Surprise: there’s plenty more to discuss about the Cubs’ almost-definitely-soon-to-be-GM-or-maybe-President-well-Dude-we-just-don’t-know, Theo Epstein, later this morning. For now, the rest of what’s going on in the Cubs’ world…
- Sigh. So, the Cardinals won the NLCS last night, and have empowered Cardinals fans to be intolerable douches for at least another two years. A World Series victory extends that another two years. You can’t get here quickly enough, Mr. Epstein. Oh, have a mentioned that I love the Texas Rangers? Love ‘em. I will do lines off of Josh Hamilton’s forearms if they sweep the Cardinals (except not really, because that would be kind of insensitive).
- Increasingly, pundits are becoming convinced that Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish will be posted this Winter, and, if some team ponies up, will be a MLB pitcher come 2012. I previously wrote a bit on Darvish and wondered whether the Cubs should go after him if he becomes available. My conclusion at the time: kick the tires, and if his cost averages out to $10 to $13 million per year, you’ve really got to think hard about it. If Darvish is posted, and the new sheriff is in town, I do expect the Cubs to at least see what’s what. He’s 25, has ace potential, and those guys don’t just become available every year. On the other hand, he’s thrown a crazy amount of innings in his young life, and Japanese stars don’t always translate here in the States. It’s a tough call, and that’s why, as is usually the case, it comes down to the money.
- Some of the Cubs’ top prospect continue to tear it up in the Arizona Fall League. Chris Carpenter struck out five of the six batters he faced on Saturday (Sunday was an off-day), Junior Lake went 3-5 with a homer, and DJ LeMahieu also went 3-5. For the season, Lake has a .333/.400/.639 line with three homers (tied for second in the league) and seven stolen bases (leads the league). Josh Vitters’ line is .405/.425/.649, good for the 11th best OPS in the league (yeah, it’s a crazy offensive league), but he’s got more at bats than anyone ahead of him.
- AFL schadenfreude? Bryce Harper is currently hitting .111/.172/.185. I doubt he’s blowing too many kisses these days.
- From another Winter league, Bryan LaHair is destroying the Venezuelan Winter League to the tune of a 1.482 OPS and a league-leading four homers.
- Despite reports to the contrary, Richard Justice says the Astros’ sale is not all sewn up. Justice believes MLB remains uncomfortable with prospective owner Jim Crane’s past, including allegations of racism and sexism. In case you wonder why I keep bringing up the Astros’ sale, it remains, perhaps, the only vehicle by which MLB can accomplish realignment, which would have a directly beneficial impact on the Cubs. So, like, this is a big deal. The owners’ meetings are in mid-November, and Crane’s agreement to purchase the Astros expires November 30.