Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

The Cubs continue a string of news being announced or leaked late on Friday nights, last night’s iteration being the hiring of a new director of pro scouting. I’ll have a full write-up on the lucky new addition to the Dream Team, Joe Bohringer, in a little bit.

  • The Cubs will soon bring in their next managerial candidate for an interview. According to multiple sources, Milwaukee Brewers’ hitting coach Dale Sveum will interview for the job on Monday. Rangers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux is expected to be next, coming in a day or two after he interviews in Boston – which interview is scheduled for Tuesday.
  • Today’s write-ups of the Pete Mackanin interview have a few more nuggets of substantive information than did the initial write-ups. Among them: Mackanin was asked his philosophy on choosing between analytics and his gut, (“a combination”) his biggest influence in the game (Gene Mauch) and his age (“I’m a young 60”). And this: ‘‘Any tool you can use to succeed, you better use it. Video. Statistics. Let’s face it — statistics mean something. It’s not just a number. If a guy’s a .300 hitter, if he’s a .250 hitter, that’s what he is. That gives you an overall general look at what kind of hitter he is, and then you can delve deeper into leveraged indexes and ways of looking how he’s been used and his replacement value and things like that. A lot of the decisions you make during a game are tough. There’s a lot of gray areas. Do you bunt? Do you hit and run? Do you take him out? Do you leave him in? The bottom line is the more tools you have to make that decision, they might lead you to a decision you wouldn’t make if you didn’t have those tools.” Fine, I suppose. That response doesn’t “grab” me, for whatever reason.

  • Theo Epstein stopped by city hall to meet with Mayor Emanuel, though the Mayor says it was just a chat (not about Wrigley) and a gift of a Cubs’ jacket. Groundwork is undoubtedly being laid, and I’ll have more on the Wrigley Field renovation issue next week.
  • DJ LeMahieu had a great game yesterday in the Arizona Fall League, going 3-5 with a bomb (to use the preferred nomenclature of Theo/Jed – have you noticed that?). He’s got a still-below-league-average .293/.381/.402 batting line, but it’s getting better. Digging that OBP, either way.
  • Speaking of the AFL, don’t forget that you can see Junior Lake, Chris Carpenter, and Trey McNutt in the AFL Rising Stars Game today at 7pm (CT) on MLBN. It’s not like there’s any college football games of note on at that time.

  • The Cubs have 13 minor league free agents (the super short explanation of how a guy becomes a minor league free agent: his minor league contract is renewed over six years, during which he’s never added to the 40-man roster. After those six years, he can become a free agent.). They are right-handed pitchers Justin Berg (AAA), Austin Bibens-Dirkx (AAA), Marco Carrillo (AA), Robert Coello (AAA), Angel Guzman (Hi A), Dylan Johnston (Lo A), Carlton Smith (AAA), Alvaro Sosa (Lo A), and Jeff Stevens (AA) (You recognize many of those names, and the Cubs will hope to retain many of them on minor league deals. Guzman is obviously the one you’re really rooting for.); catchers Mario Mercedes (AAA) and Chris Robinson (AAA); first baseman John Urick (Hi A); and third baseman/utility Scott Moore (AAA). And, yes, you do see Mark Prior (Yankees) listed as a free agent.
  • A Cubs fan found a WS-signed Cardinals hat on the interstate. At least three quips: (1) And didn’t burn it?; (2) guess who didn’t sign it? Albert Pujols (no, seriously); (3) something doesn’t become not garbage just because you scribble your name on it.


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