We are on the eve of Spring camp, with pitchers and catchers officially scheduled to report to Mesa, Arizona by tomorrow. It was a long and exciting offseason, but it will be nice to see some baseball.
- Blake DeWitt was designated for assignment by the Cubs 11 days ago. The resolution of a designation for assignment must come within 10 days, so I’m expecting to hear something any moment now. DeWitt could have been traded, released, claimed on waivers, or cleared waivers and sent to AAA Iowa. Ten days ago, I would have been shocked to learn that DeWitt cleared waivers, but maybe that was wrong-headed thinking. If a team like the Cubs doesn’t have a spot for DeWitt, what makes us so sure another team wants him for $1.1 million?
- Paul Sullivan offers a frank, partly-dour, and (sadly) mostly on-point preview of the 2012 season. Hope will never leave us – we’re Cubs fans, after all – but a dispassionate look at the roster reveals a team that is likely to struggle, and a fair bit of that struggle is by design. “Most Cubs fans seemingly have bought into Epstein’s plan and aren’t expecting any miracles this season, almost as if the Cubs are an expansion team,” Sullivan writes. “‘Wait until the year after the year after next year’ might not be the T-shirt-ready slogan the Cubs prefer, but it fits the current roster to a T.” I’m probably more in the “wait until the year after this year” camp, but the point is taken.
- The Sun-Times previews the Cubs’ Spring Training and somehow manages to work in a Linsanity reference (Bryan LaHair-related). Most notable bit? At present, the projected payroll for the Cubs as of Opening Day? Just $107 million, the lowest its been since 2007.
- The Cubs are legally the “arch rival” of the Chicago White Sox, but only during interleague play, according to Judge Joseph Gordon of the Appellate Court of Illinois, First Judicial District. Ok, ok, the arch rival designation came in a footnote, and is probably dicta, rather than binding precedent.
- Blogs With Balls is presenting a talk with the Cubs’ new Assistant to the General Manager, Shiraz Rehman, as well as the head of Bloomberg Sports, Bill Squadron (recall, the Cubs have partnered with Bloomberg Sports to develop an information management system). The event is on Tuesday, February 28 at Hub 51 from 7pm to 9pm, and it’s free to attend. Should be an interesting discussion, and a cool opportunity to chat up Mr. Rehman. Although I can’t make it, I suspect there will be a number of BN’ers in attendance. Here’s where you sign up for your free ticket.
- USA Today’s fluffy take on the upcoming Cubs season.
- The Tampa Bay Rays have a new mascot, and it’s a giant cat named “DJ Kitty.” Swoon. I wonder what kind of attire he sleeps in…
- Another set of MLBullets at BCB, featuring an update on Ryan Braun’s PED suspension appeal.