For preventative/family history reasons, tomorrow morning I will experience the supreme pleasure of a colonoscopy (it’s really not that bad).

This impacts me in a number of uncomfortable ways (mostly today), but it impacts you in a few tangential ways as well: (1) After tomorrow morning’s Bullets (which will be on the early side), I’ll likely be totally unavailable for a few hours; (2) if big news breaks during that time, I trust that some of you can keep everyone else updated in the comments; (3) after I resume posting in the late morning/afternoon tomorrow, I could be loopy, so you may have to read about how the Cubs have signed Yoenis Soler but are trading him for Matt Garza as compensation to the Red Sox.

  • New Cub Chris Volstad made SI’s list of the top pitchers age 25 and under who were traded this offseason. But, um, he was last. “Volstad has shown little improvement, but the good news is that he’s 6-foot-8 and still only 25 years old, so the Cubs do have hope that he blooms late, as sometimes happens with tall pitchers. ‘Worth a shot for the Cubs, but I don’t think he’s the kind of guy who comes back to haunt you after a trade,’ the evaluator said.” Now, before you get too bummed about Volstad being last on the list, know that the list was only five players, and the four in front of Volstad were Gio Gonzalez, Mat Latos, Michael Pineda, and Trevor Cahill.
  • Tim Sheridan has another great entry over at Boys of Spring, noting that Matt Garza, David DeJesus and Dave Sappelt have arrived in Mesa at Cubs camp. As usual, Tim has some good pictures up, and relates an anecdote about DeJesus: “Late in the day after things were pretty much finished I noticed DeJesus out on one of the fields all by himself practicing base running drills and working on his bursts from base to base. This is part of why a guy like David was brought in, to show the young players what kind of dedication is needed to stay productive in the bigs, especially when you’re on the more mature side of 30.”
  • FanGraphs takes a look at which organizations are “highly analytical” (aka “new school”), which are “old school,” and which are a mix of the two. The Cubs, unsurprisingly, fall into the first category now that Theo/Jed/Jason are running the show. It’s an interesting read, but it’s hard to imagine any organizations, in this day and age, not having a significant “analytical” contingent, even if they favor traditional scouting.
  • Some Cubs have changed their uniform numbers, and some new Cubs have had their assigned. Missing from that list is Matt Garza, who is switching to number 22.
  • Carrie Muskat says Geovany Soto is in great, trim shape, which has tended to be very important to his performance. Apparently he was showing folks his abs at CubsCon. That’s hot.
  • Theo Epstein hasn’t been afraid of trading former first round draft picks soon after signing them, if he’s getting back the right pieces for his team. No real surprise there.
  • I’m still waiting on Bud Selig to make his compensation decision … on what the Cardinals should get for letting Jeff Luhnow be given a promotion with the Astros (GM). Oh. That’s right. The Cardinals, for all of our rivalry, aren’t run by a greedy, spiteful crew.
  • 2011 Cubs’ draftee, pitcher James Pugliese, is interviewed about a variety of things. The one that stood out? He’s currently reading ‘The Mental Game of Baseball’ by H.A. Dorfman and Karl Kuehl, two men who feature prominently in ‘Moneyball.’ I imagine the gents implementing the new approach to player development either had something to do with that book selection, or, if not, would be very pleased with that book selection. Well done, James.
  • Do yourself a favor. Go to Baseball Reference, and type “Sausage” into the search box. A nice little Easter Egg for Cubs, Pirates, and probably Brewers fans, at least.
  • The discussion in the comments has been pretty great for a while (this morning notwithstanding). I just wanted to acknowledge that, thank you for that, and encourage you to continue that.
  • Cubbie Blues

    “I will experience the supreme pleasure of a colonoscopy” “This impacts me in a number of uncomfortable ways” That’s an understatement.

    • Hawkeye

      Any chance we can get live updates via twitter during the procedure?

      • Katie

        I knew you’d turn into a twitter junkie. Welcome to the dark side. We have snacks.

        • Fishin Phil

          Snacks and colonoscopies do not go together.

          • Brett

            I had to stop eating after my cereal this morning. I’m already hungry…

            • Luke

              This might be a good day to watch those videos on how hot dogs and sausages are made. If there is ever a good time to lose your appetite, it would be on a day when you can’t eat.

              Or you could just watch the Cubs last 8 playoff games. That’d probably do it too.

              • hansman1982

                No, just watch Tosh.0 from last night. They showed a video of someone getting an abscess lanced. Let’s just say it made my wife, who is a nurse, want to vomit.

              • Karen P

                Or watch “Fast Food Nation.”

      • Brett

        Why else does Twitter exist?

        • BetterNews

          I rish it didn’t!

          • King Jeff

            Of course you do.

  • bgjacks

    i hope the “tha’s hot” reference about Soto abs was from Carrie Muskat and not you Brett….

    • Katie

      That’s totally my line!

      • CubFan Paul

        efffn Paris Hilton. it took me years to stop saying that!

  • Tom B

    Nothing better than a loopy Brett! Good luck tomorrow!

  • Ryan

    “I will experience the supreme pleasure of a colonoscopy”

    Sounds like a crappy day lol.

  • MichiganGoat

    “The discussion in the comments has been pretty great for a while (this morning notwithstanding).”


    • BetterNews

      You stinks!

  • A_Mazz_Ing

    Rectum, damn near killed ’em! Sorry, it was right there. But good luck Brett, it’s an easy procedure from what I hear.

    On the bullets, I find it interesting that Garza is deciding to go back to his old number of 22. I guess that means I have a use for my Prior jersey and some duct tape…

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    I’m going to change my view of Chris Volstad. Ever though I’m still very skeptical, he a Cubs, so his success effects my hapiness. So, I rooting for you Chris. I’m really hoping you prove me wrong. Please, Please turn into Cy Young material.

    While analytics are useful in scouting a player, they are also overrated. If you go strickly by them, you’re going to have a bunch of under achieving ball players on your team waiting and hoping that one or two breakout. Oh, we already do. Here’s to hoping Theo’s a genius. Good PoBO, I’m sold, but genius, I’m not so sure yet.

    • A_Mazz_Ing

      I honestly think there is a 0% chance of Volstad becoming Cy Young material. His ceiling now seems to be more of a middle of the road starter.

      Edit – That being said. I have nothing wrong with him being on the roster and getting a crack at the rotation. Worst case scenario, he’s a hard throwing BP arm that could turn into something.

  • BFiddy

    lol @ Sausage

    Great Memory…

  • Cliffy

    Colonoscopy been there done that you will do fine. If history repeats itself when you are away we do get news. Let’s hope any news coming out is of the positive variety. Your minions will post any breaking news, until you return to the command center.

    • Brett

      Gracias, Cliffy. This is actually my second one, so I’m not too worried. But today will not be fun, as you know…

      • RoughRiider

        The Colonoscopy is easy it’s what you have to do to prepare. Good luck.

      • King Jeff

        I am studying colonoscopy’s and such at school right now. Now I get to read about bowel movements on Bleacher Nation and in my text book. Excellent.

        • ferrets_bueller

          Now you know how I feel every time Time Value of Money, Sunk Costs, Present Value of Future Cash Flows, budgets, etc…get mentioned, lol.

  • Dave H

    Good luck tomorrow, Brett. More drama on the BN. Man this job thing really gets in the way of my internet soap opera ” As the Bleachers Groan.”

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      More like “The Young and The Clueless” lol

  • butlerdawgs

    Good luck with everything tomorrow Brett. Hope everything comes out OK.

    • David

      Yeah, because they really shouldn’t leave anything after they’re done.

  • cjdubbya

    Having witnessed my wife (well, fiancee at the time) go through a colonoscopy prep at age 24 (also family indicated), I’ll say good luck and Godspeed today, brother. As you remember (or rather, don’t remember – thank goodness for anesthesia!), tomorrow will be a breeze. If I hear groans here on the NW side of the city later on this afternoon, I’ll know the precise reason for them.

    • Kyle


      • Brett

        Gross. And funny.

  • Doc Evans

    Good luck with the procedure Brett!

    I’m surprised Travis Wood wasn’t ahead of Volstad on that list. To each his own I suppose.

    • CubFan Paul

      Travis Wood should have been ahead of Volstad on that list ..lack of research by the author

    • Brett

      I’m inclined to agree, for what it’s worth.

  • RY

    The colonoscopy is the easypart, it is the crap you have to drink to clean yourself out that sucks!

  • steve

    Brett, after my 11am trustee meeting this morning, I’ll be walking over to my favorite small town diner that specializes in cheeseburgers. I’ll be having mine with a thick slice of sharp cheddar, vidalia onions, two juicy tomatoes with heinz 57, steak fries and a chocolate malt for lunch.
    I might just go for the homeade apple pie to top this off.

    • hansman1982

      BOOOO on the Heinz 57, just boo.

    • Brett

      I am going to punch you in the neck.

  • hardtop

    dude, sausage… nice find. that guy would swing at anything! funny thing is, he could make contact…. sometimes.

  • steve

    Is that a Teresa Heinz related “booo”, or directed at the actual product?

    • Luke

      Probably the product. A great cheeseburger needs no sauce. Its subtle and magical flavors should be allowed to stand alone in the spotlight of taste, uninhibited by the flashy glitz of added sauce.

      Myself, I like to mix the Heinz 57 with a little hot sauce. Mayo and hot sauce is my preferred topping.

      • steve

        ok…I was about to agree with any distain you might have for Mrs Heinz Kerry. I am a buger lover and agree a really good burger should stand on its own, with very few condiments. I just happen to love Heinz 57…There, I said it..

  • Doug Dennis

    Wasn’t Cliff Lee a bit of a late bloomer? Volstad has the make-up, lets just hope he can progress into something special. Great site Brett, I always cruised BCB but the politics were way too much!

    • Brett

      Thanks, DD. Lee was a hyped pitcher for a number of years, and had some decent seasons in his mid-20s (better than Volstad has had), but you’re right – his first great season didn’t come until he was 29. That’s probably the exception, though.

      • Brett

        It was pretty incredible, by the way – it was like he flipped a switch and stopped giving up homers, and started walking almost no one. The line of demarcation in his career is remarkable.

        • Stinky Pete

          Garza said the same thing about last year. He said he came home and told his wife, “I get it, now.” Trade him, lock him up, whatever, just do it soon.

    • King Jeff

      So was a certain Cy Young winner who pitches for a crappy town somewhere south of Chicago. They also may have won something or another recently, not really sure. His early numbers are pretty similar to Volstad’s. He didn’t really start pitching well until he was 28/29 either. We had a similar discussion about late blooming pitchers on the message board right after the Z trade happened.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Whoever programmed that ‘sausage’ thing is brilliant.

    • BetterNews


  • Camiata2

    damn, i spoke too soon on that #17 garza jersey being irrelevant.

    • BetterNews

      No you didn’t! You made it relavevant.

  • die hard

    Soto in shape means he hears the footsteps of his competition meaning the Cubs could have a good catching crew this year. Players are first to know when they could be replaced. Nothing like a little competition. i wish Castro was having a few footstep moments so he can realize potential. He looked overweight by mid-September.

    • Luke

      Statistically, September was one of his best months.

      • die hard

        facing inferior late call ups padded his avg like his tummy…hes got potential to have Marmol body and you know how that looks…..if hes still growing then maybe he needs to move to a new position and concentrate on hitting with power… Sandberg learned to do after starting off as a punch and judy hitter..

  • Packman711

    Good luck dude. That’s really all I can say.

  • die hard

    If Volstad converted to a submarine delivery ala Ted Abernathy he would scare the pants off right handed hitters. He would appear to be in the batters box with them. Also may add to fastball movement. He should be working with a softball fast pitcher to learn how the ball can move and then work with a former submariner like that pitcher in Moneyball.

    • GocubsGo14

      Grow up.

  • NL_Cubs

    Enjoy those Gatorade cocktails…bottoms up!

  • Edgar

    I really like 17 for Garza. But do players have to pay in order to change their numbers? the other day I saw that it would cost Adrain Peterson one mil to change his number.

    • Brett

      It’s often an informal thing (like, Paul Maholm took Jeff Baker’s old number – he probably gave Baker a few bucks).

      • King Jeff

        I think he’s talking about buying outdated jersey’s from the manufacturer, like the NFL forces their players to do. I don’t think such a rule exists for baseball, since the uniforms aren’t made by a shoe company. I think AP might catch a break anyway, since Nike is taking over making uniforms, so he won’t have to buy all of the old Reebok ones if he changes numbers.

  • LWeb23

    Good luck with the colonoscopy Brett. At the young age of 21, I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of experiencing 3 of those. The 24 hours leading up to it are the worst part.

    On another note, I now love Boys of Spring. Thanks for posting those. After the last time you posted one of those it’s been added to my daily “do nothing at work and check out these websites” list.

  • Kevin

    baseball reference says Randal Simon is 180 lbs. If he is 180 lbs. then i am Clark Kent

  • http://jjcubs jj

    One good thing about a colonscopy is that I prove to my wife that my head was definitely wasn’t up there.

    • Brett


    • DocWimsey

      My wife would have simply suggested that she’d underestimated how far I’d gotten it…..

  • BD

    Theo already traded two former first round picks for the Cubs, right? Colvin (2006) and Cashner (2008)

    • Brett

      Indeed. I think that MLBTR piece was a bit more about trading first round picks soon after they were drafted for immediate contributor types, but, yeah, it didn’t take him long.

    • die hard

      Easy to pull trigger when given blank check. Rubber meets the road in 2 yrs after Cubs have avg 60 wins in 2012 and 2013. Lets see what Ricketts lets him do then.

  • Jim

    Good luck, Brett. Since it’s your second you’re a pro and know what to expect. I’ve had two in the last two years, first one saved my life after what they found.