We’ll have the latest on Yoenis Cespedes and the Theo Epstein compensation issue later today (there’s actually a bit to say), but, until then, Bullets…
- Cubs Hall of Famer Andre Dawson (I’ll always think of him that way, anyway), who is a special assistant to the GM down in Miami is a fan of the new ballpark and the changes to the team. “The [new] ballpark is the big focal point this year, and with that in mind, management has gone the extra step trying to put a more competitive product on the field,” Dawson said to the Tribune’s Fred Mitchell. “They filled some necessary voids on the field and they elected to go forward. They want to win right away. Hopefully the new acquisitions will play a big role in that. We’ve practically raided a few players from both the north and the south side of Chicago that should make a huge impact. There’s a lot of excitement down in South Florida right now, not just about the acquisitions, but about the ballpark and this organization moving forward.” Having heard the whispers of ugliness about how the Marlins procured the funding for their stadium (and how it negatively impacts genuine efforts like that of the Cubs to secure partial public funding for renovations), I can’t help but root, ever so slightly, for the Marlins to fail. And that’s probably stupid – if attendance in Miami continues to struggle post-new-stadium, the narrative about not using public funds for stadium needs will only grow stronger. But, given recent history, it’s even harder to convince myself not to be anti-Marlins.
- New Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, perhaps receiving too much flack from fans, has pulled back from a plan to possibly consider changing the team’s name commensurate with its move to the AL in 2013. I dig the history and all that, but I was kind of hoping it would happen, if only from a voyeuristic standpoint.
- Carrie Muskat addresses the Cubs’ proposed batting order, and notes the problem with batting Starlin Castro third (he struggled there, mightily, last year). The real problem? The Cubs have a few top of the order type hitters, but no real three or four. Bryan LaHair being legit, as well as Geovany Soto and Ian Stewart rebounding would sure help things.
- Dude! I am SO going to summer camp with the Cubs! What? It’s only for kids aged 5 to 13? That’s crap. I’m pretty short and youthful-looking. I think I can pull it off.
- BN’er Cliffy passes on something he saw on MLBN – in a ranking of the game’s top current center fielders, Marlon Byrd came in at number nine. Decent bat, good defense – I think that sounds fair, if a touch high. Are you paying attention other-teams-who-might-need-a-center-fielder?
- Phil Rogers emphasizes just how bad the Brewers’ unnecessary extension of Ryan Braun was, and MLBTradeRumors throws up a number of extension cautionary tales from two years ago. Something to consider as we talk, cavalierly, about extending Matt Garza or Starlin Castro.