- Jon Greenberg says, “I think I just met the next Cubs manager.” Phil Rogers says Maddux “won the news conference.” Bruce Levine says Maddux’s session was an A+, and suggests he is now the favorite to win the Cubs’ job – if he accepts.
- Gordon Wittenmyer works hard to squeeze “Greg may be joining me on staff with the Cubs” from Mike Maddux’s quotes that the two have discussed the Cubs, and the details are a private, family matter.
- Another top candidate for the Cubs’ job, Brewers’ hitting coach Dale Sveum, who interviewed with the Cubs on Monday, will be talking further with the Red Sox, and it may be taking the form of a second interview. If that’s the case, the Red Sox might be zeroing in on Sveum as their top target.
- As expected, Indians’ bench coach Sandy Alomar, Jr. will be in for an interview on Friday. That could potentially be the Cubs’ last managerial interview.
- The Theo Epstein compensation talks have continued over the past week, between Epstein and Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. “Theo and I have spoken a couple of times since I talked to you guys last,” Cherington said Wednesday at Fenway Park, a week after his last huddle with the media. “We traded some ideas and don’t have anything to report yet, but there’s at least been a couple more conversations …. The Commissioner’s Office is giving us some leeway on it if we feel like there’s progress being made. I think we’ll give ourselves until next week. We’ll see each other in person next week, at least give ourselves until then to see if there’s something we can’t figure out.” It sounds like the sides – well, the Red Sox, at least – aren’t eager to get Bud Selig involved.
- The Twins are considering hiring Mike Quade to manage their AAA affiliate. For as much (deserved) grief as Quade got around these parts last year, I do hope he lands on his feet.
- It’s a bit late, but here are the final Team USA stats for Brett Jackson and Jeff Beliveau from last month. Both played well, with Jackson going .400/.450/.571 in 35 at bats, and Beliveau putting up a 1.42 ERA over 6.1 innings, striking out nine and allowing just five base runners. The discussion came up in a Message Board thread about Beliveau’s development with the Cubs.
- Josh Vitters went 3-4 with a homer yesterday in the Arizona Fall League, continuing his hot Fall.
- Keith Law says whoever signs Aramis Ramirez will like his bat, but will rue his defense at third. A move to DH may ultimately be necessary.
- Late yesterday, it was reported (and noted in the comments) that Washington Nationals’ catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in Venezuela. The 24-year-old was reportedly near his home when he was taken by four armed men in an SUV. Hopefully he will be released soon. Just awful.
- BN user Dave starts another humorous Message Board thread, predicting this year’s free agent signings. Among the highlights: “Francisco Rodriguez – Prediction: Texas Rangers – 3 years/$39 million – Punches GM Jon Daniels at introductory press conference,” “Jose Reyes – Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers – 6 years/$108 million – Injures hamstring walking to dugout after removing himself from the lineup after 4 innings on opening day, 2012 in order to maintain his .500 batting average.” Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and CJ Wilson are also sent up.
- Collective bargaining agreement talks are still plodding along, with draft pick compensation and draft spending being the two major sticking points.
- A word on the blog comments: obviously the volume of comments has increased considerably over the last two months, and that’s swell. But as the number increases, the tendency to get into back-and-forth spates – sometimes personal – will increase. I’m not going to actively discourage debates – discussion is a good thing – but I’d ask everyone to continue to do their best to think before they type. Sometimes it’s hard to convey tone in the written form, and sometimes you sound like an ass without meaning to (I’m guilty of this all the time). In short, just keep being great people, and modeling for those who aren’t. And, as for some of the longer back-and-forths on a specific subject, I’d encourage folks to start a Message Board thread and have it out there. It’s easier to debate the merits of Darwin Barney, for example, on the Message Board than it is in a blog comment thread. Right on. Good talk.
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