I know everyone wants to be a (or in a) “New Year’s Bowl,” but, seriously: can we spread them out a bit more? There were four games on at once yesterday, each of which I would have liked to watch. As it was, I tried to flip back and forth among four channels (which, yes, has some fun to it), and missed most of all four games. Lame. The stories of the day in the Cubs’ world remain the twin rumor arcs of Matt Garza and Prince Fielder, about which we’ll have more later today. Until then, Bullets…

  • It looks like Ryan Braun will not win an appeal of his 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the only two ways Braun could win his appeal is (a) to prove a lab error with testing (which appears impossible at this point), or (b) demonstrate that the Brewers had signed off on Braun taking a medication. A source tells the MJS that the latter didn’t happen, and thus doesn’t expect Braun’s suspension to be overturned.
  • The Cubs have signed a 16-year-old pitcher out of Mexico, Luis Cornelius Monatano. Details are extremely sparse at this point – I can’t even tell you his signing bonus or relative value – but it looks like he’ll continue pitching for his Mexican team while the Cubs hold the rights to him. He’s about six feet tall, and is a lefty. That’s about all I’ve got right now.
  • Thoughts on some of the Cubs’ top prospects from a fantasy perspective. Shock of the morning: exceedingly few are expected to have a fantasy impact in the big leagues any time soon.
  • The Hardball Times takes a stab at predicting the 2012 Hall of Fame voting, and comes up with only Barry Larkin making the cut. Former Cubs closer Lee Smith will likely see a bump, but might not get much more than 50% of the vote this time around, despite a weak ballot.
  • If you want some ivy from Wrigley Field, you better ask Marlon Byrd to grab some for you. That’s because, if you break into the park in the wee hours of New Year’s Day morning (totally sober, I’m sure) and pluck some ivy, you will be caught.
  • Being developed on the Message Board: a new statistic to measure just how slow some players are on the base paths (the stop watch, of course, having been ushered into¬†obsolescence). Tony Campana registers near the top of the scale, and Yadier Molina near the bottom, so, clearly, it works.


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