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The battle for the 2012 Number One Pick begins today. I can almost feel the Uruk Hai pounding their spears into the earth as the rain begins to fall.

  • Aramis Ramirez reportedly met with Cubs management yesterday, and reiterated his desire to remain in Chicago. I’m not sure whether this means anything more, or whether it’s simply more posturing. All I do know: if the Cubs were able to trade Ramirez, they could get a serious haul.
  • Teams are inquiring about Marlon Byrd, but, with Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome also on the block, the Cubs are reluctant to trade Byrd. I can actually get behind that – who better to mentor the young players coming up than Marlon Byrd? That said, if Byrd has serious value (and I believe he does in this particular market), and it looks like the Cubs won’t be able to move *both* Soriano and Fukudome, I will be greatly disheartened if they don’t make a serious push toward dealing Byrd.
  • Carlos Pena might fit best with the Pirates (ironically, in an article about the surge in guesses and rumors this time of year).
  • Phil Rogers suggests the Cubs trade Aramis Ramirez to the White Sox, which would alleviate his stated concerns about leaving Chicago. It’s not a completely implausible suggestion… until he gets to the part where the Cubs are taking on Jake Peavy. Nah. Nah.
  • It’s a mailbaggy kind of day, with Paul Sullivan and Carrie Muskat each responding to reader mail. Each sticks to his/her general MO – Sullivan gets good questions, and answers them with quips; Muskat gets ridiculous questions, and answers them deadpanned seriously (obviously I exaggerate in each case, but you get my drift). A favorite from each: Sullivan offers the “remote control” as an answer to various, visible problems with the Cubs; Muskat describes the difference between a splitter and a forkball.
  • And, hey, if you ever want to shoot me an email with questions, hit me up at brett[AT]bleachernation.com. I’ll try to be neither quippy nor deadpanny.
  • Fishin Phil

    How many Cub blogs manage to sneek in a Tolkien reference? Nice job Brett.

  • Toosh

    If the Cubs play their cards right and lose 8 out of 9 or so to the Astros in their last 3 series, they might end up with the worst record in baseball. Continuity!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Would that be a good thing or a bad thing?

      • Toosh

        I was thinking the same thing as I was writing that. I don’t know if it would be good or bad, but I want to see Ricketts clean house. Maybe if the Cubs end up with the worst record in baseball it might make him do SOMETHING.

      • Joe

        At this point I would say good…might cause them to re-evaluate who is valuable to this team this offseason from Kenney down to the last guy in Rookie Ball…Also would get the #1 pick next year and after this years draft – YIPPIE!

        • Joe Cartwright

          Oh no! Another “Joe”! Oh well, let it be known that I will now go by Joe Cartwright!

          • MichiganGoat

            Or as Q would call you “Carty”

            • Joe Cartwright

              I think Quade just everyone’s name to rhyme with his.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            This reminds me, for some reason – where has Ian been?

            • Laura

              I was thinking the same thing.

  • David

    I was going to say that you should have a Q&A session Ace.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Anytime.

  • MichiganGoat

    I don’t get Ramirez right now. He is performing at an MVP rate the last 40+ days, he is in his final year, and he could get traded to a contender and have a postseason to add to his value. If I was a GM considering signing him to a multi-year deal next year, I’d be concerned by his lack of desire to compete, to challenge himself, and to win. We have been complaining of his lack of interest for years and I see this posturing as a continuation of his lackadaisical attitude. He has gone from stating he would refuse a trade, to only accepting a trade if his option would not vest, to wanting an extension and stay a Cub. I’m tired of this double-speak and all these public statements. He has been the only Cub that has made a series of newspeak comments, the rest have given the very professional “it’s out of my hands, I will do what’s best for the team, I want to win” lines (even Soriano). Honestly if I was Cub brass I’d tell him that if he doesn’t accept a trade, he’d been benched regularly so we could evaluate our 3B prospects…and that would seriously damper his FA power.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      In his (small) defense, these latest comments come via a “source” in “Ramirez’s camp.” He didn’t actually come out and say it (again).

      • MichiganGoat

        That just supports my issue with him, he allows his camp and himself to doublespeak without a consistent vision or message. It’s gotten to the point it’s impossible to believe anything that’s being said.

  • TSB

    Actually, the Cub infield is not that bad. Why not keep them? But of course, it’s always been the Cub fans’ mantra to want to trade any player, no matter how good , for “prospects”.

  • ReiCow

    Have you ever considered doing a weekly Q&A/mailbag or questions from us?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sure – and I absolutely would, but I get questions relatively infrequently. Maybe if I solicit them…

      • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

        So, Ace… what are you wearing right now?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          You joke, but I choose to answer seriously because it makes me chuckle:

          In addition to shorts (not pajama pants), I’m wearing a t-shirt that says “Snakehole Lounge” on it. Fifty imaginary BN points to whoever knows where that comes from without looking it up.

          (and then calls me a nerd, which I’ve now demonstrated myself to be for the third time in two days)

          • http://www.jenestes.com Jen

            As heir to the Snakehole dynasty, one Ms. Janet Snakehole could answer this quite easily.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Ha. Awesome.

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