions of Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward, the bullpen, and the important role Javier Baez will play on the Major League roster.
- Fran Spielman: (Rahm) Emanuel urged to reject Cubs' request to shot down Addison and Clark on game days.
- Ernie Palladino: A sincere NYC apology to Cubs Co-Owner Todd Ricketts. "Well, to paraphrase the words of the great Steve Martin, "Excu-u-u-u-u-se Us!" Har. Har de har.
Food for thought:
- Brain snacks. Things that are thought to be good for your thought.
- The votes are in: Exoplanets get new names. On December 15, the International Astronomical Union announced the winners of a contest to name the planets and suns of 20 systems.
- Why Spider-man can't exist. B-b-b-but radioactive spider!
That was the weekend that was. See you in the funny pages.