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Because the prevailing wisdom yesterday had the Cardinals and Marlins demanding an answer from Albert Pujols by last night, I made sure to sleep next to my phone, checking it each time my daughter stirred/cried through the night, and presuming that at some point I was going to have to get up and write. So much for that. More on the stove later today. Now: Bullets.

  • Dale Sveum may be in his first full-time managerial job, but he’s got his coachspeak down pat. On the subject of the Cubs’ thin rotation, Sveum is upbeat. “It all starts with pitching, and we definitely have the pitching to go out there and compete,” he said. “That could be changed. You need to manufacture runs if we don’t have the power. If we do have the power, then you can do other things. Competing and winning, it all comes down to your pitching. And if you have [Carlos] Zambrano and [Matt] Garza and [Ryan] Dempster and fill in with the other two guys, and have a bullpen like we do, you have a good chance of winning. You put some runs up on the board and you get hot, you’re going to win with that kind of pitching staff.” Let me say this: it is theoretically possible that a rotation of Garza/Dempster/Zambrano/Wells/Samardzija (or whoever slots in that fifth spot) could be above average. It’s theoretically possible. But is it likely? No. It’s not. I still expect a number of rotation moves.
  • Though he admitted it was early, Sveum said he views David DeJesus as the team’s leadoff hitter for now, with Starlin Castro moving down in the order to second, third, or fifth.
  • The Cubs’ coaching staff is expected to be finalized soon, with one more coach – possibly Dave McKay or Craig Counsell, as first base coach – joining pitching coach Chris Bosio, bench coach Jamie Quirk, hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, third base coach Pat Listach, and bullpen coach Lester Strode.
  • Cubs’ GM Jed Hoyer said something Cubs fans have wanted to hear for five years: no-trade clauses are to be “avoided.” We’re used to no-trade clauses being handed out like Halloween candy, so this is a welcome philosophical change.
  • Friend of the program Tim Stuart at North Side Baseball recently interviewed Baseball America’s Jim Callis about the Chicago Cubs’ farm system. It’s a long, thorough interview, well worth a read. Random note: Callis called DJ LeMahieu a “gifted hitter.” He also picked pitcher Dallas Beeler, outfielder Taiwan Easterling, and outfielder/second baseman Zeke DeVoss as his sleepers for 2012.
  • Theo Epstein bought a sweet pad in Lakeview, within walking distance of Wrigley Field. I already wanted to be Theo Epstein for a number of reasons. Now there’s another.
  • I was asked to write the “blogger’s take” for FantasyBaseball365′s 2012 fantasy projection for Matt Garza. So I did. And there it is.
  • The Baseball Writers Association of America has granted membership to FanGraphs but denied it to SB Nation. As a writer in the “Internet medium,” I’m glad to see the former, but disappointed by the latter.
  • The Chicago Sun-Times, like the Daily Herald before it, is going to an online pay format. You get free access for a little while, but then, if you want more, you have to pay. While I understand that journalism isn’t free and I fully support any business’s right to earn a profit (I mean, hello: buy a t-shirt), I can’t help but believe these legacy enterprises are doing themselves a disservice in the greater scheme – namely, they’re removing themselves from the public discussion. The fewer readers you have, and the less important you become. The less important you become, the fewer readers you have, and so on. Then again, maybe that’s true only in the sports world, and this kind of publisher-wide decision isn’t just about sports (though I’d bet dollars to donuts that the sports side of things is one of the most popular components of the Sun-Times’ online readership).
  • hansman1982

    For all thw whailing and gnashing of teeth that goes on about our rotation, right now it isn’t a bad little rotation.  I mean with some water and sunlight maybe we could get a half meager attempt at a flower by the end of summer.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “Lights please…”

    • Spencer

      I completely agree with this. I think last year would’ve been different for a number of reasons had we not lost two starting pitchers a week into the season. That’s a very solid top three, and wells has shown flashes of brilliance as well. its not as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

  • Fishin Phil
    • Cubs’ GM Jed Hoyer said something Cubs fans have wanted to hear for five years: no-trade clauses are to be “avoided.” We’re used to no-trade clauses being handed out like Halloween candy, so this is a welcome philosophical change.

    HOORAY!!!

    No-trade clauses take away all of the team’s future flexibility.   See Aramis Ramirez.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The hitch is that such a policy might make you lose out on a free agent, or might make an outgoing free agent leave rather than extend, but that, to me, is an acceptable risk given what we’ve seen of the other side.

      • Fishin Phil

        I think it is OK to use NTCs sparingly, but only for special impact players.

        • Smitty

          I agree with you there Phil. As with most things in life, one must use No Trade Clauses “in moderation.”

          • MoneyBoy

            I would prefer limiting the number of no trade YEARS on a contract … and … limiting, if not excluding, “player options.”

    • Deez

      Ramirez was a 10 & 5 guy so it didn’t matter.

  • JB88

    The interesting thing about the Daily Herald is that even though they are now charging for their online product their content is still woefully lacking. I receive the hard copy edition of the Herald and the sports page is routinely 6 pages, and on the weekends, no more than 8 pages of content, with a full page “dedicated” to box scores, standings, etc. In my opinion, if you are going to up the cost of receiving the “news”, then you need to greatly improve the quality of the content. I doubt either the ST or the Herald is going to do that though and it is a real disservice to the readership as well as, frankly, some pretty talented writers. Guys like Tim Sassone, Bruce Miles, Mike McGraw, and Barry Rozner are excellent journalists and very intelligent writers, but most people aren’t going to read their columns or opinions because of this new format. It’s unfortunate.

  • Smitty

    With the given data from the last two seasons, would Dale really put Castro anywhere but leadoff or in the 2 spot? Someone shared the idea of Castro in leadoff and then DeJesus batting 2nd when he was signed and I think that makes the most sense with Castro’s hitting style. Wonder why they wouldn’t consider that?

    • Spencer

      anything lower than 2 for Castro would be a huge mistake indeed.

  • die hard

    Saw intvw of Sveum last night….Sorry, he had the deer in headlights look which should be a concern…Another learn on the job mgr for the Cubs is discouraging….for instance, how could he even suggest that the projected leadoff batter is a 32 yr old with avg speed for all batters and below avg for lead off hitters?…unless hes echoing the front office company line justifying acquisition which is scary…Cant imagine Pinella saying this…Moreover, cant imagine Pinella going along with interference or control from front office. As has been said before by others on this board, Sveum was chosen because of his inexperience so he can be controlled by front office. I agree

    • Cerambam

      i disagree completely. Sveum is not a reincarnation of quade. Also, he can suggest that the projected leadoff hitter is a 32 year old with average speed because that 32 year old has had great career OBP which is what the leadoff hitter is supposed to do. Furthermore, he has been classified as a good,smart baserunner that doesn’t run into many outs which can be as important as base-stealing speed. Sveum was not chosen just to be a puppet he was chosen on his intelligence, use of advanced analytics, and his views on baseball that happen to parallel Theo and Hoyer’s views. And truly i dont understand your glorification of Pinella he wasn’t a god by any means and why would defying your front office be something to commend. It wouldn’t be kenny “pulling strings” it would be theo and hoyer some of the brightest up and coming minds in baseball. They can “interfere” and Sveum can “be controlled” all they want for what i care. I just want the cubs to win plan and simple, and i dont care how they get there.

  • hansman1982

    Wow, maybe I am following the wrong people but pretty quiet on the Twitter front for the last 30 mins.

  • MightyBear

    I got one. It said Theo’s house has an “eat in kitchen”. What the hell does that mean? Isn’t every kitchen “eat in” by definition? It’s the kitchen.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. I eat in my kitchen all the time – walking all the way over to the table (ok, couch) is a waste of time…

  • bacboris

    Brett,

    Looking on the bright side; Not getting credentialed at least saved you from this: http://www.wtsp.com/news/watercooler/article/224921/58/MLB-to-reporters-No-short-skirts-or-flip-flops.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That is bullshit. I only wear flip-flops.

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