This week is managerial interview week, apparently, as the Cubs will have in a minimum of two candidates, but as many as four. More on that later today, as well as another Lukewarm Stove roundup, and some more on Cubs’ GM Jed Hoyer.
- Carlos Zambrano made his long-awaited Winter League debut yesterday (his first outing since his August meltdown; August 2011 meltdown, that is) with mixed results. On the upside, he struck out three over 2.2 innings, and appeared healthy. On the downside, he gave up two runs, three hits, two walks, hit a batter, and had a throwing error. One of those runs? A solo bomb to Bryan LaHair.
- The Cubs, and presumably other big league teams, had a scout in attendance to watch Zambrano, who is under contract with the Cubs for 2012. Cubs’ President Theo Epstein, who is expected to speak to Zambrano this week, refused to confirm the Cubs would be shopping Zambrano, but almost everyone believes the best outcome is Zambrano pitching elsewhere in 2012, with the Cubs saving a few million on the $18 million he’s owed.
- The Onion, as it so frequently does, skewers the Cubs in a humorous way. In an article entitled, “Theo Epstein Disgusted To Find Cubs Playing In Old Stadium With Weeds Growing All Over Walls,” faux Epstein is quoted as saying, “That hunk-of-junk scoreboard in center is apparently broken—they change the numbers by hand—and I don’t even know if this place has electricity. If this is the way they take care of their ballpark, I’m not surprised they never put together a winning team here.” First, you laugh. Then, you think.
- Noted White Sox homer, Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times, last offseason wrote that Chicago had officially become “Soxtown.” He’s eating those words now in the face of an offseason dominated by Cubs’ headlines, even after the Cubs put together a miserable 2011 season. He concedes Chicago remains “Cubstown.”
- Stop by the Message Board, if you haven’t already. It’s a little more free-wheeling than the blog, but with the same interesting discussions and bright commenters. Also: burgeoning discussions on the greatest rock albums of all-time, which is certain produce agreement and no discord.