In come the Cardinals to face a team that somehow won a dozen games against playoff contenders and then lost two of three to the Houston Astros. Who knows how it will play out? One tip: don’t pitch to Pujols, Mike.
- Gordon Wittenmyer says that Tom Ricketts will “address the media” during this homestand, and the issues discussed will include Jim Hendry’s status and Carlos Zambrano quitting on the team. The statement is slipped into an article about Mike Quade’s travails as manager, though, so I’m not sure if this is just Wittenmyer speculating, or if that’s indeed what he’s heard. Bruce Levine had been the only beat writer reporting on the upcoming “announcement,” so this is at least confirmation that it will be happening. What exactly will be said remains a mystery. I checked with a source who said Ricketts is keeping this one very, very close to the vest.
- A handful of articles are coming out in the local press, speculating that Jim Hendry will return in 2012. I tend to think they’re a bit more about generating controversy – and, thus, interest – than they are about a genuine belief that Hendry will be back. Paul Sullivan says Jim Hendry is smiling a bit too much for a guy who’s about to lose his job, and Bruce Miles says Hendry’s work on the draft demonstrates he’ll be back. I’ll be doing a full write-up of the latter article and it’s many, many flaws (why, Bruce, why? I always liked you!), but I thought I’d share now in case Ricketts’ “announcement” comes before I can finish it.
- As expected, the Players’ Association has filed a grievance against the Cubs on behalf of Carlos Zambrano. There is no timetable yet for a hearing.
- In Carrie Muskat’s most recent inbox, she suggests that it is “very possible” that Aramis Ramirez will be back in 2012, and similarly sees Carlos Pena returning. I’m not sure if she’s basing this on much more than popular sentiment at this time, but she also says the Cubs are unlikely to be players for either Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder.
- Prepare to swoon. Newly-drafted $2.5 million stud, Dillon Maples, on his impression of Chicago sports after a recent visit to the city from his home in North Carolina: “The White Sox seem kind of secondary to the Cubs.” For the love of God, please don’t blow your arm out, kid.
- Slipped into a piece about the Cubs’ draft and how it reflects Tom Ricketts’ long-range plan for the organization, Phil Rogers notes that the Cubs signed Curacao teenager Christopher Pieters for $350k, adding to an already impressive stable of international signings this year, including Mark Malave ($1.6 million) and Enrique Acosta ($1.1 million).
- Matt Garza is a “lunatic” and wants to stay with the Cubs long term. I’m not really sure why those are two separate points.
- Bleed Cubbie Blue with a good article on why it’s time for Jim Hendry to go, despite his awesomeness as a person.