I’ve still never had a fried Twinkie. The family went to a local fair/carnival last night (we’re in Cincinnati visiting The Wife’s parents), and I fully expected to finally get my first fried Twinkie (or at least a fried Oreo). The place was a legit carnival (including help wanted signs for carnies), but there were no fried Twinkies. I was beside myself, and settled for a corn dog (which, yes, I know isn’t a dessert).
- The first round of the Draft is just two days away, and there is sudden consensus about the Cubs’ first round pick: high school outfielder Albert Almora. He’s expected to be there at six, and all three of Jim Callis, Keith Law, and Kevin Goldstein have the Cubs taking Almora in their latest mock drafts, which came after conversations with front office types (not necessarily Cubs front office types, though). Law goes so far as to call Almora to the Cubs “the closest thing we have to a lock in the top 10.” Clearly, word is traveling around baseball that the Cubs are going to take Almora, which might even suggest some kind of pre-Draft understanding (pre-Draft “agreements,” you’ll note, are not allowed). Does that mean the Cubs are definitely taking Almora (whom Goldstein says is a better prospect than Javier Baez, by the way)? Not necessarily. For one thing, a team ahead of the Cubs could take him. For another, a player whom the Cubs don’t expect to be there at six could slip, and maybe they can’t pass that player up. But, surprisingly, Callis has Carlos Correa on the board when the Cubs pick in his mock, and still has the Cubs taking Almora. Further, Goldstein was on the radio last night and said an executive told him that if the Cubs were picking first, they might pick Almora. That’s how much they apparently like him.
- You can read more about Almora (and nine other possible picks) here. The short book on him is that he’s polished for a high school player, could play excellent center field defense, is very good at everything, but maybe not elite at anything.
- Dale Sveum described yesterday’s addition of reliever Jairo Acensio perfectly: “Just another arm. Someone to pick up and see what happens.”
- Sveum also had a firm reaction to the rumor that Starlin Castro was being made available in trade: “I think it’s absurd for somebody to even write something like that. Some of it might be warranted and some of it isn’t even close to what we’re going to do with this organization. You talk about the ultimate skepticism, that’s what it is. I think Theo [Epstein] took care of that himself.” (And, about Castro’s no-slide in last night’s game, the 22-year-old says he thought he heard a foul ball, so he stopped running. D’oh. Come on, kid.)
- Does Tony Campana have more value as a starter, or a late-inning pinch runner (with the advantage of a virtual guarantee that you get to have Tony Campana on base, where he’s most valuable)? Doug Padilla raises the question we’ve been debating for weeks.
- Johan Santana no-hit the Cardinals. Ha. Ha. Santana threw 134 pitches, by the way, on a shoulder that some thought would end his career. He might have a rough second half. Just sayin’.
- Some great old-time photos from the Tribune. Really beautiful. There are times when the existence, and preservation ability, of the Internet shines.
- Mesa’s Mayor is already defending that the unconstructed new Cubs’ Spring Training facility will not be cheap-looking or feeling, which risks me thinking he doth protest too much. Drawings of the project released last month were very unimpressive, but they were just drawings. I’m not too worried, but I don’t care for the idea of the Mayor having to defend the place a full two years before it’s finished.
- Bud Selig scolded Hawk Harrelson for being unprofessional in his rant the other day. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.