The good news if you’re a schadenfreuder is that the Diamondbacks beat the Brewers yesterday to force a Game Five in their NLDS series. The bad news is that the Cardinals did the same to the Phillies.

  • Carlos Zambrano says he does talk to new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen almost every day, but (I think) denies that the talks are about brining Zambrano to Miami (the article is in Spanish, so if anyone wants to help out my translation, drop a comment). Because Zambrano remains under contract with the Cubs, Guillen is prohibited by MLB’s tampering rules from discussing Zambrano joining the Marlins.
  • Bob Brenly is clearly on a post-season candidness tour. Latest stop? Destroy Aramis Ramirez Station. Back on Waddle and Silvy, Brenly lit into the possibly-departing Cubs third baseman. “He’s a numbers gatherer,” Brenly said. “He gets his stats at the end of the year every year, but, defensively, he’s just fallen off the face of the earth. As a baserunner he kills you. He’s a log jammer on the bases, and I’m not buying any of this leadership for Starlin Castro stuff at all …. It’s hard to think back recently, especially last year, and remember any big RBIs that he had or any period of time where they won a lot of games because of the way Aramis was swinging the bat …. A lot of pitchers would never go public with this information … double-play balls that aren’t turned because Aramis takes so long to get rid of the ball to get it to second base. He’s gotten a number of second baseman just clobbered out there on double-play attempts. In the grand scheme of things, it may seem like a small thing. But, over 162 games, the double plays that you don’t turn that lead to more pitches for your pitcher, that lead to more opportunities for the opposition.
  • Brett Jackson came in at number four on Baseball America’s list of top Southern League prospects (AA, where Jackson spent the first half of his year), behind only playoff superstars, Matt Moore and Paul Goldschmidt, and Diamondbacks’ stud, Tyler Skaggs.
  • Jackson also shows up as one of Fangraphs’ guesses for 2012 Rookie of the Year.
  • Greg Maddux isn’t thinking much about his future with the Cubs’ organization right now. Instead, he’s dealing with his daughter’s serious health issues. Thoughts go out to the Maddux family.
  • Phil Rogers makes the case that keeping Albert Pujols might wind up being the worst thing, long-term, for the Cardinals.
  • Justin Berg and Brian Schlitter, who were designated for assignment last week, have been outrighted to AAA Iowa.
  • Steve Jobs passed away yesterday. That might seem apropos of nothing on a Chicago Cubs site, but, setting aside the man’s genius and lifelong dedication to the perfection of consumer-facing products, his impact is felt every day in my coverage of the Cubs. I’m typing this on my Mac, and checking Theo Epstein rumors on my iPhone. I doubt I’m alone as a sports fan whose experience has been improved thanks to the hard work of Steve Jobs.
  • ramin

    Hey brett, brett jacksons name has been coming up lately on the player that might be given up if the get theo, do you think the cubs r stupid enough to give away their top prospect for a decion maker

  • LouCub

    There is no way Castro, Jackson, Vitters, Baez , Sczur or Vogelbach should be compromised..anyone else you would consider.. How about someone off the major league roster aside from Starlin or Garza??? I’d give em Byrd, he’ll or Marmol too..seriously

    • Cedlandrum

      Vogelbach and Baez can’t be traded anyway until after next season I believe.

      • Brett

        One year after they sign; so, yeah, not until mid-August. But, team’s do the PTBNL thing if they want to trade one of those kids.

  • Internet Random

    Watching the telecasts, I frequently find myself wishing that Brenly could speak more freely. The dictates of the job obviously prevent too much free speech… but it makes comments like this rare and oh-so savory.

  • Sam

    I could see the Cubs parting with Vitters in order to get Epstein. He is a good prospect but he is not so valuable to our system that we would be crippled without him. Not to mention LeMaheiu is the heir apparent at third base… not Vitters. So his loss would not be a major blow to the team. However anybody who thinks Castro, Jackson,Baez, Sczur, Voglebach, or McNutt is retarded. By the way has anybody heard any news on Theo Epstein?

  • CubFan Paul

    i could see Yonder Alonso getting ROY in 2012. that guy can mash, but Cincy would have to trade Votto, which is very possible now with the emergence of alonso’s bat

    • Toosh

      Plus, Cincy’s payroll might prevent them from keeping Votto much longer.

      • CubFan Paul

        according to Bruce Levine, Cincy would want young pitching in return (doesn’t everybody)

        &the Cincy payroll will prevent one or more guys from coming back because of the escalating contracts jumping up ..Votto’s salary bumps up $4million alone and with Alonso (“Aloooonsooooo!” ..what we yelled for 6 innings, 2 days in a row, when i sat in the left field bleachers to tease him) in the fold and a defensive liability *everywhere* else but 1st, I think the Reds will have no choice but to explore a Votto trade this winter. It makes too much sense with Alonso & their payroll restraints

        hopefully the new GM can get’er done

  • die hard

    Has Brenly crossed the line by Aram comments?…he may have violated his contract to promote team…or has his contract not been renewed at his request to pursue mgr job?…what if Aram exercises option and Brenly here next year again in booth?…not tolerable based on history of relationship between booth and team….cant wait

    • Jason

      It looks like he is jockeying for a manager’s job. If he keeps throwing players under the bus like this and remains a broadcaster, he’s going to have a hard time getting players to talk to him. It also looks like he is carefully selecting his targets as well which makes me wonder if he is jockeying for our future managerial opening.

  • Andrewmoo

    <3 brenly.

  • Mikey

    NO! i will not take votto on the cubs. NEVER! remember two years ago he wouldn’t shake byrds hand because there rivals. thats a load of BS. they were on the all-star team. votto can smd.

    • Bails17

      Well Mikey…I am actually gonna have to agree with Paul on this one.  Votto would be a HUGE addition if we can get him.  I do have to point out…that this is one of the few times Paul is right!   :)

      • Mikey

        okay okay. but would you rather have fielder? who you’re just gonna have to pay bunches of money to get. or votto who your gonna have to give up some MAJOR prospects to get? your choice kiddo.

        • Bails17

          UM….guess that depends on the terms of each.  Real hard to decide without any specifics.  If were all the same man it is really close between the two of them.  Fielder will most likely hit for more power while Votto will hit for a higher average.  They are about the same age.  The only thing is Fielder’s body.  Will it hold up?


      • CubFan Paul

        just a few times? ..guess that means im still batting .300 😉

        prospects “schmospects” I’ll take Votto this fall in a heartbeat ..only $9mill next year & $17million in 2013.
        its a necessary salary dump on Cincy’s part so they cant ask for *much*

        • Mikey

          so you’d take votto over fielder i’m assuming?

          • CubFan Paul

            most definitely i’d take Votto over Fielder ..and Pujols. Because of his age, cost, & clutch hitting in RISP

            Votto is an UNDERpaid STUD

            • Odd

              We’d only get Votto for two years, and let’s face it, we’re not going to win it all in 2012 or 2013. And we’d have to give up the farm to get him. What if he doesn’t resign here long term? And with his history of hate for the Cubs, I couldn’t see him wanting to stay here.

              With Prince, you get to set the length of the deal, probably at least 5 years, and you don’t have to give up any prospects. Who cares how much we pay for him? It’s not your money, I say give him whatever he wants. And if you say that it IS your money because ticket prices will go up, they’re already top 3 highest in the MLB, it’s not like they’re going to get any cheaper if we don’t sign him.

        • Bails17

          Paul…your back down to hitting .250 bro.  They are going to ask a ton because of the type of player Votto is and the team getting him will have control for 2 more years….it’s not like he is making $40 mil over that period…it’s very doable for several teams out there needing a left handed, power hitting first basemen.  The Angels, Nationals, Cubs, and pretty much any other team that might be looking to sign Fielder will consider the Votto trade, thus driving the market way up for his services!

          And he is a year older than Fielder by the way.  I would lean toward Votto because I do think he will be better in years 4-6 of his next contract.  (I am guessing he gets 5-6 years at least).  Fielder scares me a bit in the long term as I can see him being injury prone and start breaking down at an earlier age.  So yes…I would take Votto over any other available 1B options.

          • Mikey

            yes! & thats very true….. but who would the cubs give to get him? dolis.cashner,jay jackosn? they say they want pitching dolis & cashner? maybe trey whitnut (sorry i dont remember his last name)

          • Brett

            Something to keep in mind on Votto – in the past, he’s had anxiety issues that have debilitated him. While it may no longer be an issue, I do wonder how he’d hold up under the scrutiny of Chicago.

            • Bails17

              Interesting…didn’t know that.  I don’t see Fielder having any of those issues at all by the way….very close race between the two for me.  What do you think Brett…Votto or Fielder if everything was equal.

              Mikey…again…I don’t really know….and they wouldn’t get 3 big time prospects.  I am guessing one big time guy and 2 or 3 solid guys.

              • Brett

                If everything was equal, it’s almost too close to call. Fielder is about 6 months younger, but Votto is the better defender. Votto has anxiety issues (maybe), but Fielder is huge. Their hitting is almost identical, with a slight edge to Votto in recent years. Both lefties.

                Really tough call. Maybe slight, slight edge to Votto? Again, everything else equal.

            • CubFan Paul

              i can get Votto pills for that condition ..& i think he recently bought a Ferrari (maybe it was jay bruce) so his *confidence* should be sky high

          • CubFan Paul

  ’re not taking into account my RBI, bunting with a man on 2nd or 3rd, clubhouse leadership, my glove and most importantly, cost ..i type for free

            but we’ll see if and when a Votto trade happens because i count $13million combined in escalating salaries (includes Cordero’s $1mill buyout and cincy picking up the Phillips option) and that doesnt include the arbition & minimal salary guys can only stretch $85million so far

  • JulioZuleta

    Brett, you got everything out of the article basically. It talks about when he is going to start pitching in the Carribean league (Nov 18) and says that he talks to Ozzie every day, but never about going to the Marlins, like you said. He said we just have to wait until the Cubs find their general manager. I find it realllly hard to believe that he talks to ozzie every day and that has never come up.

    And about the whole Epstein compensation thing, if the Red Sox ask for the moon, you leak it to the public, and then say no. Boston fans would be pretty pissed if they knew the Red Sox were going to get rid of him, but since they didn’t get the players they wanted, are going to play out a year under a lame duck GM. I think they would have to fire him.

    • Brett

      Of course it’s come up. I think he was just trying to shield his friend from any problems.

      Your compensation/Epstein point is actually a hybrid of two things I just wrote into today’s Epstein post. It’s very interesting.

      Also, so you’re saying I can officially add “conversational Spanish” to my resume?

      • JulioZuleta

        Absolutely, maybe you should come out with BleacherNation Deportes for your Latino readers. (I by the way am not, I just lived in Seville Spain for a while)

        • JulioZuleta

          Damn, just blew my cover…I am not the real Julio Zuleta

  • die hard

    Baker to Boston makes sense as comp for signing Epstein….but will never happen cause Epstein staying there…and he wouldnt help us anyway….overrated GM…

    • JulioZuleta

      At first I was all about Friedman, but if you think about it, he has never been a GM in a market with a big payroll. Whos to say he won’t make tons of bad signings with the increased resources? People that always say “look at Theo’s bad contracts compared to Friedman’s are crazy…Friedman has never had the money to sign a big contract. Also, he has built an incredible farm system, but it is much easier to do when you have a top 3 pick every year like they did for so long, or when you are getting 2 compensation picks from each team for every big free agent that leaves.

      • Toosh

        FA signings are about talent evaluation, just like the amateur draft is. While the Rays might have had a lot of top picks, Friedman still made the right choices on them and in later rounds. If he’s that good at projecting what amateurs can become in the pros he certainly wont over-rate, or overpay for Major League FAs. If they’re both available, Friedman is the clear choice over Epstein.

        • JulioZuleta

          I felt the same way for a long time, but you have to realize that building a team through the draft has a lot less to do with the GM than acquiring major league talent or prospects that have established minor league track records. I would be very happy if we got Friedman, and I am not 100% sold on Epstein, but Epstein has proven success in an environment similar to what he will have here while Friedman does not. And I know you say that he will not over pay to get players, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes you need to over pay; very rarely does a FA not get a contract that is his actual value; they are almost always over paid. GMs need to over pay in some situations, and Friedman doesn’t have any track record to show how he does making those types of situations. Again, wouldn’t be upset at all if we got Friedman, but he is no sure thing either.

  • Keith

    Brett – Amen about Steve Jobs – I am a Chicago transplant living in Silicon Valley – the impact he has had on this entire area and the world is immeasurable – a genius is now a legend

  • TSB

    A player just to talk to Epstein? That’s like a casino charging admission for a chance to win at a slot machine.

  • bacboris

    Tip of the cap Brett,

    A few weeks ago we had Wunderkind and now schadenfreuder. I always appreciate those little ornaments to try and spruce the place up a little.

    • Brett

      Thanks. I like the contrast they provide next to my “um,” “like,” and “duh” phraseology.

  • MichiganGoat

    I must say I’d never be a BN regular if the iPhone and iPad were never invented, so thank you Steve Jobs for connecting me to BleacherNation and thereby giving birth to MichiganGoat.

  • Ashley

    First off my thoughts and prayers go out to the Maddux family, I hope his daughter makes a speedy recovery. Second, Bob Brenly hit the nail on the head, Rami has done well driving in runs but other than that what has he done to help the Cubs the last few years. Driving in runs means nothing when your team finishes in 5th place in the division. Next, I know many think it would be a mistake for the Cards to sign Albert but I believe it would be and even bigger on if the Cubs do. Finally, if the Marlins want Big Z let them have him, the last few years I have found it harder and harder to defend his actions on the field. As much as I loved him it is time for the Big Z train to leave the station.

  • RY

    I like Brenly more and more everytime he speaks!

  • mike foster

    Ace, don’t forget to close your quotes…

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  • Rick Vaughn

    I would trust this guy to do my dental work. Nothing at all lost in translation. Keep up the good work.

    Edit: Nevermind, Brett ruined the spam fun.

    • Brett

      You look silly now.

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