More on Dale Sveum’s Monday interview later today, and there may even be enough for another Lukewarm Stove post. I love this time of year. For now, other bullets…
- Speaking of interviews, as covered last night, Texas Rangers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux pulled his name out of consideration for the Red Sox’s managerial job, citing the distance between Boston and Arlington as too much for his family. Thought by many to be the top contender for the Cubs’ managerial gig, Maddux is still set to interview with the Cubs tomorrow according to multiple reports. That could always change, but, given that he publicly cancelled the Boston interview citing the distance, while refusing to cancel the Chicago interview at the same time, you’ve got to assume he’s committed to at least coming in for an interview.
- Ultramega Conspiracy Theory With Absolutely No Basis Outside My Own Kind-of-Not-Serious-Speculation: Maddux was the favorite for both the Boston job and the Chicago job, and his good friend Dale Sveum was both teams’ second choice. Maddux knew this, and, to ensure he got his preferred job (the Cubs), and his friend got one of the two jobs, Maddux pulled out of Boston. Nah. Too much.
- Ken Rosenthal suggests a crazy chain of managerial events: if the Cubs hire Phillies’ bench coach Pete Mackanin, the Phillies might promote Ryne Sandberg to the big league bench, and then might hire Mike Quade to manage their AAA team. I think Rosie is just being cute.
- Baseball America’s Jim Callis offers his thoughts on the ongoing compensation discussions between the Red Sox and Cubs with respect to Theo Epstein: “Baseball sources believe that Selig won’t want to establish a premium value for front-office officials and will side more with Chicago. It’s uncertain whether the Cubs will give up one or two players, but in any case, I don’t think it will be anyone who will make the Boston Top 10. If the Red Sox have to choose from among second-tier prospects, they should target catcher Steve Clevenger and lefthanded reliever Jeff Beliveau. Clevenger is a lefthanded hitter with solid defensive skills and positional versatility, making him an ideal big league backup. Beliveau works at 88-91 mph with his fastball and doesn’t have a true plus pitch, but the ball seems to come out of his sleeve and hitters just don’t square him up.” Beliveau is targeted for the Cubs’ pen next year and is slightly less than Chris Carpenter. Clevenger is among the Cubs’ current options to back-up Geovany Soto (or Welington Castillo, if Soto is traded) next year.
- As reported over the weekend, the Cubs have officially added new Director of Professional Scouting Joe Bohringer to their impressive front office. One new interesting tidbit: Bohringer will report to GM Jed Hoyer, not Scouting/Player Development Chief Jason McLeod. It seems like we’re seeing a clear divide between the amateur side and professional side developing, for scouting purposes, and that’s just fine with me.
- MLB.com named Aramis Ramirez the Cubs’ Performer of the Year, Matt Garza the Cubs’ Pitcher of the Year, and Starlin Castro the Cubs’ Breakout Player of the Year (um, didn’t he, like, breakout last year?).
- One of the Cubs’ more advanced pitching prospects, lefty Chris Rusin, is pitching in the Dominican Winter League in the hopes of showing enough to get a real look in Spring Training. On Sunday, he threw seven shutout innings, striking out five. Rusin, 25, emerged as a possible back-end rotation candidate in 2011 on the strength of a consistent, and solid season between AA and AAA. Not an overly exciting or overpowering type, Rusin could be an innings-eater who doesn’t walk guys, and gives his team a chance to win most days. He could also wind up a so-so middle reliever, or a total bust.
- Cubs’ AA affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies, are the Minor League Organization of the Year, according to the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. The award is based on franchise stability, and significant contributions to the community, its league and the baseball industry.
- Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod are already serving as good citizens, having come out to the Dempster Family Foundation fundraiser at the Palm last Thursday (that’s Randy Bush on the right end):