It’s National Signing Day for you college football fans out there. I used to follow college football recruiting almost as obsessively as I check Chicago Cubs rumors, but it’s waned in recent years. I don’t know if it’s the whole 30-year-old-man-hanging-on-the-whims-of-a-bunch-of-17/18-year-old-kids-is-kind-of-weird thing, or if it’s just been a matter of having less time to do it.
- Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein and New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman look forward to working together now that Epstein isn’t heading up Cashman’s rival. Obviously they had some great battles over the years, and, at a forum at Sacred Heart University last night, the duo shared one particularly interesting story:
There was the time in 2002 when Epstein had his Latin American scouting director buy up every room in the small hotel in Nicaragua where then free agent Jose Contreras was staying while negotiating with the Red Sox and Yankees as a free agent.
“We were smoking cigars with Contreras and drinking rum until about 4 o’clock in the morning,” Epstein said. “He told us he always wanted to be a Red Sox, and then the next morning the Yankees offered him about $10 million more.”
Cashman said the hotel move made George Steinbrenner angry.
“The Boss, that was something that was a one up on us when they did that, it was a shrewd move, and he (Steinbrenner) was not going to be denied,” Cashman said.
- Matt Garza’s Fresno home was burglarized at some point in the last week. Yes, I recognize that this is a perfect opportunity to make some crack about losing a cat’s sleepwear, but burglary and the like is very serious. It can bring a scary, helpless feeling, even if you “only” lose “stuff.” I hope they catch the bastard(s). Garza’s AL East Championship ring from 2008 was taken, which includes his name on it, so apprehension may be a real possibility.
- Roger Waters’ version of The Wall Tour and a country show headlined by Brad Paisley will be playing at Wrigley Field this Summer (June 8 and June 9), but will there be other concerts? There have been rumors about Bruce Springsteen and Phish (not, like, together, but that would be crazy – ‘Born to Run’ would *never* end), but the community group in charge of approving such concerts says they are just rumors for now. For the Cubs’ part, they’re hoping at some point to establish a system whereby they won’t have to get every single extra event at Wrigley Field approved of by the community.
- Randy Wells’ high school is going to honor him on Friday with a “Randy Wells Night,” and a celebration during halftime at the boys’ basketball game. That’s the kind of Randy Wells night out I can get into.
- Want to write the song of the 2012 Chicago Cubs? Well, WGN Radio is giving you that chance, if you can get it together by February 29. 2012 Cubs, eh? Is “No, Cubs, No” taken? “Take Me Out of the Ballgame in the Seventh Inning,” as sung by Alfonso Soriano?
- Speaking of contests, Cubs fan Brian Pasnik wants to win the MLB Fan Cave gig (that nuts thing where you live in a glass box watching every single baseball game of the year), and it seems to me it would be great to get a Cubs fan in there (this is unsolicited – I just wanted to share some love). Pasnik put together a funny video to support his candidacy, and I’ve got nothing but respect for a guy putting himself out there like this (and for the work that went into it). If you like the video, you can support Brian by tweeting a link to it and Brian’s name (@BrianPasnik) to @MLBFanCave: