The Wife and I are travelling to Chicago today, so you know the drill: usual posting today, but I probably won’t be around as much in the comments. Your maturity is appreciated.

  • The Internetz were sent in a bit of a tizzy yesterday afternoon when reports surfaced that Theo Epstein was spotted meeting in the Wrigley Field stands with Ryan Dempster. Since Dempster is on the trade block, and he has no-trade rights, Epstein has said the two would meet at some point to discuss Dempster’s future with the team. Was this “the” meeting? Maybe. But Dempster has since indicated they were meeting about a charity function. Still, I’m sure some things came up.
  • Interestingly, the Cubs announced yesterday that they were swapping Ryan Dempster and Jeff Samardzija in the rotation, so Dempster will now go on Friday, and Samardzija on Saturday. Just giving Samardzija an extra day of rest? That’s what Dale Sveum says, and it’s probably true. If the Cubs were immediately going out on the road come Saturday, I could understand folks seeing this as a sign that Dempster is making his last start as a Cub, but Dempster’s erstwhile Saturday start would have been at Wrigley, too.
  • Matt Garza, who, like Dempster, will continue to be the subject of rumors over the next month and a half, offers his thoughts on such rumors. “I just want to play,” he said. “It’s not my choice. If they want to keep me here, I’m going to keep playing and go out there every five days and do what I’m set to do and that’s get as many outs as possible and that’s keep my team in the ballgame. I love the city, my kids love the city, and it would be a great place for them to grow up …. When they tell me I can’t play anymore, that’ll be the worst day of my life. I just want to keep playing. I’ll pitch on the frickin’ moon. As long as people keep asking me, I’ve done a good job. When they stop asking, it’s time to worry.” Matt Garza will pitch on the frickin’ moon. Have I mentioned that I like this guy?
  • Dale Sveum thinks Ryan Dempster and Alfonso Soriano could be among the Cubs’ top candidates for the All-Star game. When he mentioned them, I doubt he meant it to be an exclusive list, as there are many other players who could receive consideration.
  • Keith Law has said that he expects every first round draft pick except Mark Appel to sign (that would include the Cubs’ top pick, Albert Almora). Jim Callis also said that he doesn’t see how Almora could turn down a signing bonus around $3 million. The Cubs’ slot recommendation for the pick is $3.25 million.
  • The Boston Globe has a great interview with Theo Epstein, on which I’ll have to write a separate post at some point. But, yeah, it’s worth a read.
  • Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski advises the Cubs to be patient, and Prince Fielder says that Dale Sveum could be a good one for the Cubs long-term.
  • Jay Jaffe says the Cubs would be nuts to trade Starlin Castro. But David Schoenfield says the Cubs should have some concerns about Castro.
  • Aaron Miles plans to retire. I assume he’ll come out of retirement in 2015, when the Cubs are battling the Cardinals down the stretch for the NL Central, and will lead the Cardinals to victory.
  • Details on Kerry Wood’s annual bowling tournament (June 27), and a silent auction to go with it.
  • A reminder: enter the BN one-day fantasy contest! Do it! For real!
  • The greatest and most random Jose Valverde photoshop in the history of photoshops (thanks to BN’er Bz, to whom I said the original picture of Valverde looked like it was asking for a really obvious photoshop (thinking he was going to assume I meant something with taking a dump), and, instead, he created this):

  • Leroy K

    This is probably a real stupid question, but when Epstein refers to the Cubs organization, he refers to them as we. I assume he’s referring to Jed Hoyer and Jason Mcleod right? I just find it interesting that throughout that whole interview, he noticed that the Cubs had a lot of “shortcomings”. Have I mentioned how much I really love this man? He is trying to change the whole organization. Epstein will get the keys to the City if he can help them win a WS. I can’t even imagine.

  • Cubbie Blues

    Great, an Aaron Miles mention. The Russian spammer are going to be all over that one.

    • Joshua Edwards

      Fact: Aaron Miles never stopped playing for the Cardinals, even when he was in Chicago.

      I can’t stand that guy.

  • EricR

    I’ve always had Kerry Wood-like love for Ryan Dempster. I hate the possibility of him leaving the organization. That said, I hope he wins a World Series and then signs back on with us down the road. The Cubs need more Ryan Dempsters.

    • MaxM1908

      I think the conversation went:

      Theo: We’re going to trade you next week to a contender, you cool with that?
      Dempster: Sure.
      Theo: We want you back next year. Will you sign a team friendly deal with us after the season?
      Dempster: Of course!
      Theo: Great. Also, we want to develop you as a pitching coach after your career.

  • LWeb23

    This team is….. Lost.

    • Kubphan82

      Hardly lost… Just far way from home…

  • Edwin

    Would it be a bigger advantage to pitch on the moon, or hit on the moon? With less gravity, would it be possible to get more break on pitches? How would velocity be affected? Are hitters able to swing as fast on the moon? I’m sure if a hitter actually hit a ball, it would go far, but would they even be able to hit a ball on the moon?

    • MaxM1908

      The hitter would be at the advantage, no question. I actually think the lack of gravitational pull would be detrimental to breaking pitches. But, I think all a hitter would have to do is put a piece of the bat on the ball and it’d be a home run every time. Watching players bounce the bases would be fun.

      • Cubbie Blues

        So would the lack of air (nothing would break besides the small amount of gravity). If the hitter got the ball in the air, it would always be a HR.

      • Edwin

        But how would the moon affect their swing? Would they be able to swing the bat fast enough to generate enough power?

        • Cubbie Blues

          They wouldn’t need to create much power. They would only need enough to reverse the momentum of the ball. If enough force is appied to the ball to change the direction the lack of a strong gravitational pull would allow the ball to keep going for awhile.

          • hansman1982

            I think on the moon you would see a couple HR shots to straight center at The Polo Grounds…

            • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

              Would they need to change the name then to “earth shots”?

          • Edwin

            Ok. I do remember a Magic School Bus episode where they were studying Friction, and they tried to play baseball without friction, and it didn’t go well. Would there be less friction on the moon?

            • Cubbie Blues

              Yes, no atmosphere.

              • hansman1982

                There would be no friction on a batted (or thrown ball) with no atmosphere, however, the moon’s surface still has friction. The only thing affecting a ball in flight would be gravity, solar winds and cosmic radiation.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  You are correct. There still is gravity (just not what we experience on Earth), solar winds and cosmic radiation. These however, are not sufficient enough for a pitcher to create movement  with the ball. Likewise, a batted ball would not slice foul.

                  • hansman1982

                    yup, a 95 MPH fastball would be likely to “move” by nanometers due to gravity not inches like on earth.

                    Interesting tidbit – for a batted ball to leave the moon entirely it would have to travel at 5,368 MPH; however, it would still be captured by Earth’s gravity and die a fiery death. To escape the “system” entirely – 13,680 MPH

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Escape? No. Orbit? YES

                      On March 28, 2006 the “fact”: Scientists at NASA calculated that if a professional baseball pitcher were on the moon, they would be able to throw a baseball into orbit, due to the low gravity and lack of air resistance”

    • cjdubbya

      I think the real question here is would you eat the moon if it was made of ribs?

      • Leroy K

        I would. Then I’d finish it with a nice tall cool budweiser!

      • Brent

        haha!! If you were a hotdog, would you eat yourself? I know I would. I’d smother myself in relish and brown mustard.

      • Joshua Edwards

        (Thank you all–this had to happen).

  • dreese

    I love both pictures. The smoke was a good flashback and the photoshop is ridiculous.

  • http://Ehanauer.com Clark Addison

    That Boston article was the best interview I’ve seen with Theo.

  • Patrick G

    Billy Ripkin last night said Castellanos is the next Ryan Zimmerman. Hope we can get him

    • RoughRiider

      Billy Ripkin may not be the most reliable judge of young talent.

      • Patrick G

        Yes but it made me excited. Can’t a man dream!

  • Dustin S

    The schedule swap probably is to just give Samardzija another day of rest, which I’m all for. But when I first read it another longshot thought came to mind, that maybe the shuffle was done for scouts to where Friday works out better for them to see Dempster than the weekend. Doubtful, but maybe it was a combination of scout scheduling and an extra day of rest that led to the decision. This time of year people are busy with all kinds of personal things on the weekends, graduation parties, etc. and I could see us doing another team a favor to help close the deal if they had a schedule conflict.

    Either way, the cumulative talk has me on board with the majority that thinks he’ll be traded before the all-star break. I would really expect it to happen by the end of the month.

  • Hawkeye

    Brett (or anybody else for that matter),
    Any chance that the team(s) that are looking to bring Dempster on to their rotation requested the change in schedule. I know the Samardzija reasoning makes alot of sense, but usually we hear these things a little earlier in the week leading up to the change. What if the team Demp is going to needs him to pitch on Friday to better fit in their rotation? Thoughts for the gallery?

    • Kyle

      I’m pretty sure that Hoyer’s (or Epstein’s, or whoever is fielding the calls) response to such a request would be to politely inform the other team the only way they get a say in Dempster’s rotation schedule is if they pony up and give the Cubs what they want in a trade.

      • Hawkeye

        This could very easily be the case. I would imagine that whomever we are talking with, we will get a decent haul. I picture Hoyer and Epstein as guys that strive for a great deal, but would also be accomodating if it helped the deal along. I see them as being pretty fair, and honest business guys that most people enjoy working with.

    • Kubphan82

      Your question is the exact reason I came to BN today.. I figured this would be a Brett type question and answer, IF there was something to it. As soon as I heard the switch I thought a move would be made this weekend. Maybe to Boston? He’ll just leave with the team… Tho, to me BoSox seem less and less like a candidate with the recent turnaround with their staff.

  • Spencer

    Cool LOST reference. Still not buying the Dempster/Theo conspiracy theory. I’m sure that’s the first time in history the President of a team has spoken to one of his players.

    • terencemann

      I mean doesn’t Billy Bean give his players advice all the time?


  • GoldFinch

    It is being reported that Dempster is deciding what team he wants to go to. It’s not a question of if now, it’s a question of to what team.

    • Cubs Dude

      So he is giving the Cubs one team he would allow a trade too? I am sure the Cubs would have a lot of leverage there with that one team. Great..

      • GoldFinch

        What i got out of it, there were multiple offers. And indeed, like Brett said, The discussion with Theo was about the offers.

      • Kyle

        Well, Dempster has the right to veto any trade, so it is kind of ultimately up to him.

        It’s more of a courtesy for Epstein. He’ll inform Dempster of the teams who are interested, and ask him if he has any preference if the offers are equal, and ask him if there are any teams he’d block a trade to.

        • Cubs Dude

          If I had to guess i am betting he would prefer an NL team as he wants his #’s to look as impressive as possible in a contract year. I don’t think he would want any part of the AL East either.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Link? I’ve seen something similar from Levine, but not quite that strong.

      • Jp

        Probably twitter or Wikipedia… Cmon brother spill the beans

    • MichiganGoat

      Please provide a link as of right now all I’ve seen is that Dempster appears to be open to a trade but I’ve heard no offers or guarantee that Dempster will accept an offer. If I am wrong and you have a link or sources you can’t disclose fine, but you might send Brett an email and become one if his sources.

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