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It wasn’t too many New Year’s Eves ago that I sometimes had trouble remembering the ball drop the next day as I struggled to watch football through a nasty hangoer. This year, the wife, the daughter and I had over friends who have a newborn, and we ate pizza and cookies, and talked about some of the year’s better TV shows. I enjoyed it. And I know I’ll enjoy today much more than in years past…

  • Matt Garza trade rumors continue to swirl. The latest has the Marlins joining the fray (again, not to be “that” guy, but the Marlins were rumored to have interest weeks ago) according to Ken Rosenthal. He describes the interest as “serious,” and says the Cubs might have interest in A-ball outfielder, 20-year-old Christian Yelich. Other players Rosenthal notes as available include third base prospect Matt Dominguez, outfielder Chris Coghlan, first baseman Gaby Sanchez, and relief prospect (and former Cubs farmhand) Jose Ceda. Not a hugely exciting crop of players without a single pitcher or Logan Morrison among them. I think Rosenthal is just picking some names out of a hat. That said, any additional teams that have interest is good news for the Cubs, who don’t have to trade Garza.
  • Buster Olney reported that the Tigers are making their top prospect, pitcher Jacob Turner, available in talks with the Cubs, but, again, that’s been rumored/assumed to be the case for some time now. The same article, from the Detroit News, says it is believed that the Tigers are offering the Cubs multiple prospects, including Turner, for Garza (but are not including number two prospect, third baseman Nick Castellanos). Turner, 20, is probably the best single prospect that has been attached to these Garza trade talks – he was a first round pick out of high school in 2009, and got a telling $5.5 million signing bonus. He’s a big-timer in the prospect world, and is probably no more than a year away from sticking in the Majors.
  • Bruce Levine was on the radio yesterday morning, once again espousing his belief that the Cubs are still pursuing Prince Fielder. Despite conceding that he believes Fielder will land a seven-year deal, Levine says, “The Cubs are very interested in Prince Fielder and are working very hard under the radar to bring him in.” Levine isn’t always right when he’s speculating or making trade suggestions (ok, he’s usually head-scratchingly off in those areas), but when it comes to reporting sourced rumors, few are better than Levine, in my opinion. If he’s saying this as confidently as he’s saying it, I believe it’s true. (h/t CCO.)
  • The Chicago Tribune’s writers reveal their Hall of Fame ballots, and, although they cover a range of selections, they all seem fair to me. Lee Smith makes everyone’s ballot except Mark Gonzalez and … Phil Rogers.
  • Ur Mom

    You guys are all [dumb]… The cubs will “definitely” sign Prince..can’t any of you read between the lines or use common sense.. The cubs have about 50 million to spend before they even get to last years payroll, based on reports I’ve read.. If you guys beleive the cubs are “rebuilding” and sacrificing the next two years you’re all crazy.. If this team is worse than last year, which it would be without prince, even die hard cubs fans will stop paying top dollar to watch a shit team.. This town would string Theo up if we have two more terrible years.. You really think Theo wants to win 50 games the next two years?? You really think the cubs “don’t have the money?”.. Really?!?.. You guys are a bunch of morons, we’re getting prince, he’s the best hr hitter in baseball and Hes in his freaking prime.. If the cubs didn’t sign him they would be fools.. Maybe you guys like to get all geeked up on fantasy baseball, you know you all play it, but some of us actually want to win and be entertained and nit just watch a bunch of glorified minor leaguers the next two years.. Just because Theo is making moves to get younger doesn’t mean he intends to steer this major market franchise into a full on “rebuild”, that what he wants people to think so he can get other gm’s to deal with him.. Theo is a sleeping bear, trust me he has an ego too, and he’s not gonna “rebuild”, hes gonna re-tool.. I can’t wait until all you losers drinking the kool-aid, who say it’s not a good idea to sign prince, go rushing out to get ur prince jersey when he signs.. Can’t wait to say I told you so.. Unless my comments are taken down again because you little boys feelings seem to get pretty hurt unless everyone joins your big circle jerk.. The cubs will sign prince and if they don’t then fuck em, I won’t pay to support a minor league team masquerading as the cubs for the next two years, but trust me that won’t happen.. We’re getting prince..

    [Edited slightly - the "r" word for mentally handicapped persons is off limits. And I love the irony that you're the same person who incorrectly claims your comments have been removed. Look at this embarrassing pile you just wrote, and yet I leave even it up...]

    • JR1908

      Ur Mom, the only moron is you. Are you Jim Hendry?? I think you may be him… Hiding as ur mom… You have the same stupid thought process he did. Yes, the Cubs may get Prince if the price is right… Please shut up, and find another site dbag…

    • Rick Vaughn

      I think most people here acknowledge the possibility that Prince will sign with the Cubs. Many of us from what I have seen would welcome a deal. Why the hell are you so upset? Nothing quite like the ramblings of an inbred dumbass to remind us how lucky we are to have fully functional brains and some mental stability.

       

    • TWC

      #1 thing I’ve learned on BleacherNation: If the commenter doesn’t know how to use quotation marks, the comment isn’t worth “reading”.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        “TRUTH” (I’m sure someone said it aloud once upon a time, so I can quote it… right?… Dick Tidrow doesnt quote

    • Tommy

      Ur Mom – You had me at hello.

    • DRock

      Ur mom is right about one thing, we are all “dumb”er for reading his trash. Brett, next time please do us all a favor by completely deleting his post. By the way, happy new year Bleacher Nation!

      • Rick Vaughn

        If you’re going to be accused of it, you might as well have the satisfaction of actually deleting his posts.

  • ty

    let me review this: We are retards, crazy, morons, geeks, losers, circle jerkers, and little boys. Welcome to Bleacher Nation as believe in diversity!

  • R.I.P. Santo

    what a tool….. Really?

    • Tommy

      R.I.P. Santo – Love your Gravatar. All Chicago, all the time, baby! That’s awesome!

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    So it looks like the new year has brought us a new group of incoherent, win-now-or-die, Theo is an idiot, I lost my medication, pay attention to ME posters/trolls. Yeah 2012!

  • Spoda17

    First post here, very nice site Brett.

    Not really gunna comment on ur mom, as he/she is obviously not that bright, and probably a crack addict.

    I for one really would rather pass on Fielder, trade Garza while he still has a lot of value, and yes, “rebuild.” If we make no more moves, I still am very excited to watch the 2012 Cubs. Even just to see an actual competent manager.

    No matter how bright, dedicated, or hard working team Theo is, you can only play with the cards you are dealt; and quite frankly, we don’t have a good hand. So let Theo get some better cards, and then let’s play.

    I am looking forward to 2012 Cubs, no matter what. Just very excited we are competent and relevant again…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Welcome, Spoda, and thanks for the thoughts.

  • Spoda17

    Thanks Brett, nice to be here… I bleed Cubs blue like the rest of you… even though I live in Pennsylvania… originally from Chicago…

    I normally get my one trip a year in to see the Cubs… either in NYC, Philly, or Chicago… Made the Sat and Sun Yankee games this year.

  • Katie

    I’ve generally found that people who use “ur” instead of “your” or “you’re” are usually morons who aren’t worth my time.

    • Dougy D

      Well that’s just like, UR opinion, man.

      • Dougy D

        Just kidding. I am not quite skilled at text messaging enough to use stuff like that. I am actually liking the direction the club is moving (based on the type of stuff I think is going to happen: i.e. gathering talent, no new frivolous contracts). Maybe I am more excited about the upcoming season, since I have BleacherNation to provide me with news of what is going on in the offseason this year. Happy new year to all of you Cub fans out there.

        • Katie

          Back atcha Dougy!

      • davidalanu

        Donny, ur out of ur element!

        • Rick Vaughn

          OVER THE LINE!

          • EtotheR

            I DON’T ROLL ON SHABBOS!

            • davidalanu

              Thats right, mang, nobody f$%&s with DeJesus.

            • Dougy D

              It’s not like I’m buying it a beer, Dude.

            • Rick Vaughn

              Obviously you’re not a golfer.

    • Nick

      For all of the BN fans that appreciate correct spelling…

      http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling

      Happy New Year!

      • Katie

        Love the oatmeal! The Bob Cats are my favorites!

        • BetterNews

          Got a Toxedo cat today Katie. What do you think of the pick? Female. Will it get along with a Norw. Elk Hound?

      • scorecardpaul

        Oatmeal rocks

  • TongueInCheek

    The Cubs don’t need money. You can’t buy prospects for money. They must give up good talent like Marshall and Garza and let our super scouts determine who the best promising prospects that we can secure are. Forget Fielder and Super Scouts earn your keep.

  • Bill

    Cubs will have to make smart moves and stay healthy……please sign a impact player that can help fill the seats with some feeling we can be in the hunt well in to the summer….season ticket holder that could not give the tickets away last year.

    • Nate

      Season tickets? I’ll take them :)

    • Runningcub

      I’d second that:)

  • Ryan

    John Heyman says no leader in Garza talks

    • BetterNews

      Thats because Garza isn’t going anywhere.

    • ferrets_bueller

      Thats because Garza is going everywhere at once.

      • BetterNews

        Keep dreaming.

      • BetterNews

        It’s all talk, nothing more.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        HA!

  • Tommy

    Thought this was interesting about LaHair and thought I’d share it here:

    In all (Triple-A, Majors, Winter League), LaHair has hit .311/.405/.629 in 677 at-bats with 127 runs, 211 hits, 51 doubles, a triple, 54 homers, 143 RBI, 105 walks and 180 strikeouts.

    The whiff numbers are a bit high, but you can’t argue with that power. Four-hundred-twenty-six total bases in 677 at-bats is just astounding. Those numbers are just astounding.

    • KidCubbie

      Agreed. If for some reason we dont land Fielder I’m going to feel a little more comfortable letting Lahair get a fair shot at 1B. Anybody know how good defensively he is?

      • BetterNews

        Who? LaHair or Fielder?

        • BetterNews

          If your comparing them to Pena, I would say Fielder is best choice followed by LaHair, defensively of course.

          • KidCubbie

            Yeah Lahair defensively. Sorry i wasnt specific.

          • Dougy D

            Does LaHair show any promise defensively? Does he have the potential for any significant improvement?

      • Kyle

        LaHair defensively? Bad. Not sure if he’s better or worse than Fielder, who is also bad, but LaHair is a bad defensive player.

        • KidCubbie

          Did a little digging.
          Fielder- .992 fielding percentage at 1B. 68 Errors in 516 chances.
          Lahair- .996 fielding percentage at 1B in the MLB. 2 Errors in 312 chances
          .994 fielding percentage at 1B in Minors. 38 Errors in 556 chances.

          Neither one seems bad from the numbers.

          Carlos Pena- .994 fielding percentage. 63 Errors in 10,049 chances.

          • Kyle

            Fielding percentage tells you almost nothing about a player’s defensive ability.

            • BetterNews

              It does quite frankly!

              • KidCubbie

                Then what’s a better way to judge fielding ability?

                • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                  If your talking about statistics it’s very tough, range factor is flawed and the others are suspect.

                • Rick Vaughn
                  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                    Here is a great article (that has been discussed on here) on why WAR and especially UZR is a flawed measurement.

                    http://itsaboutthemoney.net/archives/2011/09/06/is-war-the-new-rbi/

                    • Rick Vaughn

                      Yeah, it’s definitely flawed. But when it comes to stats to compare players defensively, beggars can’t be choosers.

                      We know Pena is elite just from watching him. He saved Aramis’ and Starlin’s asses more times than I care to remember.

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      True, but the problem is when defensive metrics are used to definitively say player X is good or bad defensively. Here is where us novice, armchair GMs get in trouble. It’s easier to look at something like OPS and compare players, but defensive metrics just don’t have a good way to measure and compare. Yes Pena is better defensively than Fielder, but to use the metrics and say Player X is good or bad is difficult to say with certainty because there are so many subjective aspects to that evaluation.

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      Btw isn’t it nice to have an actually baseball conversation on here. It’s been so long since that has happened after 10pm EST.

                    • Rick Vaughn

                      I was just thinking the same thing. I’m not expecting it to last.

                • BetterNews

                  I can’t answer that. What I can tell you is Pena is 6’2 to 6’3 and weighs about 215 lbs. That manks him lanky at first believe it or not.(Able to reach ball more readilly) Fielder is 5′ 11”, and thats giving him an inch. Also Fielder is close to 300 ponds(that was suppose to funny) and does not have the range. However, with a good infield, he would not need that range and would be very good. Just throwing that out there.

                  • KidCubbie

                    Thanks. I agree his body type does limit him from making athletic plays, but as long as he can catch the routine balls its ok with me i guess. He should be able to block them if nothing else.

                  • Nate

                    As funny as the Fielder weight comment was, you’re actually not far off. MLB.com has Prince at 275 lbs…

                • Tommy

                  better way – tarot cards.

                  • BetterNews

                    I’ll try. Have to concentrate!

                  • BetterNews

                    O.K. I concentrated. The only way Gaza gets moved is for a “Blockbuster” deal. Not for prospects. And now you have ” BetterNews”.

                    • scorecardpaul

                      Ok, I need clarification BetterNews.   Are you now saying that your sources are telling you that the Cubs will trade Garza in a blockbuster deal, or have you had to much to drink

                    • EtotheR

                      No, Paul…he said “Gaza”.

                      He has actually shifted his insight to global Mideast politics, and is now an expert on the Israeli West Bank. The Israelis would obviously rather hear his ramblings about Garza, if forced to listen to him at all.

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              Agreed, defense is very difficult to measure through statistics and fielding % is one of the worst.

              • Cheryl

                LaHair was up for the cubs only a month. Most o the time, I believe, he played in the outfield – not his natural position-and wasn’t bad. In the majors at first base I don’t think we have enough to go by to judge his defense capabilities. But I love his offense.

                • BetterNews

                  Yes, but can he do it at MLB level? That’s the question.

                  • Rick Vaughn

                    I think defense is the one player trait that is universal at every level. Unless the player is a choke artist, and if that were the case, we’d know it through his offensive performance.

                    So basically, I believe his defensive stats and evaluations from last year at AAA would be similar to those same stats and evaluations he would have gotten playing the entire season with the Cubs.

                    • BetterNews

                      O.K. What about offensive stats? Everybody is seeming to suggest he will be the same hitter if he indeed does start. Do you agree with that?( I’m talking about La Hair mind you)

                    • Rick Vaughn

                      I don’t think anyone has suggested he’d be the same hitter he was in AAA.

                      He hit .331/.405/.664 at AAA last year.

                      I personally expect him to hit .290/.365/.520 this year. 30 homeruns, 85 RBI, with below average to average defense. But I’m forever an optimist when it comes to the Cubs. Most people here probably project much less from him.

                    • BetterNews

                      Sure we do. .270 hitter with 20 homers and 60 RbIS. And not saying that would be bad.. Might be better. But that is Better than .220 Pena, yes?

                    • Rick Vaughn

                      Maybe he could be more valuable than Pena. More than anything else though, I’m done watching watching Pena taking his sweet ass time between pitches. He’s one of the worst offenders in all of baseball.

                    • BetterNews

                      I really don’t believe was Pena is taking his sweetime. I personally believe he was waiting for a coach to “chime” in. “Hey” should I bunt? Look what’s happening here!

  • Zach

    First, I believe that Prince Fielder will eventually go to the Cubs. Fielder at age 26 can still be apart of “rebuilding” that Theo has in mind. Theo will figure out that the Cubs will have a good chance to snatch up Fielder. First base has been a good position for the Cubs the past years with Derek Lee and Carlos Peña. If the Cubs don’t sign Prince Fielder, who else is going to consistently hit balls over the ivey and into the bleachers?

    Next, the Cubs should sign Edwin Jackson AND keep Matt Garza. The Cubs were terrible with pitching last season. Having those two at the top of the rotation and Dempster and try to sign Maholm to help out. I would maybe consider giving Zambrano one last chance and if he does not cool it, he is out on the curb.

    Finally, I would love to see the Cubs get Cespedes or Soler. I would want Cespedes more personally after seeing his videos on YouTube and how athletic he is. I’m not sure how well he could hit major league pitching, but if he can like he did in Cuba, he can be a BEAST in The Bigs. I also heard he has very good speed, if you can hit the long ball and can run very fast, that is usually a great combination.

  • jjbo44

    Any of the 9 or so teams that have been mentioned could land fielder…. it just takes the highest offer… players union too strong to NOT let that happen… ie Arod deal… i say the reason its been quiet on the prince front is because he would love to make a big splash with the new Magic Johnson ownership group and the dodgers… otherwise, we would be nearing a deal and for sure more talk… but magic new ownership is not in position yet to make a deal …… if and when that happens… if it is in time… and the offer is the best.. prince will be a dodger… alongside his 2 very close friends… gwynn jr and kemp.
    Alot of “ifs” but should be interesting to watch

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    What happen to urmom?? Like my daddy always told me don’t let your alligator mouth over run your tadpole ass!!! LMAO!

  • Ur Dad

    Ignore all of the rantings of my old lady, I’ve been trying to get her to shut up for years now and it hasn’t worked yet!

    As a lifelong Cub fan for more years than I care to admit (yes I saw Ernie playing when he first came up when I was a kid and was in the stands when they melted in August of 69) I think that the Cubs would like to sign Prince and are waiting for the market price to settle into reality but the reality is that other teams like the Nationals may be offering the same money with a bigger upside for immediate success than the Cubs currently can offer. They will have to trump all other final offers and I think that they will balk at too huge of a commitment. Even though they need Prince to fill seats and provide an appearance of their intention to be competitive this year, I think that they have secretly been viewing the other options for first in possible trade talks. They always have their Plan B with LaHair and can say that he was their first choice anyway, but let’s be realistic he is about the same age as Prince and he hasn’t been able to crack a big league roster in all of those years, there must be a reason for that!

    I am throwing my blind faith behind Theo and Company to perform the “Miracle on Addison Street”. What other choice do I have other than becoming a Sox fan, and if it hasn’t happened after all of these pitiful seasons it won’t happen now!

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