The Cubs Convention is one week away, and, despite the lack of banner-name acquisitions, I’m pretty excited. My wife, who’s coming with me, is going to get a taste of just how nuts Cubs fans can be – at least I hope.
- Speaking of the Convention, the Cubs have finally released the (mostly) full schedule of events and the players expected to be in attendance (together with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Dale Sveum). Among the players expected to appear: Starlin Castro, Marlon Byrd, Ian Stewart, David DeJesus, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad Ryan Dempster, Carlos Marmol, Geovany Soto, Jeff Samardzija, Randy Wells, Darwin Barney, Tony Campana, Andrew Cashner, and others. A number of prospects will also be in attendance, including Brett Jackson, Welington Castillo, Matt Szczur and Josh Vitters.
- Now, would it be totally ridiculous of me to point out two names missing from the list of players, thus implying that there is a reason for their absence beyond maybe “they didn’t want to come” or “the PR department forgot to include their names”? The names, of course, are Matt Garza and Alfonso Soriano. I choose to imply nothing.
- Weekend passes for the Convention are still available, which is probably indicative of a slight drop in enthusiasm among the fan base. But, whateves, that just means you still have a chance to go. Where you can meet ME!
- The Cubs also released the full Cubs Caravan itinerary. Just about everyone is participating at the various school stops on at least one of the days, which is pretty cool.
- New Cubs pitcher, Chris Volstad, is excited about his future in Chicago. He’s even got some very specific plans about how he’s going to succeed at Wrigley Field. “I love it,” Volstad said of the Cubs’ home park. “The fan base is outstanding. You know the area and the atmosphere is the best in baseball, and I’m excited for that. A ground-ball pitcher, [with] the infield grass, it’s going to be great. I’m really excited to start the year.” Get that sinker working, and we’ll all be excited, too, Chris.
- St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan is stepping aside for now to tend to his wife, who has been battling cancer. Obviously this could have an impact on the Cardinals, but thinking of such things now is indelicate, at best. Here’s hoping things turn out as well as they can for the Duncans.
- Paul Sullivan looks at how the Cubs’ rotation stands right now, and it’s just as you’d expect – Garza, Dempster, Wells, Wood, Volstad, with Samardzija, Cashner, and Sonnanstine as possibilities. I’d throw in Casey Coleman and Jay Jackson as theoreticaly possibilities, as well. Chris Rusin has an outside chance. Trey McNutt and Ryan Searle are even more outside-y chance-y. The depth story this year looks slightly better than last year, and I doubt the Cubs are done accumulating depth.
- BN’er Oswego Chris puts together his All-Galaxy Team (‘Star Wars’-themed, but with actual MLB players). It’s a one-of-a-kind thing, that, if you’re even moderately into ‘Star Wars,’ you should check out.
- I keep reading about Joe Torre’s gutsy/risky/gamblin’ move to leave behind a well-paying job with MLB for a chance to buy the Dodgers. Folks, the guy is 71 years old and has made tens and tens of millions of dollars in his career. He’s trying to buy a freaking baseball team, for crying out loud. Leaving your job in that scenario is gutsy?