Actor Rob Lowe – or Chris Traeger, if you prefer – “broke” the “news” of Peyton Manning’s retirement on Twitter yesterday, and what followed – folks tweeting breaking sports news uncovered by celebrities – was *LITERALLY* the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. (Manning’s dad says it isn’t true, for what it’s worth.)
- White Sox’s Cuban prospect Dayan Viciedo has been recruiting his countrymen Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler to join the White Sox when they reach free agency. He says it wasn’t a team-directed effort (sure – because players just reach out to other players to sign with their team all the time without knowing whether their team is actually interested), and he just wanted tell the two men about what a great organization he played for. One nice thing? As a part of his sales pitch, he’s undoubtedly selling the city of Chicago, too. That can only help the Cubs.
- Speaking of Cespedes, he hit his first home run in the Dominican Winter League last night. It was a 97 mph fastball on the outer half, and Cespedes yanked it out to left. Just as it was ridiculous to look at his slow start and conclude he sucked, it would be ridiculous to look at a bomb homer and conclude he’s great. The scouts have seen him far more than we have.
- Sarah Spain interviewed various fans at the Cubs Convention this weekend, and, for the most part, they said intelligent things. I like that. I can’t believe they cut out the clip where she was talking to me, and, mid-interview, I did a double back-flip and landed on my toes and Theo was watching and Theo said I was his favorite guy ever and Theo asked me to help him win it all and Theo and I are best friends now and Theo named his dog Brett.
- 2011 first round pick Javier Baez comes in at number eight on MLB’s list of the top shortstop prospects in baseball. On Baez, MLB.com says: “Baez went one spot after [third-ranked Francisco] Lindor in the 2011 Draft, and while Lindor might be the better all-around shortstop, a very good argument can be made that Baez is the better pure hitter. His plus bat speed should enable him to hit for average and power. Baez doesn’t get cheated at the plate, and his already-impressive skills will be even better once he learns a bit more plate discipline. He’s not a slouch defensively, with a strong arm and good hands, but he doesn’t have the same kind of range Lindor has. Some think a move to third is in Baez’s future, and his bat should be more than fine to profile well there. That bat could allow Baez to move speedily through the system, regardless of his defensive home.” Former Cubs prospect Hak-ju Lee, traded to the Rays in the Matt Garza deal, ranks fifth.
- The Chicago Tribune clearly picked the most flattering picture of recently-signed catcher (minor league deal) Jason Jaramillo they could find.