It’s going to be another busy day ’round these parts, so, if you’re not a fan of tons of Chicago Cubs news and rumors jam-packed into one day, my apologies. The chips fell, as it were. But, first, the Bullets…

  • On his MLBN radio appearance late yesterday with Jim Bowden, Cubs’ GM Jed Hoyer discussed, among other things, the offer of arbitration to Carlos Pena. Surprisingly, it didn’t sound like he was even trying to keep up the appearance that the Cubs would be interested in having Pena back in 2012. That is to say, when asked about the offer and risk that it carries, you’d expect him to say something like, “we’re still figuring out what we want to do at first base, but you could do a lot worse than Carlos Pena, so we’ll see how things shake out.” But he didn’t. Instead, Hoyer rather candidly confirmed that the offer of arbitration was because the Cubs expect him to receive a multi-year offer on the free agent market, and thus, fully expected him to decline the offer of arbitration when they made it. They’ve heard great things about Pena, but it sounds like they just want the draft pick. Fine by me. (h/t CCO.)
  • The Chicago Cubs’ coaching staff is taking shape, after Jamie Quirk was announced as the team’s new bench coach yesterday (the news having been broken by Quirk, himself). Gordon Wittenmyer reports that now-former bench coach Pat Listach, who remains under contract through 2012, is expected to stay on staff as a base coach (first or third), and bullpen coach Lester Strode will stay on in that position. Chris Bosio remains the leading pitching coach candidate, and the full staff could be unveiled later this week.
  • Apparently Bryan LaHair’s Venezuelan Winter League season isn’t over, as he started playing there again a couple days ago (with a homer in his return game). I’m not entirely sure why he took a week off (holidays? talks with Japanese teams? injury?), but he’s back.
  • Phil Rogers discusses why Ron Santo should (finally) be selected for admission to the Hall of Fame next week.
  • The Red Sox yesterday selected veteran manager, and now formerly that-guy-on-ESPN-who-hammered-on-Starlin-Castro-and-Mike-Quade-just-a-little-too-long, Bobby Valentine as their manager. After Red Sox ownership nixed Ben Cherington’s preferred candidate – Dale Sveum, who ended up with the Cubs – they apparently insisted he rejigger his entire search list, adding veteran names, superseding the up-and-comers he’d been interviewing all along. What a fiasco. It remains thoroughly easy to see why Theo Epstein was ready to move on.
  • A fan of Weird Al-style parody, the Cubs, and the Cranberries? Check out this humorous “Zombie” parody, centered on Carlos Zambrano (use that link if the video doesn’t show for you):

  • Fishin Phil

    Nice video!

  • Smitty

    After last night’s BLOW UP, “Can’t Wait” for what you have for us today Brett. Keep up the great work.

    • Brett

      Thanks, Smitty (and Katie).

  • Katie

    It’s definitely the most wonderful time of the year. Keep up the good work Brett!

  • hansman1982

    Wow, Boston really does seem to be heading to the crapper.  Valentine as manager?  After teams repeatedly have passed on him?  I am now thinking that this is how the GM interview between Tom and Theo took place:

    Tom:  Theo, thanks for joining me today.  We are looking for someone that we can hand complete control to…

    Theo (rudely interrupting Tom):  Where’s a good place to live in town.

    Tom: and someone that the ownership group wont have to micro-manage…

    Theo: (opens laptop and types in

    Tom: We want you to be able to build this team the way you see fit…

    Theo: (picks up his phone and calls his bank to wire money for a sweet house on the Gold Coast)

    Tom: We want you to build the best front office in baseball and we are willing to give you a blank check for scouting and player development…

    Theo: (on his cell phone) Hey, honey, the movers will be stopping by tomorrow, we are moving to Chicago.  Tom, when do I start.

    And we thought that it would take a Red Sox Championship to drive him out of Boston…nope, just Larry Lucchino.

    • Brett

      Ha. Nice.

  • Katie

    Hansman, I love it!

    How was the show last night?

    • hansman1982

      I will put it this way:

      I videotaped the show planning on putting it on you tube.  Within 5 minutes of getting home it mysteriously vanished from the camcorder.  There is always next time.

      • Katie

        Well, I’d love to make it down to see you sometime. I haven’t been to House of Bricks in a long time!

      • Miguel Ramirez

        I need to stop out some night to check you out. I forgot that it was the 5th Tuesday of the month.

  • Cubbies4Life

    Hansman, that was perfect! I for one am going to hate to see Pena go. He’s a helluva lot cuter than Fielder or Pujols! Those dimples!! Yeah… okay… I’m a girl.

    • CubFan Paul

      holy crap

  • fearbobafett

    Bobby is usally good for a year or so of results, before the players turn on him. With the vets on the club maybe they realize thier window is small. Maybe it was just the owners thinking they needed a big name running the show in the dugout.
    Either way, if these leaks are all true, they remind of some other owner who ran an organ “I” zation into the ground.