I like to write about the Chicago Cubs. I like to read about the Chicago Cubs. I like to discuss the Chicago Cubs with folks here in the comments, on Twitter, and on Facebook. You know what I don’t like to do? Manage the server for a web site. I have no background in anything “web,” so everything I do behind the scenes here takes me 10 times as long as it would take someone who has, like, studied this stuff. In case you wonder why I didn’t comment, tweet, or post anything after 5pm yesterday, that’s pretty much why. Grumble.

  • Marlins President David Samson says the Fish are “aggressively negotiating” a contract with Yoenis Cespdes, but Samson doesn’t know if the Marlins will be able to get him to Miami for a visit or will ultimately be the high bidder. Cespedes is still awaiting approval from the US Government to come to the States, but he continues to entertain offers in the interim. Kevin Goldstein recently noted that the Orioles have been more involved on Cespedes than previously thought.
  • Speaking of the Marlins, that thing you see to the right? That’s a giant, mechanized sculpture at the new ballpark in Miami that will activate when a Marlins player hits a homer. I’ve made fun of all the Marlin changes, but now I’m on board. This is so over-the-top and intentionally kitschy that I can’t do anything but love it. I’m genuinely into what they’re doing. Oh, and there are hugh fishtanks behind home plate. MOAR RIDICULOUSNESS!
  • Jim Hendry is “refreshed” after his time off from the game, and looks forward to giving his best to the Yankees.
  • The same article notes that the Cubs have added minor league reliever Esmailin Caridad to their list of non-roster invitees to Spring Training. Caridad, 28, was briefly successful at the end of the 2009 season, and was actually expected to be one of the team’s primary setup men in 2010. A couple disastrous outings and a forearm injury later, and Caridad was derostered and left to toil away in the minors.
  • The Dodgers signed reliever Todd Coffey to a one-year, $1.3 million deal yesterday. The Cubs had reportedly been interested in the 31-year-old righty, but that’s probably a hair more than they were willing to guarantee to a guy they didn’t really need (and would be signing mostly to try and trade him mid-season – then again, maybe Coffey knew that part, and preferred to go to the Dodgers anyway).
  • The Red Sox have hired former long-time Cubs scout Gary Hughes, who was a Jim Hendry stalwart. Please don’t make a Theo compensation joke.
  • A look back at Buck O’Neil’s time with the Cubs as the first black coach in MLB.
  • An interesting read on the Cubs’ 2011 fifth round pick, pitcher Tayler Scott, who’ll be coming to minor league Spring Training this year … from his native South Africa. Unsurprisingly, the 19-year-old didn’t start playing baseball until recently, so his development will be interesting to watch.
  • Former Cubs manager Mike Quade offers media advice to first-time manager Robin Ventura, who will be at the helm across town this season. In short: the Chicago media isn’t cutthroat, but is voluminous. Dealing with them is a daily grind, he says. That sounds about right.
  • Dave

    That thing is gloriously tacky, it just screams MIAMI!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • JB88

      It screams “Bird Cage”. I can just imagine a drag queen coming out of the top and doing the flaminco. :)

      • Quintz

        That’s hilarious! Any time they perform a “drag” bunt A giant headed Nathan Lane in a dress mascot runs out and gives him a hug.

    • ferrets_bueller

      And here I thought nothing they could do could possibly be tackier than those hideous new uniforms….boy, was I wrong.  Holy hell.

      • Bric

        Anything’s gotta be better than Pro Player. I went to game there once, It’s in the worst part of town, I’m pretty sure we parked next to a mobile meth lab, and the stands were so empty there was a janitor sweeping up the bleachers area right in the middle of the game. Seriously. I was thinking “Dude, I know the place is empty, but can’t you wait till after the game to do that?”

        Because you can basically sit wherever you want, we were sitting with a group of college kids that were Cub fans. One of them kept holding up a sign that said “If it weren’t for us Cub fans, this place would be empty”. Yeah, that new sign’s ridiculous, ridiculously awesome!

  • jim

    I-cubs will be interesting with all those comeback attempts on roster! Am enviuos of des moines for first time 😉

    • Katie

      Yep, looking forward to going to a lot of games this summer.

      • gratefulled

        We are too! Gonna be a great summer in Des Moines.

    • Glenallen Hill’s One Home Run

      For the first time ever, I’m glad I am going to school in DSM.

      • BetterNews

        Whats up with that?

      • BetterNews

        What’s DSM? Don’t know anything about it.

  • pfk

    I’ve seen the new Marlin’s stadium and it’s awesome – in a Miami, put-on-the-show sense. Going to a game there will be an evening of nonstop entertainment in a very comfortable setting. Talk about the fan experience!

    • King Jeff

      It will be a fun fan experience, if fans actually show up to the games.

  • jim

    We should have ronnie woo stand on top of scoreboard and chug a beer after homers.

    • MichiganGoat

      We should send him as compensation to Boston

      • NL_Cubs

        I wish there was a “like” button I could hit in support. Worthy compensation IMO…Woo Woo.

        • MichiganGoat

          Ah the trolls would just down click over and over… And like there own lunacy over and over

      • Eric

        I can’t wait til that annoying piece of shit dies. I know that is a terrible thing to say, but that idiot is the most useless, annoying, grinding, irritating, EMBARRASSMENT to all cubs fans.

  • jim

    Will they have tommy bahama unis?

  • MichiganGoat

    Just saw this on twitter:

    @AmeriFirst: Forbes names Miami as “most miserable” city in US. Detroit & Flint take 2 & 3.

    Detroit is one step closer to greatest city ever, and Miami can actually win something.

    • Cheryl

      I’ve learned the hard way to avoid Miami. I wouldn’t even go through ther if I could help it let alone go to a game there.

      • BetterNews

        Virginia Beach is a very good time! Try it .

  • Bluestainedivy

    Hang in there in the tech stuff. You’ll get enough experience with it that it’ll become second nature. You might even start to enjoy it

  • Serio

    So is Cespedes to the Cubs looking grim?

    • Doug

      I sure hope not. You better Curb Your Enthusiasm just the same though. :-)

      • ferrets_bueller


    • pfk

      Yes, I would say so. No way a Cuban sees that new showy ballpark (yes, its tacky – but it appeals to the Miami mind set in spectacular fashion) and then sees Wrigley in February and chooses the Cubs. He’s too young to go for tradition. He will want to celebrate his newfound freedom and riches in a place like Miami.

      • Jed

        Sources say Cespedes doesn’t want to play for Miami. Plus the Cubs can offer him a lot of money too.

        • http://bleachernation loyal100more

          what sources?

        • http://bleachernation loyal100more

          has anyone else heard anything in the media about cepedes not wanting to play in miami. id love it, if it were true but ive heard nothing of it.

          • cjdubbya

            Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweeted it about a week and a half ago (I guess nearly two weeks ago).

            • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

              I had seen that around as well, he doesn’t want the added pressure and distraction of the large Cuban community in Miami. I am still thinking the most $$$ gets him though, regardless and he may just be trying to squeeze a few more out of the process.

  • ferrets_bueller

    I had several clever, well thought out responses to various points ready to go in my head, and then I got to “MIke Quade offers advice,” and it all went flying out of my head- just as the sip of tea I had just taken went flying out of my mouth, narrowly missing my laptop. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA, Quade offering someone advice.

  • Jonski

    I honestly believe if we lose out on Cepedes it wont be because of money it will be about comfort..we haven’t spent jack shit this offseason no reason we can’t get him!

    • Brady

      What do you mean? There is no player named Jack Shit in the league.

      Edit: Well I did some research and I don’t really blame them for not aquiring Jack, seeing as there is only 1 Jack in all of baseball that I could find at the moment and that would be Jack Hannahan out of Cleveland (Insert Major League reference about Cleveland having a baseball team here) and he is in his first year of arbitration. I think it would cost an arm and a leg if we were to try and acquire him, especially if he finds out we only care about his first name. I am not counting any Jacksons either. Just guys named Jack. If you can find anymore please enlighten me. I just searched through http://www.baseball-reference.com and couldn’t find anymore.

      • Jed

        Jack Wilson

        • Brady

          Would you look at that. 2 Jacks in all of current baseball. Thank you for the help Jed.

          • Turn Two

            Jack Cust still plays major league baseball, not to mention that since Jack is often times simply a nickname with John this question is misleading.

  • 100 Years of Tears

    Not that it matters, but I think that obnoxious sculpture has swordfish, not marlins on it. Marlins have dorsal fins that travel down there back (like the Marlins logo) and swordfish have dorsal fins more like sharks.  Just saying…

    • Brady

      I hope someone tells them before they build it ha ha. It doesnt even look like the same fish as their original logo, aside from the nose that is.

  • TeddyBallGame17

    Please, no Ronnie woo-woo encouragement…the guy is beyond annoying and I’d be ecstatic if I never heard him or his stupid chant ever again. He sucks!! And I wonder what the two biggest human terds, Olney and Ozney Guillen will be doing in Miami. I’m still lovin NOT hearing about Ozzie in weeks…focus in Chicago is on the Cubs (more than usual) where it belongs…this is a new and exciting time to be a Cubs fan!!

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    If the Cubs were to get 2 of the 3 Cubans, I’d be happy with it being Soler and Concepcion. It would be great to get all three, but getting the two that you can groom versus the guy that is 26 and pretty set in his skills is okay. Cespedes has never seen a major league slider. That worries me a bit.

  • Quintz

    Do you think the Marlins will pick Cespedes up at the airport in a 1957 Chevy Bel Air to make him feel at home?

    • JoeJoe

      This so freaking funny, if they pick him up in a Bel Air the paint will have to be faded as well, lol.

    • http://bleachernation loyal100more

      he’ll sit next to a guy dressed like tony montana, with an uzi filled with florecent pink silly string.

  • rocky8263

    Growing up a Cubs fan in the late 60’s my only ballpark experience was Wrigley Field. I was one of those kids that picked up garbage after the game for a pass to tomorrows game. The Andy Frain guy would sign a slip of paper and you used it as a ticket. Went to Comiskey once to see Dick Allen but until a trip to Miller Park in 2006 that was the extent of me and other ballparks. Keep the exploding fish and flying scoreboards. A Brewers game is like the NBA. Constant distractions to keep you entertained. The thing I love about Wrigley is I can have a baseball conversation with whoever happens to be seated next to me 8 times out of 10. No one shooting t shirts into the stands or a scoreboard telling me when to cheer. And I still see people keeping score, passing that skill onto their kids. Think you’ll see that in Miami? It’s about the game.

    • baseballet

      Nice comment Rocky. I agree about the ambience of Wrigley. It’s a refreshing change from (new) Yankee stadium. I went to both last year and the difference was stark. Yankee stadium has a jumbotron that blares LOUD Yankee promotions, videos and ads for an hour before the game. My friends and I had to shout to hear each other in the stands 45 minutes before game time. Plus the wrap-around LED adverts on each bleacher level constantly show a variety of ads for the entire game. It’s like Wrigley mixed with Times Square. I hope they don’t tart up Wrigley like that.

  • Tony

    Do you think Lebron, wade and the avatar will come out of that ridiculous thing when the marlins hit a home run?

    • Quintz

      I think Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Heath Bell should do the Lebron, D-Wade, and Bosh intro where they run around the field high fiving everyone and then talk about winning 11 championships (one more than Yogi).

  • Karen P

    It sort of looks like Mardi Gras crashed and burned in Miami. I think Z’s strikeouts are about to go through the roof because batters will be so distracted/blinded.

  • NL_Cubs

    I’m really anxious to see how the gate holds up after the initial shine of the new ballpark wears off.  I smell fire sale and back to “business as usual” the Marlins way (<$40-50M annual payroll) within 3-4 years tops.

    • Quintz

      I feel the same way, but truly hope I’m wrong. The more big market teams the better. There is a circus feel that for sure has a temporary stink to it. I like the effort and hope it works, but it feels so artificial that I have a hard time being optimistic.

      • http://bleachernation loyal100more

        tryin to capture a disney type thing… i hate it! wheres the tradition in this? there isnt any!
        if you wanna take the game to the next level, be new school, try to at least keep a few aspects of the original game intact. that thing in the outfield looks like mr toads wild ride!

      • NL_Cubs

        There are no more excuses for the Fish. They have hung their hat on the need for a ballpark with a roof to improve game attendance (avoid the almost daily delays due to rain storms and 4-5 hours to complete 9 innings ) and the increased revenue opportunities thru suites, improved sight-lines and advertising.

        We’ll see how this will all add up for them but I don’t think it will end well.

    • http://bleachernation loyal100more

      ty cobb and the babe are shouten down from heaven” get the f@#k outta here!” is this the future of the game…. seems to me to be more like a gimmick…like miller park with a fish and carribean theme…YUK!!

      • DocWimsey

        Hmmm, if Cobb is looking down, then every major religion is pretty much wrong! At any rate, I can think of some things about the modern game that would have offended Ty even more than shiny fish…..

  • JustSwain

    Things like this garish monstrosity cheapen the game of baseball by turning it into a spectacle that it simply should not be. Despite the slow pace that has always defined baseball it has remained popular in this country for over a hundred years. Maybe the reason why is that not everybody who enjoys sporting events wants to be constantly barraged with stiumulae in order to keep it interesting. Whats next, are umps going to let fighting players in the fourteenth round of the playoffs keep going until there is a winner like they do in that joke of a league that is the NHL? I feel like the Marlins should be playing out of a “Baseball in America” display in Orlando, just another ride at Disney Land. “And now our mono-rail passes by a major league baseball game being played by our very own Disney MLB team, the florida Marwins or something… I don’t know the score, but check out the center field sculpture with the lasers! And look at the fishtanks!” Come on guys, can’t we try and preserve some dignity in the sport, or did that go out the door the minute they put a slide in Miller Park?

    • Brady

      I agree with everything you said except the part about the NHL. Hockey has never been the laid back sport that baseball is. When I watch a hockey game, I want to see people hitting hard and making great plays. Fights happen and why not let them hash it out because that is the nature of the sport. Baseball, however, has never been about physical altercations nor has it been about fast paced action. I agree that the game needs to stay the way it is without insane side-show type entertainment going on. Hockey is great because of its violent brutality of it and if you don’t agree with it, don’t watch it and don’t slander it or demand that it be changed because it ruins it for the rest of the true hockey fans out there.

      • JustSwain

        I have problems with NHL hockey, and those are that they allow fights without gloves which trashes enforcers hands to the point of causing serious arthritis later in life, and they play on ice which leads to quite a few head smashing concussions (as do bare knuckle blows to the head from trained athletes). I don’t like it when a sport is set up in a way that punishes its players for playing the game. International hockey doesn’t allow fights, do NHL fans consider that true hockey or sort of a lite beer version? The players are adults, if they want to destroy their bodies for short term glory thats their choice, but if the NHL is going to allow fights I think they should require gloves and perhaps even light headgear for enforcers. Not enough protection to get rid of the blood, but enough to make sure that fat lips in the short term aren’t followed by hands crippled by arthritis, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the long term. Joke of a league might have been a bit harsh, but I do think allowing harm to your athletes mars the integrity of any sporting organization.

  • Funkster

    Im pretty excited about Scott…supposed to have quite a bit of upside

  • T Larson


    • Funkster

      Tayler Scott

  • die hard

    Good to see South Africa being mined for something other than gold. Hopefully, Cubs will hit paydirt. Other teams are prospecting too. Former Cub Lee Smith involved. See below

    Major League Baseball International is holding its first-ever MLB African Academy at the facilities of the Athlone A’s Baseball Club in Cape Town, South Africa from December 6 to 15, 2011. 40 players from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Kenya take part in the Instructional League like training camp.

    The best young players from Africa are invited to make the next step in their development. The coaching staff includes Major League experienced coaches Rick Magnante, German Geigel and Lee Smith. Besides the practices sessions and games on the field there also will be classroom seminars in conditioning, health and nutrition. MLB scouts will be on hand to evaluate the skills of each player.

    Invited Players at the MLB African Academy in Cape Town:

    Last Name First Name Nation Position
    Ajayi Omokoje Peter Nigeria RHP, OF
    Aklesi Michael Ghana C
    Asavela Zithutha South Africa RHP
    Bibis Kyron South Africa 3B, OF
    Blount Adrian South Africa SS
    Brummer Courtney South Africa OF
    Clarke Keenan South Africa C
    Ebersoh Rowan South Africa LHP
    Einu Timothy Uganda OF, SS
    Frost Javier South Africa OF, 3B
    Gabriel David Nigeria SS, 3B
    Gachi Christ Cameroon LHP
    Gaddin Kyle South Africa RHP
    Gonsu Kevin Cameroon SS
    Grundling Gareth South Africa 1B
    Koff Devon South Africa RHP
    Kotei Henry Ghana RHP, SS
    Larkins Matthew South Africa RHP, OF
    Lebebe Michael South Africa LHP, OF
    Lubega Jordan Uganda SS, 1B
    Mafany Sihle South Africa RHP
    Mahoney Marvin South Africa 3B
    Manyeki Brian Kenya 1B
    Mashile Samuel South Africa C
    Merrick Wesley South Africa C
    Murdoza Rodney Zimbabwe 1B, SS
    Mustapha Abbas Kenya RHP, 1B
    Ocen David Uganda 3B
    Okello Benard Uganda UTIL
    Palmer Keegan South Africa OF
    Pearce Callan South Africa RHP
    Phiri Sumani Zimbabwe LHP, 1B, OF
    Signi Jo Jo Michael Cameroon C
    Siphelo Gadudu South Africa RHP
    Ssekandi Jimmy Uganda SS, 2B
    Stoltz Tyrone South Africa C
    Tawede Akinyemi Nigeria LHP, 1B
    Tenesi Tapiwa Zimbabwe RHP, OF
    Tighe Rowan South Africa 2B
    Wafula Paul Uganda OF
    Story by http://www.mister-baseball.com

  • cubsin

    The Cubs have GOT to sign Siphelo Gadudu!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Because of his name, or because he’s good at baseball?

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    siphelo ga-who-who?

  • http://selfsabotagex.com self esteem

    We are intrigued as well as considering what you really are writing about here.