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The NFL has reached its penultimate stage, which is exciting to me if only because it allows me to use “penultimate,” one of my favorite – but rarely useful – words.

  • After years of having no one to whom you could point and call a “very good” first base prospect, the Cubs now have two in the top ten in all of baseball, according to MLB.com. 2011 second round pick Dan Vogelbach comes in at number 10, and recently-acquired first baseman of the future Anthony Rizzo comes in at number 1.
  • Speaking of Rizzo, the Tribune has a nice feel-good write-up on the Jason McLeod favorite. Rizzo is going to be an easy one to root for. And it’ll be at first base – McLeod noted on a radio appearance yesterday morning that the Cubs don’t plan on trying him out in a corner outfield spot. Rizzo is a first baseman, and a great one, defensively, at that.
  • Folks want to know where the Cubs’ compensatory pick for Carlos Pena will fall – by my early calculation, it’s going to be right around number 53 (near the end of the supplemental round because it’s for a Type B player, and it is the Cubs’ second supplemental pick (Aramis Ramirez is first, at around pick 42)). That’ll give the Cubs three picks in the top 53, and four in the top 61 or so. Crappy years do have their upside.
  • Ryan Braun, who in October tested positive for a banned substance, accepted his MVP award last night, and here’s a portion of his speech: “Sometimes in life we all deal with challenges we never expected to endure. We have an opportunity to look at those challenges and view them either as obstacles or opportunities. I’ve chosen to view every challenge I’ve ever faced as an opportunity and this will be no different. I’ve always believed that a person’s character is revealed through the way they deal with those moments of adversity.” Perhaps, Ryan. But it’s also possible that your character was revealed about four months ago. Time will tell.
  • The Sun Times reported last week that some Cubs’ scouts were upset that the team had asked them to double up in rooms at the Cubs Convention and to take the L to get there. Now, the Sun Times reports that the Cubs have cut scouts’ per diem from $50 a day to $30 a day. Clearly, the Sun Times has the line on a disgruntled scout or two. I asked a scout if he’d yet heard of the change, and he hadn’t. He said it would surprise him given the Cubs’ stated desire to get the best scouts and pay them like the best. Then again, maybe the Cubs are paying the best salaries, but cutting around the margins. They wouldn’t be the first company to try that approach.
  • Another suggestion – this, from Phil Rogers – that Larry Lucchino is the problematic piece in the Cubs/Red Sox’s efforts to settle the Theo Epstein compensation issue.
  • I’ve heard repeatedly that Alfonso Soriano is a very nice guy, so this story from CubsCon is not surprising: “[O]n Saturday, I met a young girl who was about 12 years old. She was waiting for Alfonso Soriano for 6 1/2 hours in the same spot. She spoke with me about how much she loves him and wants to name her kids after him. I walked up to the stage with her at 4:30 p.m. to finally meet him and she started to cry out of sheer joy. Alfonso signed a picture, a ball and a bat for her and took three pictures with her. That was probably the most exciting moment of her life, and to be a part of that was heartwarming. Despite all of the angst for Soriano that many fans have, the sheer emotion of the situation took over. For that moment, everything was at ease. The best part was Alfonso’s reaction; he loved every second of it.”
  • An interesting article arguing that the only way to really stop PED use is to hammer the players in their wallets every year of their current contract after they test positive. “The notion that being exposed as a possible cheater is a strong enough deterrent is just disingenuous PR spin. Baseball was never as puritanical as revisionists make it out to be. The game’s history is filled with philanderers, drunks and racists — and that was the “Golden Age.” If the game really wants to stop PEDs, it will stop pretending it operates in a “Leave It To Beaver” world and acknowledge that it’s just trying to keep up with the Kardashians like every other money-driven business.”
  • http://justinjabs.com/blog Justin Jabs

    I learned “penultimate” reading the Lemony Snickett books as a kid. It’s a great word.

  • Miller

    Brett, I expect the Cubs to go “college pitcher” heavy with at least 3 of their first 4 picks, given the sudden position player strength in the system and lack of starting pitching. Lots of sites have Kevin Gausman going to the Cubs at #6, although I’m not that sold. Thoughts?

    • Ryan G

      I highly doubt the Cubs are going to take three college pitchers with 3 of the 4 early picks just because it’s a “position of need.” Theo/Jed/Jason and company don’t draft based on need, which is the right way to do it. They’re going to take who they have as the BPA. Now with the new CBA they may take into account how much it’s going to take to sign said player before drafting him, and if they have two players on the board who they rate near the same and one is significantly cheaper to sign, I’d say they may go that route for at least one or two picks in the first ten rounds.

      • Brad Barber

        I would expect them to go college-heavy though with their top picks. College players are significantly cheaper to sign (especially if they are seniors) because you aren’t bribing them out of an education. I would expect the Cubs to take a college pitcher with their first pick because they are more polished and ready, generally, along with the cost factor. However, should there be an amazing talent available at any position (an amazing talent would probably be more expensive), I would expect the Cubs to take that person instead and THEN go college heavy, so they could sign the expensive first-rounder and hopefully sign the rest of their top ten. I’m not sold on the idea that Cubs will be college-pitcher over college-position player, however I’m quite confident that they will draft the B College PA

    • Ryan

      Interesting I haven’t seen any mock draft that has Gaus dropping to the Cubs. I’ve seen mocks where they have they Cubs taking a HS OF, college C. and a HS pitcher (supp)

      • KCubsfan

        I have seen a few draft boards where the Cubs are drafting HS and College pitcher I have seen very few where they are drafting position players.

        • ferrets_bueller

          While almost any sport’s mock drafts are pretty much crap shoots, MLB mock drafts are usually  far beyond ridiculously inaccurate, to the point that, aside from the #1 picks (usually), taking any projection with a couple grains of salt might even be lending them too much credence.

    • Hawkeyegrad

      I saw this old analysis last week which depressed me about the Cubs prospects to find an impact player even with these four early picks. You do really need to have superior scouting/analysis to beat the odds.

      The second conclusion I came to is that as much as a crapshoot as it is you can really improve your odds of landing an impact player by drafting position players (college position players are the best bet) instead of pitchers.

      Using this analysis as a basis, I would draft position players with early picks and if your pitchers (which you pick in later rounds) don’t pan out, you try to deal excess position players for arms that are MLB ready.

      http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2009/06/the_draft_and_w.php

  • Ian Afterbirth

    There are “ultimate”, “penultimate”, and “antepenultimate” (which spell check doesn’t like but it’s a real word).

    There you go, Ace – you’re welcome!

  • Nick Nesler

    After I read the article last night about Vogelbach I found a couple videos of him, one was of a power showcase at Chase Field. Man this kid really does have the WOW kind of power, and from what i saw his fielding wasnt terrible for his build. If he turns some of that fat into muscle we could have a beast on our hands in a couple years.

    • Cheryl

      Yes, Vogelbach looks good. The danger may be that Theo and company are so sold on Rizzo that they focus their attention on himand don’t take Vogelbach into consideration. He may even be better than Rizzo. With all these new people from the last draft uf they have a year’s adjustment thay may cause a loss of interest, The situation with Simpson is a little different. He has had health problems. But if he doesn’t do well this year in the minors he may be considered a bust.

      • Andrew

        Vogelbach is only 19 and has 6 games of pro-ball under his belt. While yes he does hold a very bright future, he doesn’t have the resume Rizzo has built yet. Vogelbach could be the first baseman of the future but that probably wont be for at least 3-4 years, so Rizzo is priority number 1 for now. Best-case scenario, by the time Rizzo needs his big contract, Vogelbach will be ready to take over first and rizzo can move to left or something, but all that is far away so speculating specifics is kinda futile at this point. For now well just be happy that we have 2 terrific prospects who could be big stars in the future.

        • JR 1908

          Yep. It’s great to have assets. Ideally Rizzo proves to be great in the majors, and we can use Voges to aquire topshelf pitching..

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    Another suggestion – this, from Phil Rogers – that Larry Lucchino is the problematic piece in the Cubs/Red Sox’s efforts to settle the Theo Epstein compensation issue.

    DUH!!!
    Good ol’ Phil, we should call him “scoop”. He got there a little late, but he did get there.

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    Tossing around fine words like “penultimate” and “disingenuous”, wow Brett, you are a shoo in for the media job. Take the 11 million, we can get Soler later.

  • ferrets_bueller

    I find it hilarious that guys like Phil Rogers are just now reporting that its Lucchino holding things up, something many of us have been saying for months now. Great reporting, guys! Lmao.

  • die hard

    If Soriano was such a nice guy he would agree to buy 200 seasons tickets each of the next 3 years and donate them to boys and girls clubs.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    damn, vogelbach is a white prince fielder!

    • die hard

      careful….you will be labeled a racist by some BN citizens…..to temper your message, try also comparing a non white player to a white player…just the facts….

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        if i offended anyone with my statement i am truly sorry… it was not my intention… just an obvious observation really.

        • Deez

          Don’t sweat it. You’re ok…
          “This time.”

        • http://bleachernation ferris

          if ppl are that thin skinnned its their problem the facts are he hits like prince and looks/body wise like prince but he is white……..no way does anyone need to apologize for telling the truth….especially one meant as a complement.

        • Bobo Justis

          If Vogelbach reminds you of Fielder, there is nothing wrong with that. Physically, and in their left handedness and style of play, everyone can appreciate the comparison. Where you go wrong, and where you give yourself away, is in bringing race into it. Why can’t they just be two baseball players? What you call “obvious” wouldn’t occur to a right thinking person. There are always people who will complain that they have to be so politically correct. No, you don’t. You just have to be correct, which in this case involves realizing that race plays no part in your comparison. Your apology is sincere, and that’s admirable. But comparing Vogelbach to Boog Powell is not going to solve your problem, it just covers it up.

          • http://www.twitter.com/mrrobbins MrRobbins

            If he was right handed and he said, “he’s a right handed Prince Fielder” would that be “wrong”. Wouldn’t they still be two baseball players?

            See, it’s more likely that YOU are the one bringing race into this. Black/white is not race. It’s a descriptor, just like any other noticeable feature. You are the one taking the HUGE, monstrous leap that this was in any way racial motivated.

            A “right thinking” person wouldn’t take offense to that statement. It wouldn’t even come into your mind that could even be offensive.

            • Andrew

              He’s saying that since race plays no role in your ability to play baseball, using it as a descriptor is pointless. Saying he’s righthanded would change the way he plays baseball whereas being white does not.

              The point is that when someone compares baseball players, the only attributes that should be looked at are things that affect baseball. Handedness, strength, speed, age, all affect how a player plays baseball and contributes to a team. adding race does nothing to compare two different baseball players, so it is an unnecesary qualifier.

              I think its quite obvious that the original commenter didnt mean anything insensitive by his comment, but i think its important to note that race should have no place in the evaluation baseball players or any humans for that matter.

              • http://www.twitter.com/mrrobbins MrRobbins

                Well, I understand what you’re saying, but I still don’t know why it’s negative or “wrong”.

                If I said, Clay Mathews is a long haired Lawrence Taylor, no one thinks anything about it.

                I think by making it so socially unacceptable to even mention skin color to be “racist” or “wrong” is WAY more racially motivated or wrong than the other way around.

        • Tommy

          loyal100 – anyone that would even suggest you have any type of ‘mean’ in you just hasn’t been paying attention here on the BN threads. You don’t have anything to apologize for anything, you’re one of the best natured guys on this site. That was a ridiculous comment.

          • ferrets_bueller

            I can’t believe people actually gave it the time of day, it was simply die hard being a troll.  There was absolutely nothing to apologize for.

      • ferrets_bueller

        ahem…”troll”

      • oso

        die hard: choke your self

        • ferrets_bueller

          lmao, well, thats one way of putting it bahaha.

    • cubsnivy56

      My first thought after reading was large…….not color.

    • Bobo Justis

      Anyone else want to expose their thinking? Before you do, why don’t you ask all of your black friends if “black” is “just a descriptor”? No one used the concept “racially motivated,” because it did not apply. However, it could be a limitation and a problem for you or for me if race enters our thinking when it doesn’t have any bearing. Loyal has already proven he’s more of a man than his defenders by expressing regret. His defenders aren’t defending him; they are defending themselves.

      • Tommy

        I was going to say something, but your post really doesn’t deserve a response.

      • JR 1908

        B.S. like this bobo gives me a headache. Quit trying to make something out of nothing.. Wasting everyone’s time… Loyal’s “defenders” aren’t doing anything other than saying he didn’t mean anything by it. Quit being a jerkoff.

      • ferrets_bueller

        Why don’t you go troll somewhere else?  Seriously, go away.  Forever.

    • jandersonjr81 father of Caden

      I’m Black, but I actually feel like Prince looks Looks a black Vogelbach. LMAO. May not be funny funny, but “Black Vogelbach” just sounds cool. Sounds like some king of bird or something.

      Diehard, chillout dude. Every time some body says something about black or white doesn’t make them racist. Now comments like minorities not being able to afford tickets, that is racist. Don’t like calling people names, and some of my views are criticized(being against the Z trade mainly), but you sir are completely out of touch.

      • Tommy

        LOL! Thank you jandersonjr! Well said!

      • Bric

        I disagree- it was VERY funny. But your comment (which I was agreeing with) took a sharp into crazytown when you mentioned you were opposed to the Z trade.

    • Kyle

      I’m less concerned with the racism and more with the hyperbole.

      I like Vogelbach a ton, but he’s not as good as Prince Fielder was at the same age. There’s a reason Fielder was a very high draft pick and Vogelbach fell to the second round.

  • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

    he looks like the catcher on the sandlot all grown up and smashing HS pitching. he has a great scouting report when it comes to hitting and says he moves well for his size with soft hands fielding the ball. are there any links out there with a sample video of his game? hitting fielding, anyone have any interesting footage of the big youngster?

    • JR 1908

      Check this out Loyal. I love his compact swing…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulw6sJqW03A

      • ferrets_bueller

        Glad somebody posted that video.  I absolutely love the guy- the only thing, IMO, that is going to be a problem for him is defense and weight.  The guy can hit- and not in a way that raises questions about translating to the majors.  His swing, as you said, is compact.  The guy can hit anything, IMO.  Unlike guys like a Ryan Howard, there aren’t really going to be any holes in his swing, or any major high SO/low BA questions.  He’s quick, short, and powerful.  Perfect at the plate, IMO.

      • Tommy

        Wow! If you don’t get excited about that kid from that video, there’s something wrong with you!

        Thanks for the link JR 1908.

        • Rick Vaughn

          Babe Ruth reincarnated. CAN NOT WAIT!

      • cubsnivy56

        Great video.  Wow!  Thanks!

      • http://bleachernation.com loyal100more

        thanks so much for the video! awesome stuff, and alot of promise… glad hes on our side!

  • colocubfan

    Wow Brett! With your baseball background and the use of words like penultimate, is the ANY chance you could replace Carrie Muskat???

  • jim

    Vogelbach= dh

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    this is what had me confused the whole time volglebach was drafted and i thought he was the reason the cubs were rumored to only want prince for a four or five yr deal…..but obviously not the case..vogleback is young enough to learn a corner o.f. spot as well….since the perception is that rizzo is a better def. 1b

    • Ryan G

      No chance of that. Rizzo has a much better chance of being able to play a corner OF spot, most likely LF, but there’s no chance Vogelbach could play OF. He’s just too big. We’re in a good spot if we ever have to think about it. Who knows what’s going on then? Maybe the NL has the DH by then, which Vogelbach could easily slide into. Or maybe we use Vogelbach as a good trade piece.

    • Kyle

      Teams don’t make decisions about the MLB club and draft picks in tandem. They have nothing to do with each other.

      Sometimes people really underestimate the attrition rate in the low minors (and interestingly, they also underestimate how sure of a thing AAA performers really are). A guy like Vogelbach (high second round pure bat) has less than a 50% chance of ever getting a cup of coffee in the major leagues, let alone being an established player.

  • LouCub

    Brett, Soriano may have been good as gold in front of hundreds at the Cubs Convention…but my wife and I went to Fitch during his first Spring Training with the Cubs..There were a few older folks, my wife, infant son and I and 2 little kids about 10 years old near the fence where he was getting into his car and coldly refused to sign for the 2 kids..Our first impression was “what a dick!!!” Michael Barrett stood out there before him for a half hour signing as did D Lee and countless others and this guy comes out late in no hurry and wouldn’t sign for 2 kids…It’s what you do behind the scenes that tells you how good one is, not what he does in front of a crowd or cameras..Granted it could have been a bad day but 2 kids!!! It would have taken 30 seconds!!!

    • Doug

      I totally agree. My brother and I had a similar experience with him 4 years ago in Mesa. He walked by us with this go F yourself smirk. If my brother hadn’t been there to restrain me I would have ended up in jail that night!!

      One Cub did take the time to hang with us, take pictures and sign our jerseys though. Kerry Wood. That guy is a class act.

      • Skinner

        Let me get this straight…Soriano ignored you once and if your brother hadn’t been there you would have tried to fight him?

        • Doug

          Skinner,

          Thanks for your insight. You make a couple great points. I feel bad about my previous statement. In retrospect I admit it was wrong to have judged Sori solely on one personal experience.

          I know having had unrealistic expectations of how players should interact with fans was unfair. I have no idea what his frame of mind was at that moment. I should have complimented Kerry for the way he interacted with us and left it at that.

          I apologize to you, Brett and all the BN readers for wasting their time with my childish rant.

      • Deer

        Correction, you would have ended up handcuffed in a hospital.

    • Skinner

      Chances are in the course of your life you have not been exactly a saint in situations where being kind wouldn’t have been any skin off your teeth. Chances are you have not done the gracious thing when you didn’t think anybody was watching either. The difference: nobody is on some blog self-righteously condemning your life based on a moment where you weren’t the better angel of your nature. Yeah, it sucks he didn’t sign for your kids, but that doesn’t give you the right to judge the guy as a dick. Maybe he was having a bad day, maybe he had somewhere to be, maybe he was exhausted, and said to himself he would sign extra the next day. The relationship between fans and players can many times be parasitic, maybe this was one of those times where he felt himself all used up. It’s a shame to be sure, and it’s disappointing, but that doesn’t mean Brett’s story is not the truth, but yours is. Chances are, you’re both right. We human creatures are rarely consistent, and certainly not in our dealings with other humans. So cut him a break. Get over it. Forgive him. He’s just a human being.

    • Kyle

      People don’t think about what an athlete’s day is like.

      Yes, it would take them five minutes to stop and interact with fans at any given point. But during spring training, they have opportunities like that dozens of times per day.

      You can sign autographs for an hour getting out of your car, 30 minutes outside the clubhouse on the way in, 30 minutes on the field by the dugout before the game, an hour after the game by the dugout, and then 30 minutes outside the clubhouse. But then if you decide you just want to get in your car and go home, some guy in the parking lot will tell everyone he knows about what a jerk you are for not stopping to sign in the parking lot after a spring training game.

      Fans need to get over their sense of entitlement with athletes. If they want to sign for you or give you the time of day, great! But don’t rip on the guys who just want to do their jobs and go home. That’s totally within their rights.

      • scorecardpaul

        Kyle great post,
        I have been to spring training. I actually felt sorry for the players. They are hounded like dogs. If you want an autograph, buy one. They are always for sale!!

  • Deer

    Reducing the per diem to $30 is silly. That cost savings compared to the operating budget is a joke. I don’t understand the point of this move, if true.

  • jh

    What if the per diem is $25 for every other team? Then does it make sense? What if that amount coupled with other operational savings helps just a tiny bit? What if they found massive waste in the scouting department that we’ll never hear about? We don’t know the perspective on these moves to judge.

  • Deer

    Have you ever traveled for business and ate 3 meals for $25? It’s hard to do unless the goal is to increase heart diseases by making fast food the only option. An entire year of savings is probably equivalent to Chris Volstad’s half day pay, and that’s being generous.

  • Cole

    It is very easy to eat on $30 a day. Almost every hotel has some sort of breakfast. I dont know about any of you but i can easily eat 2 meals for $30. I think what they are upset about is the extra money they get to keep at the end of the day. Say you eat for $10 and they give you $50. Thats $40 in your pocket each day.

  • sam

    This site has its butt holes – if you dont lick little theo balls – you dont matter

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Why do you keep calling Theo little?

      • JR 1908

        Yeah the whole little Theo thing.. What the hell is that suppose to mean Sam?

        • Rick Vaughn

          “This site has its butt holes – if you dont lick little theo balls – you dont matter”

          Dude is talking about buttholes, licking balls, and little theo. Nothing to see here. It’s cool bro, my wife has a couple of homosexual friends, I’ve got no problem with it. You’re welcome here. Just keep the inappropriate “little Theo” stuff to a minimum. It makes some people uncomfortable. Plenty of other sites for X-rated chit-chat.

          • ferrets_bueller

            My question is, why did he name it after Epstein, if he hates the guy so much? bahaha.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      This coming from one of the sites BIGGEST butt-holes.

  • Quintz

    Slooooooooooow news day, huh? Debating race and appropriate per diem for scouts.

    • JR 1908

      Ha… Yeah right. Exciting Cubs talk today.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sunday in late January? Yeah. Something like that.

  • T Larson

    Forget sam

  • Rick Vaughn

    “Perhaps, Ryan. But it’s also possible that your character was revealed about four months ago. Time will tell.”

    Bravo sir… bravo.

  • Cheryl

    Vogelbach is white. Fielder is black. Fielder is a proven first baseman and a powerful hitter. Vogelbach is a powerful hitter and may some day be as proven a commodity as Fielder. We don’t know that yet. We do know he’s young and is serious about getting in shape to play baseball (He’s lost 40 pounds.) Vogelbach may be similar in build to Babe Ruth, like Vaughn says. He may be a very good baseball player in time. But lets not catagorize him or Fielder. There are already some who catagorize LaHair because he’s older. Forget trying to fit them into one mold. Isn’t the best route with all of these younger players is to give them a chance and see what happens?

  • 2much2say

    Soriano is a good guy. Everytime he signs something it has value. He signed for my son when he could have run off. I think he deserves to pick those situations. The goofball who wanted to fight him speaks for itself.

    • Doug

      Clearly you DO have too much to say. Had you read my follow up you may have noticed that I admitted my stance was wrong. I went on to thank Skinner for helping me realize I was being unfair to Mr. Soriano. I even apologized to all Bleacher Nation readers for my childish post. I am not too proud to admit when I’m wrong.

      Save your vilification for the closed minded who only see there opinions being of value.

  • Bric

    I find it funny the scouts are complaining about per diem pay. The scout in question claims the Cubs are interested in top scouts and are going to pay like it. Really? Then please explain to me Colvin, Vitters, Simpson, and all of the other recent busts the scouts have produced. And their advanced scouting of opposing teams helped contribute to a horible year and 6 consecutive playoff losses. They should consider themselves lucky they don’t have to sleep in their cars.

  • die hard

    Neither Rizzo nor Vogelbach will ever be half the player Fielder is….Fielder is a once in a generation ballplayer…if Boras was not so full of himself he would put Fielder’s interest ahead of his own and sign him with the Cubs for 3 years at $100 mil….then he would be a free agent to end his career as a DH with AL team….

    • Doug

      I would liked to have had him on a three year deal as well. Not for $100 mil though.

    • Nomar’s Left Glove

      Die hard, do you ever make an intelligent point? Fielder for $33mil\year is insane, if not completely stupid. Neither Rizzo nor Vogelbach are even 23 year old, it’s pretty stupid to think that they couldn’t amount to great things given the time or opportunity.

      • die hard

        If Cubs were serious about 2012, they would make the deal…absent this deal, you can write off 2012….fans should then save hard earned money going to see cheaper minor league games or college games or free high school games…Fielder would not accept anything less than full effort from other players and would get the most out of his teammates…Castro wouldnt dare nod off for instance….

        • KCubsfan

          Can you not flip out before the season starts wait until openning day ok? Then if you dont like what you see in Spring Training then flip out.

          • die hard

            Spring training wont change anything….Fans should begin to stay away in AZ if deal not made before then

            • KCubsfan

              You do know one player doesnt make a baseball team right? Fielder wouldnt have any real protectiong so, he would see any pitches to hit. Also the rest of the team besides castro are 2nd teir players. This isnt Theo’s fault it is Hendry’s fault and it will take time to fit.

              • die hard

                Castro
                DeJesus
                Fielder
                Byrd
                Soto
                Stewart
                Soriano/Campana
                Barney

                • KCubsfan

                  Whats your point

                • KCubsfan

                  They are still a bottom half team.

                  • BetterNews

                    Will the 2012 Cubs be at the WS game? No! Will the Cubs make the playoffs? Doubtful, but could happen as I’ve seen crazier things happen. Will the Cubs be Better than the Cubs of the past 2 seasons? Yes!

                    Having said that, 2014/2015 looks like the years they can take it all.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Yes 2014/15 is team we are building for no more bandaids. Stick to a plan and build for the future.

              • KCubsfan

                Wait, wait Ha Ha ha wait. You have Byrd batting 4th Ha ha ha!

      • Doug

        Die Hard do you honestly think the signing of Fielder would increase our chances of winning the division this year? I guess it’s possible however I doubt it. I think most people will agree that this season is all about dumping contracts, shoring up our defense, adding depth to the pitching staff and developing our minor league systems.

        I just can’t see how the addition of Prince changes that at all.

        • die hard

          signing him would be a game changer and put other teams in division on notice to take Cubs seriously

          • Doug

            An interesting point I guess. I would prefer them building a system that insures years of domination as opposed to signing one key free agent in an attempt to pacify the fans or send messages to the the division that we should be taken seriously. The only message we should be concerned with sending is the one on the front page of the Tribune saying, CUBS WIN THE PENNANT!!

            • MichiganGoat

              Doug, best not to engage die hard. Just enjoy the rants and find humor where you can, I prefer to read him as satire- its tolerable then.

              • Doug

                Thanks Michigan. I’m new on here. Point taken.

                • MichiganGoat

                  go to the message board you’ll find more helpful information

    • Mike

      I am in awe of the way you can see Rizzo’s and Vogelbach’s career trajectories. May I borrow your crystal ball to see next week’s powerball numbers?

    • Shawn

      Fielder is not a once in a generation player. A quick look at the statistical leaders, among first baseman, show there are a few who have put up similar numbers over the past 4 or 5 seasons.

      • BetterNews

        Oh how I agree on on your point!

  • 2much2say

    Fielder is of no use unless the Cubs do 5 yrs. Put Rizzo/Lahair in Left
    Dejesus Castro Soriano Fielder Rizzo/Lahair Soto Barney Stewart

  • North Side Irish

    Can we stop now please?

    Scott Swaim @MLBInsideNews 6m
    #Breaking: #Nationals to sign Prince Fielder to 8 year deal.

  • BetterNews

    MG–We agreed on something?

    • MichiganGoat

      I will always agree and engage rational responses that avoid personal attacks or is a repeat of what’s been said. You’ve been much better in responses, no insults, no repeating the same point over and over- that will result in replies and discussions.

      • BetterNews

        Nah, you only want to be “rational” when it benefits you! Like I said, I believe you have a long past history of trying to humiliate people. And you teach children?

        I would suggest the FBI get hold of you!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Once again, you’ve really, really crossed the line, BetterNews. The implication of your comment is completely inappropriate, unnecessary, and will not be tolerated. Taking it to that kind of personal level will never be OK.

          You would be best served to stick exclusively to commenting about the Cubs. This is your final warning.

          • BetterNews

            Yes. But by the same token, MichanGoat needs to be reprimanded. He is NOT the BN police. Or is he? That was the reason for my comment a couple of days ago(Gestapo). Someone trying to feed disinformation about a person and the humiliation tactic! I try to stick to Cubs commentary only, but MG is a !@@& trying to piss people off.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              You are mistaken. MG is an excellent commenter and a friend. He’s tried to help you, and you’ve ignored it.

            • MichiganGoat

              Mr. News you’ve missed the point on every level. You continue to ignore the suggestions and advice that everyone on here are giving you, and instead try to turn any conversation into a argument. You need to stop and be reflective about your choices because your missing the point of a message board- its a community. You seem to miss that, do you want to be the neighbor that everyone ignores and wishes would move away? Spend some serious time thinking about what your doing on here every night and decide if you want to be part of the community or move to different place.

    • BetterNews

      Let’s hear them.

      • MichiganGoat

        ??? You just replied to yourself. If you mean discussions my evening is done.

        • BetterNews

          My reply(let’s hear them) was meant for 2much. Sorry MG, I made a MISTAKE!

  • 2much2say

    Scott Swaim Mlbinsider is a hack Die hard has better sources

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