Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

At this time yesterday, a Matt Garza trade felt imminent. It’s not always a particular rumor or piece of evidence to which you can point. But there tends to be a buzz about these things – a collection of reports from certain folks, stated in a certain way, together with what you hear from sources. None, individually, explicitly say a deal will be done (and I always caution that a deal might never get done), but, taken together, it seemed on the way. The deal didn’t take place yesterday, though, despite all the buzz. Perhaps that’s, in part, because…

  • Jed Hoyer and his wife Merrill welcomed their first child, a son named Beckett, yesterday. A big congrats to the Hoyer family. Take your time, Jed.
  • Another Cubs year in review article, this from CSN’s Patrick Mooney. F the goat, we stinks, I’m not a lunatic. It was a season of quotes for the Cubs, but, like, Patrick. How could you miss, perhaps, the most obvious one: “Now is not the time for bold changes.” It only took until December, but this organization finally recognizes that, yes, it is the time for bold changes. The bolder the better.

  • Bryan LaHair, who still resides atop the Cubs’ first base depth chart, keeps hitting homers in Venezuela. The level of competition in the Venezuelan Winter League¬†vacillates¬†between decent and low-level minors, so you can only glean so much positive from a Winter performance. But, if a guy is tanking, that’s almost always a bad sign. LaHair is not tanking.
  • Albert Pujols’ 10-year, $254 million contract is backloaded. Like, very backloaded. In 2012, he’ll get just $12 million, and in 2013, just $16 million. By the end of his deal, he’ll be getting more than $30 million per year, according to Jerry Crasnick. The Angels, it seems, would gladly pay tomorrow for a hamburger today. It’s a great hamburger – it’s just fair to wonder exactly how old and moldy it will be by “tomorrow.”
  • Carlos Zambrano is the 9th best hitting pitcher of all-time, so at least he’s got that going for him.
  • The Daily Herald writers reveal their Hall of Fame ballots, and Bruce Miles’ probably makes the most sense, in terms of internal consistency and logic. I’m not saying I agree with his rather healthy list – Jeff Bagwell, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, and Alan Trammell¬†– but he’s consistent. I dig that.

  • Watching kids on Christmas morning can be heartening and fun. It can also be hilarious, say, when a little White Sox fan gets a Cubs pillow for Christmas:

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