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Once a year, I ask for your direct help in keeping this place running the way we all like it. This is that time of year.

One of the most important parts of the coverage here at Bleacher Nation, in my opinion, involves the endless stream of rumors generated by the nature of Major League Baseball. From the Lukewarm Stove to the Obsessive Watches, I can’t help but cover every little rumor that comes the Cubs’ way. And we’re coming up on the busiest, rumoriest time of the year – the weeks leading up to the July 31, non-waiver trade deadline.

I plan to cover those rumors, obsessively, as always.

But, for just the second time since I started running this place as a job, I wondered if I might call upon my readers’ good graces to help keep the lights on. I hate the idea of asking for donations, but last year I had an idea that could combine your desire to get ridiculous amounts of trade rumor coverage and my desire to not have The Wife beat me with a frying pan when the site’s expenses outpace its revenues.

Since I hate asking for handouts, and you probably hate giving away money for nothing, what if we came to an understanding?

If you all collectively donate enough to Bleacher Nation to cover the site’s hosting costs (or, let’s say, get within 80% of the costs), I will blog at the trade deadline for 30 hours straight – no sleep, no breaks, minimum of one post per hour (even if it’s just to tell you how close I am to losing my mind). From 10am CT on Monday, July 30 until 4pm CT on Tuesday, July 31, I will be here. Constantly.

That is, if you help me out by helping me cover the costs of Bleacher Nation for one year.

Obviously the site’s hosting costs have increased considerably in the past year, as the site has grown. Our little home here costs about $120 per month to host, so that’s $1440 per year. Since your donation would be tied to the direct costs of running the site, I figured you might be a little more willing to give. Mom and pop shops like BN need advertising to survive, but donations help. And if the total donations go over that amount (which would be nuts), I’ll consider it salary, and I’ll thank’ya kindly.

We did the Blogathon last year for 24 hours (I’m stepping it up this year!), and, even though it was a relatively quiet deadline for the Cubs, I’d like to think you all had a good time. And, once I’d regained my sanity, I think I had a good time, too. (Here’s the wrap-up from last year’s Blogathon if you weren’t around and want a taste of what it was like.)

So here’s how you donate:




Just click there, and throw whatever bones my way you’d care to. And then laugh at me while I slowly go mad on July 30/31. Or do it because you like BN. It’s all appreciated.

Let me know in your donation if you don’t want me to give you a shout as a thanks; otherwise, I plan to sing some praises throughout the month. I’ll keep the amount anonymous, but I want to recognize everyone that donates.

I’ll keep you all updated on how we’re doing. I hope this works once again, though I’m not sure how excited I am by the prospect of blogging for 30 hours straight. I was seriously very loopy by the end of the last one, so we’ll see how an additional six hours go. What can I say? I don’t want to miss that July 30 morning window of rumors…

  • magilljl

    Contribution made. Lets make this happen!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You are awesome. Big thanks.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Sun – Times Padilla reporting that LaHair is getting the start in RF tonight against the LH starter Minor. Are the Cubs trying to show someone he can hit lefties & be an everyday starter ?

    • magilljl

      or they’re finally taking the “field your best lineup and hope for the best” approach.

      • art

        hope it’s field your best line-up.

    • Wilbur

      Maybe they’re trying to show themselves …

      • Jeff

        Maybe, Theo and Jed have finally told Sevum to stop shaking off LaHair!

        • Cyranojoe

          Nice.

    • Robert

      Or the Cubs are saying ” This is our year!” we are the hottest team in baseball, where gonna be buyers not sellers.” kidding, of course.

    • Drew7

      Or…Minor has served up an .809 OPS to Lefties in his career.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        I kind of hope we can package Lahair with someone like Dempster to get a good package of prospects. I don’t think Lahair is ever going to be a really good player. I think he has kind of reached his ceiling already and is who he his a solid to good players, who can’t hit lefties worth a lick. Like the guy nice story and is actually to his credit a pretty good player but I don’t see his value going up anymore then it is so if you could get a good return for him I would pull the trigger

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      You have to throw him out there to give it a chance. If you give up on someone like him completely that would just be idiotic.

  • Cheryl

    Donation made

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Big thanks.

  • chirogerg

    right on with your lame duck theory last year

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha, yeah. I saw that. I was pretty perceptive…

  • auggie1955

    Made a small donation via PayPal. Only wish I could afford more, but things are really tight now.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Any donation at all is awesome. Thank you very kindly.

  • Jack Weiland

    Forcing someone to blog for 30 consecutive hours about THIS Cubs team seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me.

    Can we run this by the SCOTUS?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      When I collapse from exhaustion, some hospital will have to treat me.

  • Kevin

    Brett, can you please e-mail me? Thx

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    Boom, there you go! Donation made. Good luck. I love blogathons.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You rock. Thanks.

  • Featherstone

    Can you keep a running count or counter of the total donations made so far, so we know how much we’ve donated to the cause and more importantly how close we are to living our dream of watching you slowly lose your mind.

    • Cyranojoe

      This would be cool.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yup. I will be updating throughout the next couple weeks.

  • ReiCow

    Donation in.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Very awesome. Thank you.

  • Cheryl

    I’ll be at my first cubs game on the 13th. Hope to celebrate a win and will be celebrating completion of my first historical novel (publication is another barrier to overcome)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Good luck with publication.  But congrats on the completion.  That alone is far, far from easy.

    • Bric

      I hope it’s not the story of a boy and his dog wandering the countryside doing good deeds and drinking beer, ’cause the book I’m writing. Anyways, good luck on it.

      • Cheryl

        Thanks Luke and Bric, The only thing I’ll tell you about it is I’ve been working on it when I could for over ten years. It’s gone through a lot of revising and I have hopes for it.

  • mudge

    made with thanks and appreciation. & request you sneak a nap in the middle of them 30 hours.

  • MaxM1908

    You know what’s the greatest nation in the world? Do-nation.

    Donation made.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You rock.

      • MaxM1908

        Are you going to have one of those nifty thermometer graphics that shows how close we are to the goal? It may tip people over the edge to donate and may encourage others to open their wallets wider. We could call it “Bleacher-a-thon Watch: 2012.”

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Ha. Maybe if I get really excited about photoshopping…

  • Rich

    Donation to B Nation !

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Bam. Thank you.

  • Cerambam

    Brett, woud you rather me donate, or buy a BN tee shirt?

    • hansman1982

      for asking the question, you are now forced to do both. Large bills are accepted.

      • Cerambam

        haha i saw that coming as soon as i pressed enter.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I saw that you already donated (thanks again), but I’ll answer anyway – the donation route is certainly more cost-effective (it all goes to the site, whereas I get only a small commission on the sales of the shirts), but when you buy a shirt, you have a badass shirt at the end of the day (I’m wearing one of mine today, actually).

      • Cerambam

        Alright, i think its about time… what color shirt am I getting ?!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I’ve got a blue one and a purple one (which The Wife co-opted). They both look pretty slick.

          • Jack Weiland

            This was a struggle for me for a long time as well. I went with red … not sure why, it just spoke to me.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              My next one is definitely going to be red.

              • Cerambam

                Cant wear it at a cardinals, reds, or nationals game. I made that mistake once at a cubs vs cardinals game in ’07 i was miserable.

  • Alex

    Donation is in Brett.

    Thanks for all you do. I know it’s a labor of love for you, but it’s fantastic to have a one stop site for all our Cubs (major and minor league) information. Your effort is greatly appreciated.

    You and Luke are the cats pajamas.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Thanks!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks a lot for that, Alex.

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    How much money do you get per click on a advertisement.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Very little (that is to say, it takes a whole lot of ‘em, and it actually doesn’t help to have folks click multiple times in a day, for example). Just by tolerating them, you’re helping me.

  • Cerambam

    donation made. brett and luke, you guys are awesome.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks for that, man.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Why wouldn’t Sveum put Volstadt in the bullpen since he is good for 3 or 4 innings everytime out. The more he pitches the sinker ball will be effective and he could fill a role in the pen that is sorely needed. As for Corpas, Ascenio and Dolis they need to figure out how to throw strikes and it’s best they do that in Iowa. Although you could put Coleman in that group as well. Corpas and Dolis have potential to be decent bullpen guys with good fastballs. They just need to learn how to get the ball over the plate. It’s a shame they made this far through the system and don’t have the ability to throw strikes as relievers. Makes me wonder what is going on with the pitchers we do have at the lower levels. Is the coaching sub par? Something has to be done about guys not throwing strikes. I wonder what Bosio is doing with these guys day in and out while they are up in ML.

    • Edwin

      Maybe the Cubs just have a lot of shitty pitchers in the system.

      • Jeff

        Maybe….how about definitely, the stats confirm it

  • Ginny Carter

    Donation in. I love looking for your tweets and thank you for all of your efforts with up to date Cubs information. Keep up the good work and a nap (of the power or cat variety) would be a good idea, I’m sure nobody would mind…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thank you very much, Ginny.

  • hansman1982

    Brett,
    Email me your address so I can ship you a custom fit helmet to protect you from your wife. (That’s right, I measured your head when you weren’t looking at that Cubs game…the reach for the Ivy was just a distraction.)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Only if it has a built-in drool cup.

      • hansman1982

        again, I have met you and made all of the necessary accomodations…

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I read an interesting tid bit on Marmol. He isn’t allowed to call his own pitches anymore. WTF he should have never been allowed to call his own pitches. If it has taken this long for someone to figure that out then we have the Dumb and Dumber crew running things. A little league coach could have figured that out 2 years ago. If that’s all it took to get Marmol on track … helping to not have to think then that doesn’t say much for our coaching staff. It took 70+ games to determine that Marmol shouldn’t be calling his pitches. WTF is going on in that dugout?

  • pjboy9

    Donation submitted. Thanks Brett for the effort you put into your site. It’s my first & frequent stop for anything Cubs. jim & the wife (met up with you and a small crew at Goose Island Brewery before the Red Sox game).

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thank you big-time, Jim.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    It will be nice to see how well the team plays and if they continue this run of better ball. Keeping LaHair, DeJesus and Soriano in the OF until late inning defense replacements are strategically made is the best plan. Adding Rizzo to the lineup has made all the difference in the world. Castro is going to hit better, Soriano and LaHair will hit better and the catcher position rotation is hitting better. With our not having any outfield prospects ready to move up to the ML is it a good idea to break up our outfield by trading LaHair and Soriano this month. I think Rizzo, LaHair and Soriano could become the bash brothers in the second half and we could continue to close the gap in the NL Central. We won’t win the division but we could move up a few spots and have ourselves a little momentum going into next year. If we trade Dempster for a few decent prospects we could have some potential for next year as our defense has been a major improvement over the previous two seasons. Our biggest need is bull pen pitching and another starter or two. If Maholm keeps throwing well I would resign him as he is cheap for a left handed starter. Remember he wasn’t 100% to start the season and he is getting better everytime out. I would keep him around at $4.5M. If only we would have had Rizzo up at the beginning of the season and he produced as he has thus far we would be in better shape providing we had a bullpen. Maybe we aren’t that far off from being decent in NL Central.

    • GeorgeHermanLaHair

      Being decent in the NL Central is not the goal…

      • hansman1982

        Agree, by 2020 I expect the Cubs to become the NL version of the Yankees.

  • cubsin

    My donation is in. I challenge all other readers who haven’t already done so to chip in.

    Brett, i wouldn’t expect any juicy rumors to surface between 2:00 AM EDT and 6:00 AM EDT on the 31st, and most of your readers will be asleep at that hour anyway. So there’s your window for a power nap. I’d rather have you lucid during the final hours.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thank you very much. I almost wonder if a 30 min nap would actually make me feel worse…

      • Richard Nose

        Yeah I wouldn’t mess with it. Those windows are enticing, but small naps give me headaches. Direct parallel to blue balls. Just a big tease. Sorry!

  • Cub Gone Wild

    When thing I notice watching most all of the games is that our pitchers have some of the worst mechanics on the mound. Dolis, Corpas, Ascenio, Coleman and others all inclusive have terrible balance and they don’t have their bodies going toward home plate. It’s no wonder they can’t throw strikes or be very close to the zone because they don’t have a clue where the ball is going when it leaves their hand. It’s one thing to rock back and throw smoke if you go right at home plate. These guys fall all over the place and they have the most uncoventional follow throughs ever. Bosio could make all the difference in the world if he made the fundamentally strong in their deliveries. Maybe that job is too much for one guy at the ML level. I suppose a ML pitching coach shouldn’t be the one to have to correct a pitchers approach when he gets to the ML. This activity needs to be worked on way before getting to the ML. But in the Cubs case it is not happening in the minors. Theo needs to get this addressed.

  • Twinkletoez

    Donation made, wish I could give more. Keep up the great work

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thank you very much.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    It’s so damned hot at the lake I can’t stand it. Went for a motorcycle ride at 98 degrees not good. Went out on the boat and it’s too hot for my dogs so I had to bring them back to the cottage. Until 6pm when the thunderstorm comes I’m stuck in the house on the computer. Everybody is sleeping cuz it’s too damned hot. Maybe I will go to the bar on the golf cart and see what’s going on at the pool. I absolutely hate the 4th being on a Wednesday everybody had to go back to work the next couple days. It sucks being retired when none of your friends are able to go out and play. I’m not going to read a book. I refuse to give up that easily.

    • Richard Nose

      I’m bright red from this damn sun and heat! Pool party, boat party, house party = hell of a 4th. Merica. Does kinda suck on a Wednesday. My boss isn’t very pleased with my output today. Not my fault.

  • Brandon – AA Correspondent

    Donation made.

    All I want is a blog post in the 30 hour marathon dedicated to the Tennessee Smokies and their awesome AA correspondent. haha

    This site is great, and I certainly am honored to be a part of it. Looking forward to meeting you in person someday, and if you ever venture to Smokies Park for a road trip to cover the AA affiliate, I’d be happy to host ya.

    Brandon
    bhowes34 on twitter

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, man. I’ll try to work the Smokies in there…

    • Jeff

      Hey Brandon,

      I want to drive up and see a game, pick a date and series and let me know when. Brett has my email, try and get him to go too. I’m right down the road from you in Chattvegas!

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Being decent in the NL Central this year should be a goal!!!!!!!!!!!

    We don’t have any prospects to call up so why not be the best you can be for the remainder of this year. We are 2 years away from our young outfield prospects being ready for call ups. We don’t have a pitcher in the minor leagues who is a sure thing for our rotation. We won’t get any ML ready players for Dempster. Not sure I want to take the setback if we trade Garza because we won’t get any ML ready pitchers if he is traded. If the guys coming back where ML ready and going to be really Sh*t Hot why would anyone want to trade them for Garza? He’s pretty good but he isn’t that good. I’m all about the future but at some point we have to be realistic. I don’t know what’s being offered for Garza but it must not be good enough to make Theo get a woodie. If he can get 2 or 3 Travis Wood’s for Garza then pull the trigger. I’m happy to wait a half season for them to be productive. Other than a LaHair trade we are not going to get anything other than minor league roster fillers. The dead wood on this team won’t bring anything of value back to the organization. I would love to see Johnson, Baker and Mather all traded today but for what? Nobody wants them cuz they suck. The bigger problem is we don’t have anyone to replace them. I hope some of the stronger organizations have to put some decent guys on waivers when the trade season fires up. Even if some of the waiver players are in the $4M range we could improve our bench a great deal. The payroll is already cut way back and if we keep LaHair who is at league minimum or close to it we have Castro, Barney, Valbuena, Campana, Clevenger and most of the bullpen at the bottom of the payscale. We can afford to claim some guys who might go unclaimed because they make a little more than other teams might want to take on. At the rate Theo and Ricketts are going they can cut ticket prices in half next year and still be banking serious $$. Next year 2013 the payroll will be half what it was in 2011 with ticket prices the same. That money is lining Ricketts pockets. I’m not asking him to sign the Pujols of the world just get some better ball players than the deadwood scrap heap bench players we have now and a better bullpen. If the Tampa Rays can build a really good bullpen on the cheap every single year so can we.

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