Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

I know I talk about wanting the Cubs to have more night games, but I’ll confess: multiple night games in a row, combined with early-morning daughter duties, makes for a mighty tired Brett. Maybe night games are to me as day games are to the Cubs. It has a cumulative effect…

  • Matt Garza is the latest Cub to vigorously defend Alfonso Soriano. “I get pissed off when the fans treat him the way they do,” Garza said, according to the Tribune. “That’s ridiculous. The guy is doing everything he can. He’s hit 20 home runs every season …. He deserves a lot more respect from the fans than what he’s getting …. When you give somebody the money they give him, fans expect him to be 28 forever. I’m sorry, but time catches up, and for this guy to still be doing what he does, it’s amazing. Not a lot of guys his age can keep doing what he does, and the very few that do it, they’re well-respected, and this guy catches grief.” Do you really think Garza would be saying these things so aggressively – and in criticism of the very fans for whom he plays – if it wasn’t true?
  • Theo Epstein also defended Soriano, and talked about how hard he’s been working this year (though, what would you expect Epstein to say?). I’m quite ready to put Soriano-Didn’t-Run-Gate to bed.

  • Geovany Soto feels like he was ready to return to the bigs yesterday, after a long stretch on the DL following minor knee surgery. He didn’t hit particularly well during his rehab stint (3 for 16), but he was able to go the distance in games, and that’s all the Cubs were looking for. As long as he starts hitting now, we can all be happy.
  • A nice writeup on Javier Baez’s progress and promotion schedule, featuring thoughts on timing from Farm Director Oneri Fleita.
  • Jim Callis believes that, if Jorge Soler had been in the 2012 Draft, the Cubs would have taken him over Albert Almora. I think if you asked a few other pundits, you might get a mix of answers. The two are that close in terms of raw talent, and overall value. Soler’s ceiling is probably a bit higher, but Almora is probably a bit more likely to become a successful Major Leaguer. Both are obviously a long way off, and the Cubs haven’t even yet signed Almora (but they will).
  • I wrote yesterday about Arizona State’s President calling the Cubs “not people of their word,” and generally grousing to Mesa Mayor Scott Smith about the Cubs being unfair in their negotiations with ASU about the school’s use of the Cubs’ new Spring Training facility (in emails that somehow found their way into the press). I was suspicious about the motives for the article, and now I’m even more suspicious: suddenly, another article comes out, noting that ASU could turn to soon-to-be-vacated Municipal Stadium (which the Oakland A’s will be leaving in favor of Hohokam Stadium when the Cubs leave it) if their negotiations with the Cubs continue to go South. How good for ASU that they suddenly have leverage, and the Arizona media is making sure to report that fact. Talk about your good timing and good luck, eh?

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