Woke up with a brutal headache this morning, which I can attribute to a very specific spot in my upper back (must’ve slept on it wrong). I can kind of knead it a little with my hand, but it’s in a really awkward spot. They say that sometimes talking about your problems helps. Nope. Didn’t work.
- Cubs Owner and Chairman Tom Ricketts saysthat tough work remains ahead, but the fans are still on board with the rebuilding process. “I think we are headed in the right direction,” Ricketts told Dave Kaplan. “Theo immediately came in and built out a great team of guys and we are continuing to improve on that team and we are doing the right things and really building a foundation that will carry us into the future. I sleep well at night knowing that we have great guys running the show …. Whether it’s 2 o’clock in the morning like the late-starting game the other night or 2 o’clock in the afternoon, the fan base has been terrific. I think everyone understands that this is part of the process. Everyone understands that we have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be. I talk to 40-50 fans every game and almost everyone understands what we are doing and supports it. We just have to keep working hard to pay them off for their loyalty and support.”
- Gordon Wittenmyer found that, in a casual survey of five of the manager who will vote on the Gold Glove award, four of the five had already voted for Darwin Barney (and the fifth was leaning that way). Helping Barney, apparently, was the inclusion of stats on the ballot this year, including Barney’s extreme UZR and errorless streak. It is very much starting to sound like Barney is actually going to best Brandon Phillips on this one.
- Manager Dale Sveum didn’t think much of Chris Rusin’s rocky outing last night. “Just one big battle,” Sveum said, per the Tribune. “He didn’t have much command of anything. No breaking ball, couldn’t repeat any kind of pitches back to back, or quality pitches at all.” So … ‘Rusin was awful in every conceivable way’ is the gist?
- Alfonso Soriano sounds like he’s more proud of setting a good example of working hard for the younger players than he is about his 30/100 season. “It’s been good because I think I’m a veteran guy and I think those guys see me,” Soriano said, per ESPNChicago. “I think I have to do the best I can to make sure they can learn something from me. That’s what I try to do is to play hard every day because they can learn something.”
- More from Dale Sveum on the defensive work Josh Vitters needs to do at third base.
- Patrick Mooney takes an early look at where the Cubs might look to add free agents next year, with an eye on the rotation, bullpen, and third base.
- The Cubs actually are doing the Convention package thing like they did last year (where you get a signed photo and a couple bleacher tickets), but for some reason they didn’t advertise it in the original materials about the Convention earlier this week. Here are the details, if you haven’t already booked. I got mine this morning, so I’ll see you at CubsCon.
- Keith Law chatted about prospects yesterday, and his only thoughts on the Cubs focused on a question about the crew at Boise: he “loves” Albert Almora and Juan Paniagua, thinks Jeimer Candelario is “really interesting,” and Gioskar Amaya, Dan Vogelbach and Marco Hernandez aren’t “elite” prospects (though, of the three, Law seems to think Hernandez is the closest (presumably because he can play shortstop)).
- Adrian Cardenas and Darwin Barney made some kids’ day with a visit to the Lurie Children’s Hospital yesterday.
- The Kane County Cougars have an official blog. Sweet.
- Hey. You there. Have signed up for the BN fantasy football contest yet?