Three years ago, I was spending my second of what would be four Christmases at the large law firm where I worked.

And, when I say I spent four Christmases at work, I mean that literally. In those four years, I didn’t have a single year where Christmas Eve or Christmas Day was not interrupted by the pressing needs of a partner or client.

I’m not complaining, mind you, nor am I an overly religious person. But the holidays, to me, have always been a time to spend enjoyable hours with family and friends, talking about the year behind you, the year ahead of you, and how you were the cutest kid ever (thanks, Mom).

So, you can imagine, as I sat there three years ago, the thought of spending a second straight year doing work on Christmas did not exactly appeal to me. I have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for those who have to do it every year.

While my wife and family gathered at a grandparents’ house for food, drink, and cookies (mostly cookies), I was culling minutiae for an emergency document review. (Only later would I learn that the review was so urgent that the folks up the chain would almost immediately look over my work … in mid-January.) I’m not too proud to admit that was a bad day.

Five days later, I started Bleacher Nation. Looking back, I guess it probably wasn’t a coincidence.

Indeed, the holidays are a time to spend enjoyable hours with family and friends, and I’m thankful that my new job allows me spend time with friends (i.e., you) every day of the year. That sounds cheesy, I know. But it’s Christmas. I can be cheesy.

All that said, you can expect limited posting from now through Tuesday. There will *probably* be a scattered post here and there, and obviously, if news or a hot rumor breaks, I’ll set down my eggnog and cover it. (I’ve actually never had eggnog. It sounds gross.) I reckon I’ll still be around in the comments, on the Message Board, on Twitter and on Facebook, because, well, I can’t help myself. But the epic tome on Manny Corpas as the primary seventh-inning pitcher will have to wait.

To you and yours, a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    Thanks for this great site, Brett.
    For all the work and effort it takes, it must truly be a work of love.
    Now that you are putting a little rum in your egg nog and you see how good it is, imagine how good a little rum would be in blue koolaid. hahaha
    I see by the posts above that you have been informed about how much we like it and appreciate it, but just to make sure:
    Keep it up, it is GREAT! We check it several times a day, every day.

  • Leo

    Brett, I first found your link on MLB Trade Rumors shortly before the signing Theo stories began to break. I’ve been hooked and checking your site two or three times a day during the offseason. Enjoy the holidays with your family and thanks for an excellent site for us Cubs fans. I look forward to reading about more Cubs moves on your site in the coming days and weeks.

  • lance

    Brett can’t u ever think for yourself everything epstien does u act like u want to [hug him]. He has screwed the cubs for the next 4 to 5 yrs and even then its just to finish dead last in the no because there will be no big stars free by then and not everyone of these young guys we blossom into stars but what will u flunkies sa
    y then when it happens don’t u dare cry because you r following this loser@

    [Edited to increase class by 4%.]

    • Katie

      Dude, you need to watch yourself. You write this bullshit on a Merry Christmas thread? Absolutely classless.

      • http://bleachernation ferris

        i agree w/katie……merry christmas to all even lance

      • cubsnivy56

        Well said Katie!  Is anybody keeping a list of the jack asses who can’t see the positive side of any move?  I am willing to bet when we win, they will be right at the front of the bandwagon saying I knew it was going to happen!

      • art

        Katie, love it, lol.

    • Nomar’s Left Glove

      Very classy Katie, even if he didn’t deserve it.
      The issues that we have at hand are…..
      A. Keep everyone and strap the team down with high priced free agents to try and win now, and damn the future. The problem is that you tend to weigh yourself down with albatross contracts that seemed good until the last couple of years (ala Soriano). If you don’t win now, your screwed in a few years.
      B. stay the same. If you finish in the middle of the pack, you don’t win and you don’t get draft picks high enough to get ELITE prospects.
      C. Sell the farm for prospects and do poorly for a bit. If you do this, you trade your high-end pieces for other teams elite prospects and draft higher in line next year.
      It’s business, the team is going to suck this year, but I bet Baseball America ranks our farm a lot better next year.

  • SirCub

    Merry Christmas Brett and all you BN’ers!

  • Tanner

    I know how it feels to work EVERY Christmas and Christmas Eve, but I don’t have a choice. This site is the best, and you have done a GREAT job! Also, the holiday pay is NOT bad at all! I can make myself like this job! :)

  • Lou Cub

    Merry Christmas to you Brett and to all who follow the Bleacher Nation….It’s great discussing the Cubs and look forward to more discussion about this team in 2012..

  • Alex

    Merry Christmas to you Brett and to the entire Bleacher Nation!

    Brett, enjoy the time off with your family. You have earned a well deserved rest.

    I hope Santa is good to everyone this year.

  • Cliffy

    QT @MLBInsideNews: Sources: #Tigers making an aggressive run for Matt Garza.

    • Kyle

      No. 9 overall pick in 2009, No. 21-rated prospect in all of baseball by BA before last season.

      As a 20-year-old in AA and AAA last season, he threw 131 innings with a 3.44 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9. Got rocked in a three-start cup of coffee last season.

      He is the Tiger’s top prospect. A right-handed pitcher who works in the low-90s with good control, has a good curveball and an okay change-up. Very advanced pitcher for his age, could immediately step into the rotation in 2012.

      That’d be a huge piece. We don’t have a prospect anywhere close to him right now.

      • Kyle

        He was rated No. 21 before the season and got bumped up to No. 11 when they updated their top-50 midseason.

        Going into 2012, he’s a top-10 prospect in all of baseball.

  • Cliffy

    QT @MLBInsideNews: #Tigers willing to include Jacob Turner in a deal for Garza. #Cubs

    • Brett

      Thanks, Cliffy. I wish I could get a good read on how reliable that source is. As a non-journalist with “sources,” myself, I never like to immediately dump on another non-journalist who is trying to break news. It’s possible they’re in the know. I just don’t have a good read quite yet. Like seeing the info, though, Cliffy. Gracias.

      • Matt

        Werent the Tigers talking to the Padres at one time? Any chance we can pull off a three team deal and land Headley? Maybe I am doing a little to much Christmas wishing this year.

        • Brett

          Maybe; problem is, it was the Tigers who wanted Headley.

      • Kyle

        Cafardo said in a column today he expects Garza to be moved and lists the usual suspects, but also says “Don’t count out the Tigers.”

        There’s some smoke to this one.

  • Captainplanet54

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  • Eric

    Who’s Jacob Turner?  LOL nvmd,  MLBInsidenews.  Those are the same ppl Reds would send Daniel Corcino in addition to Wood for Marshall.  Wait for more reliable sources.

  • Matt

    Merry Christmas All. Just got done with opening gifts with my wife and kids. Thought I would take one minute and let you all know that for Christmas this year, Santa got me a BN t-shirt. I must have been good this year.

    • Brett


  • Lou Cub

    The wife and kid aren’t up yet here in Phoenix so I got time to look at Detroits Top 50 prospects for 2012…Jacob Turner and 3b Nick Castellanos stick out big time..However i doubt they’d deal both in the same trade being they are #1 and #2 and that is just assuming this rumor is legit..But a rotation of Verlander, Phister and Garza would be the best top 3 in the AL for my money..

    • JasonB

      Merry Christmas – taking a little break from the fam.

      Tigers have a number of interesting prospects.  Aside from Turner and Castellanos, they have Drew Smyly and Andy Oliver, a couple of lefties without the upside of Turner but who should be solid mid rotation arms.  Crosby is another lefty who was pretty highly regarded a couple of years ago but injuries and lack of command have diminished his prospect status.  They also have a couple of high ceiling guys in Avisail Garcia and Danry Vazquez.

  • scorecard paul

    Merry Christmas to all!!
    and thanks Brett for a great site

  • Can’t think of a cool Name


    I rarely post but always read. Thanks for a great site and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  • Leon’s Gatorade soaked mitt

    Hi, Brett
    Thanks for your great site, I found it as a link on MLB trade rumors during the Theo fiasco. (you remember back when we thought he would do something) lol. I am on your site several times a day. I hope you and your family and all bleacher nation followers have a Merry Christmas!

  • jim

    Gee, now im gonna have song ” marrakesh express” in my head all day.

  • cubsnivy56

    I am among the noobies on this post but I truly appreciate your good work Brett as well as the insightful comments from many of the regulars.  Needless to say I am hooked and check in often.  This is now my go to place for Cubs info.  Thanks and Merry Christmas to everyone!

  • Ashley

    Merry Christmas to the entire Bleacher Nation Family! So glad I found this site, finally a place where I can keep up on Cubs gossip. Hears to a wonderful 2012 with all of you! And maybe Santa will bring Cubs Nation a World Series title or at least a playoff appereance. A girl can dream right! :)

    Once again Happy Holidays to Everyone and their familes!

  • TWC

    Merry Christmas, kids!

  • DougyD

    Got my BLeacher Nation shirt for Xmas, can’t wait to try it on. Merry Xmas cub fans. To 2012!

  • JulioZuleta

    Merry Christmas Brett and everyone else. Thanks for everything you do.

  • Oswego Chris

    BN t-shirt and sweatshirt under my tree this morning compliments of my wife…will continue to spread the word…

    “tell a Cub friend about BN”

    actually should tell 3 friends about BN….make this site go….


    • Katie

      That’s fine unless those new people are assholes.

    • Frat Rat

      Only thing missing Chris was your BN endorsement check……….

    • farmerjon

      Funny, I’ve only been telling my intelligent cub fan friends about this site. Terrible, I know, but I have too many low-brow as is. Great site brett, keep up the good work. I hope you spoiled that little girl as much as I did mine 😉 Merry Christmas everybody and lance your a total buzz-kill.

      • ferrets_bueller

        Same here.  Is it just me, or do we have an amazingly large amount of those “low brow” fans?

  • OlderStyle

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a great ’12 season.

  • Cliffy

    QT @MLBInsideNews: Christmas day rumor: Theo Epstein wants to finish a trade of Garza on Monday or Tuesday.

    • Brett

      His source and one of my sources must be friends…

  • Cliffy

    QT @MLBInsideNews: #Jays and #Tigers are pushing the hardest for Garza. Don’t be surprised if #Marlins jump in.

    • ferrets_bueller

      He mentions Jacob turner as a guy the Tigers would be willing to include.  I definitely wouldn’t mind that, depending on who else is involved.  That might be a problem, though, as I’m not really much of a fan of much else in Detroit’s system…Castellanos is intriguing, but he Ks quite a lot, and has only played A ball.  Their farm system is worse than the Cubs IMO.


      The jays, on the other hand, seem like a much better fit.  Not only do they actually have more than one  desirable prospect, they have enough to still have a great system even if they dealt 2 or 3 from near the top.  Bruce Levine mentions possible scenarios with the jays, the best of which IMO would involve getting OF Jake Marisnick and one of their top arms- which I would most definitely take over anything the Tigers could possibly offer.

      • Lou

        Worse than the Cubs? I think their SP alone with Turner and Smyly are better than ours.

        • ferrets_bueller

          Turner is definitely the best single player between the two, but the Tigers have pretty much zero positional prospects of any merit whatsoever, aside from Castellanos- who I seriously doubt will be able to be an impact player in the majors without major changes to his approach.  As a whole, the Cubs system is better IMO.  Most publications have them ranked about equal.

          IMO, Garza should be able to bring you either a top SP and a top positional prospect, or two top SP prospects, plus additional 3rd or 4th prospects.  I don’t think Detroit has anything close to that to offer.  The Jays are a much better trade partner.

          I guess I would take Turner/castellanos/others if a deal for marisnick/others from the Jays can’t be made, but I think its both less value, more risk, and players at a lower level (besides Turner, obviously).  And I think Toronto would be more willing as well- Detroit has pretty much decimated their once promising farm system through trades.

  • Earl Cunningham

    Happy Hollidays. Thank you for taking the leap and starting this website. Like many others in this comment chain, I check your site a couple times a day. It is also on the front page of my phone’s app screen. Great work. I look forward to reading your work every day in 2012.

  • Brett

    Thanks again for the kind thoughts. We’ve had a great first Christmas with the little girl (who, stereotypically, is more interested in the boxes and wrapping than in the toys). Hope it’s been great for you all, as well.

  • Kyle

    ?!?! You heard that too?

    • Brett

      I heard, non-specifically (or, at least that’s as much as I can say), that the frot office isn’t exactly taking a break on Garza talks for the holidays.

  • Brian Peters

    Not counting Soriano, aren’t the Cubs pretty much flush in the outfield? Why strike a deal with Toronto to get another one? Last time I checked, the Cubs still need a first baseman, though.

    • ferrets_bueller

      We have one good OF prospect (Jackson), a horrible OF in Soriano, and two 4th OF type guys in Byrd and DeJesus.  Theres not exactly much of a logjam there at all, because there really isnt a whole lot of talent.  Pretty much the only position an elite prospect wouldnt be needed is SS, otherwise you have a huge future hole literally everywhere.  Marisnick has the potential to be an impact player, theres no way you pass him up because you have Byrd or DeJesus.  Thats almost laughable.

      • Kyle

        I’d really like to see Sappelt started over Soriano. They are very, very close in total value, but I think Sappelt has some upside and might be just a tick more valuable because of his defense if he hits like I expect him to (280/320/400ish).

        Sappelt/Byrd/DeJesus with all three guys capable of average value but probably not much more. I don’t think that’s terrible, but there’s not a guy on the list I’d be unhappy to see replaced either.

        At that point, you have to either trade Soriano while picking up almost all of his salary or waive him. He can’t be a backup. Johnson/Campana is a pretty terrible backup situation, but oh well.

        • ferrets_bueller

          I don’t think Johnson/Campana as backup is that bad, especially if you figure in a Jackson callup at some point.  But I definitely agree, at this point, Soriano HAS to go.

          I think you could end up at a point that, if you don’t sign Cespedes/Soler and need somewhere to put some money…buy out Soriano, or cut him, or trade him with nearly all of his salary in additional cash, or something…but he has to go.  Its not a matter of his salary being an albatross per se, its more an issue of the fact that you really need a spot to get kids playing time.

    • Lou

      That is if the Cubs trade Garza to Toronto. Some reports are now saying the Tigers. That would probably mean 3b or SP.

      • Kevin

        Why not take Travis Snider and two good arms from Toronto? Its not too late for him, and he has the upside the front office may target. Anybody hear him mentioned?

        • ferrets_bueller

          I guess it depends on who the arms are, but Travis Snider is a guy who many thought would never pan out, and he appears to be fullfilling it.  No matter what the level, he’s had very large numbers of strike outs.  It was a question as to whether he could hit for even a decent average in the majors, and it looks like he might continue to struggle to do so.  I’d rather get Marisnick.

          • JasonB

            Agree with ferrets – only see Snider as a throw in at this point. Hasn’t been able to translate talent to MLB.

    • JasonB

      I like DeJesus so I wouldn’t consider him a 4th OF. Acquiring someone like Marisnick would be about acquiring an asset. We can always move him at some point for another position like a 1b. He’s still in low minors so it isn’t like we’d be playing him next year. He could give us a piece to go out and get a guy like a Rizzo if we wanted him. Don’t worry about making this trade for necessity. Get the best value and go from there.