Starlin Castro has reached base in 30 consecutive games. The last Cubs shortstop to do that? Ernie Banks.
- Ryan Dempster says he still hasn’t given much thought to picking up his $14 million option. “I never even thought about that,” Dempster said Saturday about the possibility that Sunday is his final home game at Wrigley Field. “I’m just trying to go out there and win a game tomorrow and let all those things handle themselves …. As a player, you just want to see where everything’s going and what direction they want to go and things like that more than anything. You know how much I love playing here. Hopefully, it’s not just about staying here for next year but staying past next year. I’ll worry about what’s on the field first.”
- Mike Quade being Mike Quade: “Carlos [Pena] has put together a two-week period as good as he has all year. And [he's] driving toward 30 home runs. He’s been a huge part of this ballclub, both on the field and off the field. We need him in the lineup, and obviously [Aramis Ramirez] as well. Those guys, they’ve anchored this club, and where we would be without them I have no idea.”
- ESPNChicago’s Sahadev Sharma – quickly becoming one of my local favorites – has a nice writeup on the Chicago Cubs’ relief corps. When asked about Cubs prospects, I frequently say that the Cubs are loaded with quality relief prospects (which says a lot about every other position), and Sharma’s article notes many of the top names. If the Cubs sign a free agent reliever in the offseason, I will immediately hate the new GM. Sharm says something I – and many others – have been saying for years: “Unless acquiring a dominant closer, it’s unwise to give high-paying long-term deals to a reliever; they rarely seem to work out.”
- Tony LaRussa laughed at the idea that he could manage the Cubs next year.
- Albert Pujols’ and Prince Fielder’s agents are already hard at work battling each other to get top dollar for their client.
- Ryne Sandberg had another good minor league managerial season. If he’s going to replace Charlie Manuel in Philadelphia, though, he’ll have to wait another two seasons, because Charlie apparently isn’t keen on retiring just yet. That said, Sandberg is expected to be invited to join the Phillies’ Major League coaching staff next year. He has already joined the staff for the rest of this season.
- There are a number of articles surfacing about why Jeff Samardzija makes sense for the 2012 rotation, but Sean Marshall doesn’t. We’ve been having that conversation on the Message Board for days. Just sayin’.