First, a site note: I’m headed to New York this morning for the Blogs with Balls conference (i.e., large online sports media conference at which they are, among other things, presenting the Best Team-Specific Site award that I’ve been bugging you about (hopefully we win, and I’ll let you know as soon as I do – trying to keep my expectations low)) where I hope to pick up some more tips on how to best navigate this here new job of mine, and how to improve the BN experience for all of you. So, while I’ve got a few things in the can for today, posting may be reduced this weekend. Also, the Enhanced Box Scores may be delayed. For those interested, I’ll try to put together a Meta post about my experience some time next week. OK, on to the Bullets…
- Carlos Pena is unsure whether he’ll return to Chicago next season, and, in light of Aramis Ramirez’s declaration that he wants to be a free agent, is a little unsure whether he wants to. “Yes, it’s true I have become emotionally attached to this city and the Cubs,” Pena said. “That’s the way I am. I’ve always put my heart and soul into the teams I play for. Some places are easier than others to do that. I think looking at the thing objectively maybe, maybe [Ramirez will affect my decision]. But the kid in me says what everyone else does has no impact on what my decision will be. I have a tendency to follow the kid in me rather than the analytical part.”
- Phil Rogers says the Cubs should consider a cheap, one-year fill-in at third base for 2012 in the hopes that one of DJ LeMahieu, Ryan Flaherty or Josh Vitters is ready to take over by 2013.
- Mike Quade’s confidence that he’ll be back in 2012 comes not from his contract, which runs through next season, but from the fact that he likes managing, and “think[s he's] good at doing it.” There goes another rubber tree plant.
- Carrie Muskat answers questions, the most frustrating of which is the last. Why isn’t Bryan LaHair seeing any starts at first base? Because Mike Quade is trying to get Carlos Pena to 30 homers. Swell.
- Paul Sullivan recounts the weird moments of the 2011 Chicago Cubs’ season.
- Fluff on the awesomeness of Starlin Castro.