Starlin Castro is at 199 hits, which gives us all a reason to watch the games (thin, though it may be). String it out, kid.
- Mike Quade says he expects to be managing the Cubs in 2012. ‘‘Why would I [believe that I'll be gone next year]? We’re going to play today, and I’m going to be back. There’s no other way to look at it …. I’m not going to wax nostalgic. I plan to be back, and I plan to do a good job next year.” Make your “back… in the stands?” jokes here. But, what was Quade supposed to say? He’s got one more year on his contract.
- In the same breath, Quade says he’s not sure he sees Carlos Zambrano back with the Cubs. “He is a good pitcher, and you know we miss that,” Quade said. “But the situation dictated how we handled it. After what took place, it needed to be addressed, and it was …. I don’t know that [Zambrano would fit back with the Cubs]. That’s a tough question for me to answer. Will he fit in? I’d like his arm back, but it would be tough for him to come back. If he did, so be it. That’s out of my hands. I’m not calling the shot. [Chairman Tom Ricketts] was on record as to what he said.” Ricketts said he didn’t expect Zambrano back.
- Arizona Instructional ball is about to get under way, and there are a huge number of interesting names participating, including top Dominican prospects Jeimer Candelario and Carlos Penalver. A number of prospects will be playing professional ball for the first time, including 16-year-old international bonus babies (kids who got a huge signing bonus) Mark Malave and Luis Acosta, as well as overslot draft picks Dillon Maples and Shawon Dunston, Jr. Other top picks, including first rounder Javier Baez and second rounder Dan Vogelbach will also participate. The Cub Reporter has the full list.
- Derrick Goold goes to great lengths to construct a tortured defense of Ryan Theriot as a successful starting shortstop this year, despite the fact that the Cardinals had to go out and trade for Rafael Furcal just so they could replace Theriot at short. And, yet, this organization is consistently better than the Cubs. Sigh.
- Jayson Stark polled a handful of executives about where top free agents Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Jose Reyes will land next year – Cardinals, Nationals, and Giants, respectively.
- Keith Moreland says he had an unbelievable first year teaming up with Pat Hughes in the Cubs’ radio booth. Good for him (genuinely) – it was pretty believable for the rest of us.
- Once again, the Cubs topped 3 million in paid attendance this season, even if just 2/3 of that number actually showed up to the games.
- A great article from Ken Rosenthal (he’s so much better in print than in person) on the evolution and current status of ‘Moneyball’ concepts. Really interesting read.