So, this Lance Armstrong business. He’s giving up the fight, saying at some point it becomes too much, and the process is unfair, etc., etc. I’m sure that is, on some level, true. But surely he knows that everyone everywhere will view this as an admission of guilt. Knowing that, and knowing how hard he’s fought against these doping allegations for years, I just have a hard time seeing him giving up the fight merely because he was tired of it. Then again, you never really know what goes on behind closed doors.
- Jeff Samardzija says Spring Training next year is “going to be crazy,” because almost everybody will have something to prove. It’s nice to hear that coming from Samardzija, who is arguably one of only a couple guys who have a certain job next year. Samardzija’s first full season as a starter with the big club has definitely been a success, and it’s probably going to come to an end soon. Hopefully he keeps up his offseason workout activities, blows the doors of the place next year, and earns himself a huge extension with the Cubs.
- Jorge Soler’s hitting coach at Peoria is a fellow Cuban defector, Barbaro Garbey, who is relishing the opportunity to work with Soler. There are some great quotes in the article, but this might be the best, from Garbey: “He has the five tools, and the best thing about him is he’s very coachable, very humble. He’s a good teammate. When you do that, the transition will be easier for you, because everybody wants to work with you, everybody wants to try to help you.” It also makes it a lot easier for the fans to love a guy like that.
- Paul Sullivan offers the things to watch over the last month of the season, including Chris Volstad’s winless streak, Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters’ development, Carlos Marmol’s strong finish to the year, the empty seats at Wrigley, and whether Dale Sveum goes insane.
- You can learn a bit more about outfield prospect Albert Almora by way of a former teammate, Willie Abreu, who seems to pretty much idolize Almora.
- There’s an email campaign going on to keep the Cubs’ A-ball affiliation in Peoria, which I think is laudable, but probably fruitless. While the relationship with Peoria has, undoubtedly, been a good one, the opportunities that Kane County offers are probably going to be too much to pass up, no matter the outcry from downstate.
- Aisle424 (Tim) at Obstructed View wonders how it is that the White Sox can’t even out-draw the Cubs for a game in which they’re going for a sweep over the Yankees when both teams are leading their divisions, and the White Sox are starting their young ace (Chris Sale). The Sox got just 26,000 in the house for the game – 65% capacity. That’s less than the ticketed sales for a random Cubs/Astros mid-week game in May. Seriously, what’s the deal?
- The MLBullets at BCB look at the continued shredding of the Red Sox by the Boston media. It’s kind of nuts.
- I had a dream last night where I was playing on the infield for the Cubs (in the snow, for whatever reason). Matt Garza was pitching, and I knew the other team was going to bunt to try and expose Garza’s fielding issues. So I told him that, after he pitched, he should run backwards, and I’d run forwards (I think I was playing shortstop), and I’d cover everything in front of the pitcher’s mound. He did, and I did, but I proceeded to throw the ball away on four consecutive plays. One of those four, I really feel like Anthony Rizzo could have come off the bag and bailed me out, but the other three were total yips. I remember thinking that my fielding percentage had just gone to crap, and was no longer a fair reflection of my defensive ability. Wonder what that’s about …