A very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. May today, and the next 364, give you plenty of reasons to be thankful.

  • As expected, Dale Sveum isn’t having Mark Riggins back in 2012 as pitching coach. Instead, Sveum is zeroing in on an outside target: former teammate and current AAA Nashville pitching coach Chris Bosio. After his playing days, Bosio, 48, was a pitching instructor around the minors, and was the pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2003 (under Lou Piniella). He soon after left that position for family/health reasons, and has been working his way back up the chain in the last few years – including a brief, interim stint as the Brewers’ pitching coach in late 2009. The Cubs asked the Brewers for permissions to speak to Bosio last week, and at least one report (from Paul Sullivan) says Sveum has offered Bosio the job. Given that the Cubs weren’t going to be able to get an “established” pitching coach at this point in the process, a guy like Bosio is about what I expected. Like Mark Riggins before him, it’s pretty hard to criticize the choice at this point. Pitching coaches come from somewhere.
  • The same article notes that, if Craig Counsell decides to retire, Sveum is likely to offer him a spot on his coaching staff. Giving how freaking annoying Counsell is to play against, and how much distances he’s gotten out of so little physical talent, I suspect he’s going to make a fine coach. I hope the Cubs get him.
  • Theo Epstein declined an interview about it, but sources say he’s predictably unhappy about the CBA changes to the draft and free agent compensation, both of which inhibit his prior-used strategies of paying many picks overslot and picking up a bundle of extra picks. Some ugly quotes from Cubs’ personnel: “It just became a slower and more difficult process’’ to build a player development machine, “the right to choose to focus predominantly on young players has been legislated away,” and “now, a team’s strategy is more or less dictated.” I guessed that the strategy was going to necessarily have to shift a bit to the big league level after the CBA changes, and it sounds like that’s the case. That said, scouting and player development are still a big part of the equation, and resources there don’t go only into player bonuses or the number of picks you have. Smart guys are still smart guys, and they tend to find a way to rise to the top. Arguably, having smart guys just became all the more important.
  • Jim Hendry anticipated the CBA changes earlier this year, and pushed Tom Ricketts to open up the checkbook in the 2011 draft, just in case. Points, Hendry. And Ricketts.
  • Random note: according to Jon Heyman, the Cubs – among many other teams – were not willing to offer Grady Sizemore an opportunity to play in center field next year, which is part of the reason he returned to the Indians. It was never assumed that Sizemore would be playing CF with the Cubs if he came to the team, but the fact that the Cubs were unwilling to offer the spot to him suggests one of many possibilities: Marlon Byrd is staying in CF as the starter, Brett Jackson is expected to come up and start in CF, or the Cubs want to leave open the possibility of someone like Yoenis Cespedes taking over at some point during the year. In other words, I guess it doesn’t mean anything. I just thought it was interesting.
  • Another random note: former top prospect and big league flameout Lastings Milledge is tearing up the Venezuelan Winter League while playing on a team managed by Daytona Cubs manager Buddy Bailey. Might Milledge, still just 26, get a Spring Training invite from a team like the Cubs?
  • Speaking of the VWL, Bryan LaHair’s time there is over. He finishes with a .951 OPS, but with 29 Ks in 24 games. Pitcher Jay Jackson, who is exposed to the Rule 5 Draft in a couple weeks, just started pitching there.
  • Details on the Dempster Family Foundation Holiday Auction and Pizza Party. Ice skating at Wrigley starts tomorrow.
  • This is a year where I’m particularly thankful in my life – healthy, sweet new baby, great new job (still working on holidays, though…), always excellent wife – but it’s also a pretty thankful year in the Cubs’ world. I’m thankful that Tom Ricketts “gets it,” and has put this organization on the path to, as the new guys like to say, “sustained success.” How about you?
  • Larry

    As always Brett, great job. Love reading your stuff. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  • mb1.0.2

    I’m thankful I found this site! Makes my days much more interesting when I can get several Cubs-related updates a day. Thanks, Brett, for all you do!

    • Fishin Phil


      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        I’ll second that motion, except for the dirty puppets that bite you ankles, this site makes being a Cubs fan even better.

  • Nomar’s Left Glove

    Brett, I’d like to thank you for running a site that I check, literally, every day. You continue to be the best.

  • Cliffy

    I to am grateful for finding this site, consistently the best Cubs information sharing blog on the net. Thanks Brett (Ace)

  • ISU Birds

    Happy Thanksgiving to the Bleacher Nation!

  • Michael

    Brett for president

  • Katie

    I’m definitely thankful for finding this site and making some great new obsessive Cubs fan friends. Thank you Brett for all you do!

  • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

    I’d give Lastings Milledge another shot. It would be a cheap risk with nice potential upside. Sounds good to me.

    • MoneyBoy

      About the changes in CBA … major props to Hendry, Wilken et al for jumping in and making lemonade when lemons were in the future.   One of the hidden benefits of the new administration is that what once was a very thin front office is now chock full of young, experienced, bright, dedicated, hard working winners who WILL find the chinks in the Seligdorf CBA !!!!

      @ Luke … Agree … Whether Milledge will “Last” or not … he’s a low risk  non-roster invitee … bad attitude … but in TheHoyEum I trust.

      To Brett … Hearty congrats on the birth of your lil one … As a 60 y/o father of 4 … I thank God for them and for their good health every day!!!   And it would be simply ignorant of me not to thank you for this site, your insights, and fellow Bleacher Nation followers.   The blogosphere has taught this old dog a lot about baseball in the last year.

      A most blessed and Happy Thanksgiving to all !!!

      • Nomar’s Left Glove

        Now imagine if Hendry and bunch of merry men had been doing that for a few years. One good draft before the rules changed is almost insulting. Understand that I’m glad that they did what they did, but it goes to show that they had the ability to do that and didn’t. I’m just saying….

      • Wilbur

        Ditto from a 62 y/o father of three.

  • miggy80

    I’m thankful for Bleacher Nation gives me something to do at work and I’m also thankful for Diehards witty comments T-Dub’s hippie ways Michigan Goats self promoting attitude Cliffy and his links katie and her foul mouth Ian Afterbirths gravitar Fishin Phil and his first comment Hawkeye representing Iowa and of course Ace papa bear himself and the (cough) hard work he does.

    Luv ya bunches,


    • Katie

      Hey! There’s more to this bitch than just foul language. Errrr…. You know what I mean! Thanks for the shout out miggy!

      • miggy80

        I was hoping you would like it :)

    • Dougy D

      Thankful for life, family and friends. Oh, and go Hawks!

  • Cheryl

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Zbo

    Ditto on the kudos, Brett- many of us have stumbled upon this website this year and found what is now our primary (if not only) online source to all things Cubs obsession.

    I spent hours reading this website and all I got was this lousy, brand new, orange BN t-shirt!

    I, too, have many blessings this year (a new baby as well), and thank you, Brett (and the rest of yous) for making my “Cub life” much more fun and complete. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Oh- and, of course, thank you Mr. Ricketts for prying the Cubs ownership/management’s collective head out of its ass in a big, big way!

    • MoneyBoy

      @ Zbo … LOL   23 yr season ticket holder … I joke with family and friends … “Long time season ticket holder and ALL I have to show for it is this DAMN HAT … courtesy of the Cubs … “Season Ticket Holder 20+ Years” stitched on the back !!!!

  • Toosh

    Happy Thanksgiving to you as well, Brett.

  • Sweetjamesjones

    Happy Thanksgiving Brett and to all of Bleachernation! Be safe and enjoy!

  • Swaz46

    I echo your sentiments of what you’re thankful for, Brett. I’m also thankful for the work that you do here at BN. Coming to this site during my lunch hour is one of the things I look forward to each day. A blessed Thanksgiving to all of you and yours.

  • http://www.calliopevoices.com EtotheR

    Happy Thanksgiving to all, as well!

    I’m also thankful for Brett’s friendship, insight, intelligent writing and thoughtful approach. I’m not sure we’re always aware of the courage and chutzpah it took (and takes) for him to create and develop this site. It’s a good one…a really good one. (From someone who couldn’t imagine anyone creating something new and valuable in this area.)

    Good stuff…and, the commentary and questions on this board also help make it enormously appealing. Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Matt

    Fellas, the BP top 11 prospects are out . I won’t blow off copyright law but the biggest surprise was Castillo at #3. What’s interesting is that , in the past , Goldstein made him sound like a probable backup. Guessing that, in his due diligence for the article, scouts had more positive things to say, than he thought. I wonder if the idea of moving Soto has some legs. If so, what kind of return can we expect?

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I’ll have to take a closer look at that after the holiday. My first reaction is that there are some surprises in there, and it is really pretty positive. Here’s the link.


      • Cliffy

        It sounds like Kevin Goldstein was suprised that access to that story was free. Must be the power of the THEO. See his tweet

        QT @Kevin_Goldstein: Ah . . . I’ve just been made aware that the Cubs prospect list with scouting reports is free for everyone . . . . http://t.co/JkXyS3UV

      • MoneyBoy

        Thanks Luke … It’s just more fodder for optimism about the future !!!

    • JasonB

      Matt – thanks for letting us know.  Looks like I’m going to be a bit late for turkey now because I had to read through it.

      Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Travel safely and enjoy the time with family and friends!

  • Keith

    I am thankfully for so many things, my wonderful wife, my amazing children, my thriving business, my kids I coach, my family to all reaches, dear friends returning from Iraq and on and on, I feel so fortunate

    Amongst all of that Brett, I wanted to truly thank you that I never have to read a word Carrie Muskrat types again!!! You have provided such an avenue for avid Cubs fans and your commitment to this site and all things Cubs is a true blessing. Bleacher Nation is the first site I check every morning and repeatedly return to throughout the day … THANK YOU and all the best to you and your family and all of the Cubs fans families today!

    And thank you God for the Ricketts family!

  • LouCub

    Happy Thanksgiving to Brett and all of my fellow Cubs faithful !!! Lets enjoy the turkey today and relax cause I got a feeling it’s gonna be a busy month of baseball activity ahead and i’m looking forward to the ride!!!

  • Cliffy

    If anybody wants a glimpse of the “Theo Strategy” regarding letting free agents walk click on the link below. It chronicles who he let walk and what the draft picks were turned into.


    • MoneyBoy

      Cliffy … This was FABULOUS … thank you very much for the link !!!  :)

  • Robby

    Love this site. So thankful for it. I check about 10-15 times a day. This is by the far the most dependable Cubs rumor site ever. Thank you Brett! Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you at Cubs Convention! We are going for our second year in a row…a guaranteed fun time!

  • Jake

    Thank you Brett for a great site. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and all of Bleacher Nation.

  • Dave

    I, too, am thankful for BN and all the hard work Brett puts into spending his days on the internet scouring the corners of the web for stories relevant to Cubs fan then bringing them together in a short and informative fashion.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Thanks again to all of you, both for your kind words, and for your always-excellent participation around here. I hope that, by now, you don’t need me to tell you how important you all are to making this place what it has become (and will become).

    I’m one seriously grateful dude.

    • JulioZuleta

      Happy thanksgiving brett. Thanks for all the hard work.

      • Sweetjamesjones

        Yeah man, yeah. Im hella thankful for this website.

        • Internet Random

          ^^^ What they said.

    • hansman1982

      not sure I appreciate the ass-kissing but at least you kept it short and informative

      • Internet Random

        Why hate on Thanksgiving, broseph?

  • curt

    im sure its been explained by yu already but i guess i missed it, but i just dont understand the changes in the drafts and why they were put into place at all, bc the way im seeing it hurts small and big markets alike and hurts baseball in general, so why would this be self inflicted, what does this do to epsteins build from the bottom up strategy thanks and have
    a great thanksgiving.

  • Joe

    Checking this site is one of my favorite parts of the day, thanks Brett for everything that you’re doing. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    • Incredibad

      Ditto, Joe.  I couldn’t have said it any better.  Thankful for many things in my life, and definitely thankful I found BN!  Happy Thanksgiving all!


  • art

    Ditto, hope everyone had a good one.

  • Cliffy

    Would you trade Marmol for Yonder Alonso? I would, not sure Cincinnati would feel the same.RRr


    • dob2812

      Reds GM Walt Jocketty is shopping young slugger Yonder Alonso(notes) for a closer or No. 2 starter, according to sources. He has spoken to Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Toronto and Oakland, among others. …

      Bit of a difference between a closer and a No. 2 starter there Walt. Without having looked at Alonso too closely, I’d imagine they definitely would give him up for Marmol’s contract, but whether they would trade him within the Central is another matter. I doubt they go with him in the outfield for a full season and he’s not sitting in the minors for another two years waiting for Votto to leave. They have no leverage. I don’t think I trade Marmol for him. He never cracked a 400 wOBA in the minors. At first base? That’s not particularly exciting.

      • Cliffy

        I guess the way I was viewing it was Yonder profiles as a big time bat. High on base as well as big time power and a good batting average. His defense is a big downside and probably only could play 1st base in the NL. He would be best served as a DH. I stick with saying I make that trade. Don’t forget money saved as well as getting a low cost bopper, That could be spun off rather easily if it didn’t work out.

      • Toosh

        Supposedly they wouldn’t trade him straight up for Bailey from Oakland, so I’m not sure Marmol would do the trick. You’re right about trading within the division.

        • Roland

          So sweeten the offer by adding Wells to the deal.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Yeah, the Reds have had a recent history of being particularly leery of trading in-division. I also tend to think Marmol isn’t quite worth Alonso, anyway. But, if you’re asking, heck yeah I’d do it. Great bat, heavy on discipline at the plate. I don’t know much about his defense at 1B, though. He obviously can’t handle a corner OF spot, otherwise the Reds would just hang onto him.

  • LouCub

    The thing about Billy Beane is that he is the most likely GM to trade for than flip a guy…Alonso would be perfect at 1b for the Cubs. No doubt about it.

  • LouCub

    Maybe he’d flip him to us?? He flipped Carlos Gonzales among others

  • DRock

    Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone! I too am thankful for getting hooked on Bleacher Nation this past year. Thanks again to Brett for all your hard work in making this the best Cubs site on the world wide web. May God bless you all this holiday season & may God bless our beloved Chicago Cubs in 2012 & beyond!