LSU played like crap last night, no doubt, but they’ve got to be feeling a bit screwed this morning. Look over the collective bodies of work for LSU and Alabama in the 2011 season, and it’s not even a close argument as to which had the better season. Good think I don’t care a whit about the SEC.
- Bruce Miles says Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have no loyalty to Kerry Wood, nor should they, and if Wood leaves, it’s “just business.” Unfortunately, I’m not as able to be as professional and dispassionate as Bruce. If the Cubs fail to re-sign Kerry Wood because of a couple million or so bucks (Wood is reportedly asking for $4 million), I’ll be mighty sad, “future performance” be damned. If, on the other hand, the Cubs and Kerry would genuinely like to see the pitcher get a better shot at a ring in 2012, then I’ll gladly cheer for Kerry wherever he signs. (That all said, I still think Kerry gloriously strolls on stage at the Convention to announce that he’s re-signed.)
- One more Wood bullet: I keep reading that a guy like Kerry Wood serves no purpose on a rebuilding team (Barry Rozner says it the most oafishly: “[F]or a team rebuilding, Wood serves very little purpose. This is something Cubs fans might not like to hear, but it also happens to be true. Of course, Cubs fans were none too happy a year ago when it said right here that Wood with the Cubs made little sense, since the Cubs weren’t going anywhere in 2011 and those innings should have been taken by someone growing into the role. But it was such a cute story and hardly anyone likes reality to get in the way of cute.”). Excuse me, but do you really think that a team full of young players and young pitchers has no use for a guy like Kerry Wood? The 2012 Cubs, whatever their plan for “competitiveness,” could use a presence like Kerry Wood as much as any team in baseball. It’s not about “chemistry,” mind you, it’s about learning. You want those young players to develop in the best possible way? One piece of that process is having a couple guys like Wood around.
- Bruce Levine speculates that, if the Cubs’ pitchers were to stay the same for the 2012 season, Randy Wells would be the odd man out of the rotation. If all six of Garza, Dempster, Wells, Maholm, Wood, and Volstad are all here in April, I suppose I’d have to agree. I think Wells still has a great deal of value as a starter – look no further than how he excellently he pitched last year after he was finally over his forearm strain – but it’s hard to bounce any of the other five. Optioning one of the younger guys to AAA is a theoretical possibility, but I would be shocked if all six are still here come Opening Day.
- Jed Hoyer will be on CSN’s Hot Stove this evening at 5pm CT.
- Gordon Wittenmyer says the Cubs anticipate bringing back pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, presumably on a minor league deal. Lopez will duke it out in Spring Training for the long-coveted 9th starter spot.
- Notable in Carrie Muskat’s Q/A yesterday: Cubs single game tickets go on sale online on March 9.
- Yesterday, Barry Larkin, the long-time face of the Cincinnati Reds, deservedly got the call to the Hall of Fame. Good for him.
- Completely random stat I’m having trouble explaining in my head: last year, the team with the best road attendance was the New York Yankees (no surprise). Number two? The Cincinnati Reds. The best explanation I can come up with: the Reds benefited from playing a disproportionate number of games in ballparks that had very high attendance last year (Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis). I doubt it was a case of everyone just having to see Drew Stubbs.
- Folks are meme-ing a photo set of Greg Maddux looking like a hipster. The photo, and my offering: