I had something really clever worked out in my head last night for this little intro spot, but then sleep stole it from me. Lesson: write it down.

  • Dan Patrick is shining a ray of hopefor Ryan Braun, who is currently appealing a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance in October. Patrick says he’s heard from “somebody involved in the process” that Braun may ultimately be exonerated. Among Patrick’s comments on his radio show yesterday: “There were whispers that this was a personal medical issue, that he was taking something for that, that may have spiked his test. I since found out [Sunday] that that is not the case …. Ryan Braun may be exonerated here. He may be found innocent. And judging from all of the information I was told, there’s a good chance that he should be …. The bigger issue here is the testing and was Ryan Braun a victim of the testing by Major League Baseball. Let’s see how this plays out …. The feeling I got [Sunday] from somebody involved in the process in this, it’s not as cut and dried as people would think. And Ryan Braun may be an innocent man.” We’ll have to wait to see what Braun’s defense actually is – personal medical situation or erroneous testing – but it still remains a longshot that his suspension is overturned, if only because it’s never happened before.
  • A Big League Stew link made the rounds yesterday, making fun of the Cubs’ “culture change” under Theo and Jed for purportedly teaching its “prospects” the dance moves to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” And the included video is pretty funny. The “prospects” in the video are members of the Idaho Cubs, and, hey, what do you know, the Cubs do have some prospects in Idaho … but they aren’t the Idaho Cubs. They’re the Boise Hawks. The Idaho Cubs are actually not a part of the Chicago Cubs’ organization, but instead are a development team for kids hoping to someday play collegiate or professional baseball – it’s mostly high schoolers. The team is sponsored by the Boise Hawks, but these aren’t Cubs “prospects.” (The Big League Stew post was later updated to include the following: “Admittedly, the connection here is kind of a stretch: The Idaho Cubs are sponsored by the Boise Hawks, Chicago’s short-season Single-A affiliate. But it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it in the middle of January.”) Take your derision elsewhere, thankyouverymuch.




  • The Tribune’s Dave van Dyke discusses which team has the better rotation right now, the Cubs or the White Sox, and lands on the White Sox, though he thinks both rotations are ugly. Shrug. It seems to me that Garza/Demspter versus Danks/Floyd is a push, and I’ll take the Cubs’ 3 through 7 over the White Sox’s 3 through 5. Or have I just been sold on Theo and Jed’s insistence on rotation depth (we were all a pretty easy sell after seeing what happened last year with Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner).
  • The bids are in for the Los Angeles Dodgers – about 10 of them – and, among the notable names: Mark Cuban.
  • ESPNW’s Amanda Rykoff takes a look at the anticipated storylines for the 2012 season for each team, and the Cubs’ story is pretty much exactly what you’d expect: “Theo Epstein has arrived. Carlos Zambrano is gone. I don’t think anything else matters much to Cubs fans these days. The Cubs have a new ad campaign called ‘Baseball is Better’ and that seems to be the feeling these days on the North Side. There’s always next year in Wrigleyville, but maybe, just maybe, this will actually be true with new management in town.” I’d say the real storylines are a bit more nuanced than that – the primary one being how has the team positioned itself for 2013 and beyond – but Epstein and Zambrano are obviously names you’ll be hearing on a daily (or near daily, in Zambrano’s case) basis this year.
  • Brad Paisley will join Roger Waters in making a stop at Wrigley Field this summer. Paisley will play at Wrigley on June 9, with Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, Band Perry and Jerrod Niemann opening.



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