- The Cubs/Pirates series that opens today is pretty huge for the Pirates, who’ve lost 10 of 12. If the Cubs take this series, or even split it, the Pirates’ playoff hopes probably die. They’re three games out of the second Wild Card (and behind two teams, the Dodgers and Cardinals), and are nearly tied with the Brewers(!) at this point.
- BN’er cjdubbya (on Twitter as the same) snapped some awesome pictures at Jeff Samardzija’s final start of the year last week, including that Gatorade blast shot you see there to the right (ok, “Gatorade”). Check the series out on the BN Facebook page.
- Gordon Wittenmyer looks at what the last long homestand for the Cubs could mean for 2013 (“long” being operative, as the Cubs do return to Wrigley for the final series of the year against the Astros). As rough as the roster looks, we still might be seeing six or seven of the regular offensive starters for next year in the current lineup. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
- Paul Sullivan talks to and about Starlin Castro’s big extension, and how it could change him (pointing to Carlos Zambrano’s changes after his $91 million extension back in 2007). Castro, himself, instead points to Alfonso Soriano as the example. “No, I’m pretty sure [I won’t change],” he said. “It’s the same as Soriano. Look at him. He has a lot of money, too, but he hasn’t changed.”
- Carrie Muskat answered some questions in her “Inbox,” and noted, among other things, that the dates for the 2013 Cubs Convention will be January 18 to 20. Plan accordingly.
- A little fluff on Josh Vitters’ path to the big leagues.
- Today’s the deadline to enter the Cubs DVD set contest is today at 5pm CT. So check out the details, and enter! I’ll be contacting the winners over the weekend/Monday, so make sure you check your various message thingies on Monday (email if you entered by comment, DM if you entered on Twitter, and messages if you entered on Facebook).
- The MLBullets at BCB are largely about how the Cardinals are going to make the playoffs, so you may want to avert your eyes.
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