With writers voting on Hall of Famers these days, there’s quite a bit of chatter on Twitter about fringe HOF candidates. That got me thinking: does Bernie Williams’ musical prowess put him over the top? I kid, of course…

  • It looks like Manny Corpas’ non-guaranteed, split minor league deal will pay him $1 million if he makes the big club out of Spring Training, with another $700k available based on his time on the roster, and another $200k in incentives. The Major League minimum is right around $500k, so it’s not as if Corpas will be tremendously expensive even if he does make the team. I dig it.
  • The Hardball Times takes a look at Jed Hoyer’s time in charge of the Padres and concludes, as many others have, that he was excellent at re-stocking the organization’s farm system in a very short time, and using a limited amount of Major League resources. Even most of Hoyer’s deals at the Major League level – frequently small deals with bounce-back candidates – worked out well for the Padres. Am I straining for optimism? Maybe. But it’s still there.
  • Reed Johnson talks about why he’s returning to the Cubs, and about the direction of the franchise. Reed enjoys playing in Chicago, as you might expect, in large part because he feels a lot of fan support. He says Hoyer told him the team is going to be even more focused on defense and base running, which was part of the reason they wanted Johnson back. Reed added that he hasn’t heard any talk of “rebuilding” (which, like, of course he hasn’t), and said that the Cubs, as a large market team, should be able to compete in 2012 while reworking the roster.
  • If they’re interested in trying to get a better deal on their games broadcasted on CSN Chicago, the Cubs may have to reach out across town to White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who owns 40% of the network.
  • Speaking of money, only one team in the top nine payrolls in 2011 saw a decline in payroll from 2010 to 2011. Yup, it was the Cubs (down from $142.4 million total end of year payroll in 2010 to $140.6 million in 2011). Only two of the top 15 saw a decline in payroll (the Tigers were the other). The payroll figure is expected to drop once again in 2012.
  • Jeff Passan’s top five baseball stories of the year. The Chicago Cubs appear exactly nonce. (I’d intended to use “nonce” there as a clever way of saying zero (you know, like, not “once,” but “nonce.” Turns out, “nonce” is British slang for pedophile. That ain’t cool. I’m leaving it, though, on the clear understanding that I’m not saying “The Chicago Cubs appear exactly pedophile.” That sentence doesn’t make sense anyway.)
  • BN’er Oswego Chris drops his early preseason power rankings for the NL and the AL on the Message Board. Actually, he dropped them a month ago, but I’m slow. They humorously rank teams based not on actual expected performance, but on their names. Let this serve as your reminder: if you aren’t on the Message Board, you’re missing out. Or, at least, you’re going to be a month late to the party, since I’m a bum who likes to leave interesting/humorous things open in Chrome tabs for months at a time.
  • Stockholm Cubs

    Hey Brett, thanks for all updates.

    A technical issue (maybe long known) is that the bullets don’t come out very well on a (Android) smartphone. Any one else bothered?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Stockholm. When you say they don’t come out very well, what do you mean? Do you mean zooming in on them? Or do you mean the bullets, themselves, don’t show up properly? Thanks.

      • Stockholm Cubs

        The bullets and associated text come out fine – but zooming in on them doesn’t center the paragraph.. perhaps there’s a simple solution to this minor annoyance?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          That’s what I thought. I’m not sure of a solution, because the issue is the offset paragraphs (i.e., the opening paragraph is a normal paragraph, and then the bullets are shifted over slightly to the right). When I’m on my phone (iPhone), I skip over the first paragraph and zoom in on the bullets only. That gets me zoomed in properly, but maybe that only works on the iPhone. Alternatively, is there not a way to do an arbitrary zoom (i.e., don’t have it center for you, but instead pinch-zoom just the amount you want)? I’m speaking from the perspective of an iPhone, so maybe none of that makes sense.

        • Rancelot

          Hey Stockholm, if there is a solution I haven’t discovered it either. The best way to view BN on my Android is turning it on its side. Btw, dig your handle! I absolutely LOVE Sweden and of course the Cubs.

          • Levi

            Yep, turn that Android sideways and hope for the best! That’s what I do as well. GO CUBBIES!

          • Edgar

            I do the same.

          • Stockholm Cubs

            Thanks for your responses (and sorry Brett, for making this post a tech-forum).

            Rancelot: The best thing about Stockholm is that a day-game at Wrigley is prime-time viewing for me =)

        • Andrew

          Stockholm – which browser are you using on your phone? The stock browser doesn’t do a great job of zooming in on the bullets, but Dolphin does give you the pinch-zoom that Brett is talking about above. I’m sure there are other non-stock browsers that give you the same thing; Dolphin is just the one that I’ve personally used the most because once I found that I liked it I just stuck with it.

          • Stockholm Cubs

            Much appreciated, I’ll have a look at Dolphin!

  • Fishin Phil

    I’m sure that Jerry Reinsdorf will be very accomidating to the Cubs wishes.

    </sarcasm off>

  • random_monkey

    FWIW: While ‘nonce’ may have originally related to sex offenders, these days its generally synonymous with ‘idiot’. Perhaps quite fitting when you look at some of the points in their 2011 year.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Good to know. Now I won’t feel like a nonce if I call someone a nonce.

    • NLIADad

      Speaking of 2011 year and “nonce” – which definition would be more fitting for the people associated with the sports world as whole?

  • die hard

    its a sad state of affairs for the Cubs when so much ink is devoted to a player named Manny Corpas….the 1962 Mets comes to mind….Cub fans may long for their record of 40-122….Hopefully at least, Sveum will be a good sport and give fans some memorable quotes like Stengel did for Mets fans….otherwise the 2012 season will be un-endurable….

    • Wilbur

      Die Hard,

      I agree with your emotions totally. However, we are in that bad of a state of affairs.

      That being said, these guys didn’t get us to where we finished 2011. I am at least encouraged that there are talented people with proven experience turning weak franchises into winners working on a Cub solution. They’ve done it in Boston working off a stronger talent base and in San Diego with less talent and money, can’t we sit back and let them try here?

      I’m willing to watch a hundred Manny C deals as they flip players trying to continually swap, buy or trade their way toward a more talented franchise. Not aiming at you DH, but what I don’t hear from the those that are so put out by all these small moves is a compelling alternative on how they’d do it differently over the next three years.

      As Cub fans we watched a team with a $140+ million payroll stumble to an abysmal record. If we stumble next year and in the process get more athletic and then clear payroll at the end of the season the future as early as 2013 has real potential.

  • Oswego Chris

    thanks again Brett for the pub on the main page….if one of your goals is to make BN a Cub fan’s first “stop” in the morning, you’re doing well….

    happy to help anyway I can….asside from any physically demanding manual labor..of course…