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Last night’s loss to the Rockies puts the Cubs “behind” the Rockies by a game (the Indians and Twins also both won last night), which means that, at the close of this series, the Cubs will be, at the farthest, just a game better than the Rockies. By the way, in case you were wondering: the Cubs hold the Draft tie-breaker over the Rockies on the strength of their worse season in 2011 (just a couple games worse than the Rockies – see, these losses can have implications for years).

  • Dale Sveum says the Cubs already have the impression they need to make decisions on current, fringe-y guys on the roster this Winter. “You have a really good idea,” Sveum said, per CSNChicago. “Now whatever we do in the wintertime is a different story of where we’re going to fill holes and that kind of thing. But you’ve definitely got a good idea of maybe the character of people, the pitch-ability [and] being able to repeat things. Does he still have a chance of making our team, or does he need to develop? I think we’ve seen enough of everybody for that.” In other words, Sveum believes he’s seen enough of a guy like, for example, Jaye Chapman to have formed a belief on whether Chapman is worth keeping on the 40-man roster this Winter. And it sounds like Sveum believes the guys upstairs have that same sense.
  • One of those guys is Michael Bowden, who’s working on a nine-inning scoreless streak (beware those September numbers!). He’s hopeful he gets a shot to make the bullpen in Spring Training. “Never in my career have I gone into spring or a season expecting a job, especially on a big league staff,” Bowden told Cubs.com. “I work all offseason so I can go into Spring Training in the best shape as possible and try to make the team. This is a small amount of time I’ve been doing well and I’m not taking it for granted. I’ll work hard in the offseason, and hope I’ll be a part of the organization next year.” Bowden added that he attributes his recent success to getting regular work.
  • Doug Padilla looks at Starlin Castro’s developing power. The youngster got his 14th homer of the year last night, which is a career high, and his .433 SLG would also be a career high (by one point).
  • The MLBullets at BCB (on a newly designed site) look at, among other things, the following: The Wall Street Journal undertook a humorous and interesting, albeit limited, experiment, watching a local broadcast for each of the 30 MLB teams to determine which broadcasting crews were the most homer-ish. In the experiment, the Journal watched a home game in which the home team won, and counted the number of times a broadcaster referred to the team as “us,” or used “me/my/our,” or used an obscure pet name for a player, or moped after something bad happened for the home team. You will be unsurprised to learn that the White Sox’s duo of Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone are the most home-team friendly crew in all of baseball. You might be surprised (nah, probably not) to learn just HOW homer-ish they are: their count of 104 biased comments in a single game was 81(!) more than the next highest total, 23 for the Indians. Indeed, Harrelson and Stone outpaced the rest of the American League … combined! The Cubs’ team of Len Kasper and Bob Brenly were near the bottom of the list, with just three biased comments (for example, Bob called Alfonso Soriano “Fonsie,” which, like, meh – that ain’t exactly “you gotta be bleepin’ me, Wegner!”).
  • Another note from those bullets that’s relevant here: The World Baseball Classic dates and venues have been set for next year. The United States, assuming they advance from their first pool, will face a group that will include a couple of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. The WBC runs from March 2, 2013 to March 19, 2013.
  • I post this ONLY for the purposes of noting that the Cubs’ organization, as a whole, is politically balanced (which is relevant to continued efforts to solicit public funding assistance for a Wrigley Field renovation in light of the Joe Ricketts anti-Obama attack ad flap): did you know that President Theo Epstein campaigned for John Kerry back in 2004, and is a regular donor on the Democratic side? I could not possibly care less about his personal politics – or Tom Ricketts’, or Joe Ricketts’, or Laura Ricketts’ – but it’s interesting to see the balance. If you discuss politics in the comments outside of the Wrigley construction context, so help me …
  • Cubbie Blues

    Beware ye of the one who wields the Ban Hammer!
    [img]http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/7170/brettbanhammer.jpg[/img]

    • preacherman86

      Lookin at the 40 man and depth in the minors I think it sheds some light on the amount of PT guys like Valbuena have been getting. IMO we dump two of Cardenas, Stewart and Valbuena, maybe all three, depending on possible trades with youngsters such as Vitters. Same goes for guys like Mather and Sappelt. THEOlogy lookin to give guys a shot to prove themselves going in to the winter. Mather will be gone. LaHair is out the door, and we could see Campana gone as well if the space is needed. As far as pitching is concerned we have guys aplenty to show the door. Fellas like Germano, Berken, Corpas, Rusin, Casey Coleman, and Socolovich are a dime a dozen and have no business taking up roster space until the end of spring training when the team fills voids on the big league roster. Another name worth forgetting is Shawn Camp. Dude is legit out of the pen, but on a team that is going nowhere next season, with him at his age, He doesnt need to take up roster space either unless he comes dirt cheap and is a great clubhouse guy. All in all, the front office has been plotting this out all year, giving different guys auditions from the fringe prospects and seeing what they have. At this point Theo and Co know who is worth keeping and who isnt. We really don’t need to fret too much about the number of young kids who need to be added to the 40 man because we have so many expendables on the 40 man right now.

  • Cubbie Blues

    oops that came in way too large. Where’s the edit button?

    • cjdubbya

      No, that’s perfect. Gets the point across beautifully. Good work.

      • wilbur

        I agree, he who holds the hammer get’s top (and largest) billing …

    • cubchymyst

      It works well. I’d like to see the banhammer have have more of a mjolnir (Thors Hammer) look to it (larger head smaller handle). It might work better for smiting people.

  • EQ76

    Doug Padilla looks at Starlin Castro’s developing power. The youngster got his 14th homer of the year last night, which is a career high, and his .433 SLG would also be a career high (by one point).

    cue the barrage of nimcomepoops claiming that HR’s and SLG are now meaningless stats…..

    wait for it…..

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      “Meaningless” is hyperbole.
      Oh if we can just get rid of hyperbole.

      • FFP

        You don’t want to literally “get rid of hyperbole” there; you’re just exaggerating for effect, I’m sure.

    • DarthHater

      If you are going to call people nincompoops, you really should be able to spell it.

  • Stevie B

    HR’s and SLG are now meaningless stats…..

    • EQ76

      woohoo!

    • JK

      HR’s are meaningless?

  • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

    The political talk will stop NOW.

    I’d like to think that the boys up top gave Dale Sveum a list of things he is and isn’t allowed to talk about, but for the most part it seems kind of obvious even from us armchair GMs who’s going to stick around and who will be expendable. But of course, I’ve been wrong before.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha, hey now. I don’t *forbid* political talk (as in, I won’t delete, and I won’t ban folks for doing it) – but man, oh, man, I’ll discourage it with every fiber of my being. Nothing good ever comes from it.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I was only bustin’ your chops a bit Ace.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Oh I know.

          • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

            It was a thinly veiled joke aimed at another Cubs blogger. Don’t worry about it ;)

    • fester30

      I would so totally campaign in Bleacher Nation for one of the candidates if I thought it would bring a World Series to the Cubs. However, one is a Chisox fan and the other doesn’t seem to follow baseball, so it’s a push. I’ll be sure to take my campaigning elsewhere :)

  • Stevie B

    Is it me or does Theo always seem to look like he’s thinking ” I fooled just about everyone into 2 great GM positions and I’m not quite sure how”…?

    • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

      It’s arguable that, given this current incarnation of the Cubs franchise, the Cubs GM job isn’t exactly a great position. But Theo is the Prez, and Jed be the GM. So let’s amend this to “I fooled Tom Ricketts into giving me a promotion! Woohoo!”

    • Cubbie Blues

      Yes, it is you.

  • Featherstone

    I’m really hoping Castro continues to develop his patience as his power numbers continue to rise. Getting some solid power numbers backed by a passable OBP from your shortstop would be a huge blessing to this club who is short on cornerstones to build around.

  • Brian

    Went to the game last night, and man was it a sleeper. I always go to a couple games when the Cubs come to Denver as my trips back to Chicago are far and few between. But honestly both teams really seemed like they were asleep at the wheel, just kinda going through the motions which kinda surprises me considering there are so many unproven guys on the field essentially auditioning for a job next year with both these clubs.

    Either way, I will head back out there tonight hoping to see a Cubs win! GO CUBS GO!

    • Rcleven

      With the rain and 54 degree temps I wouldn’t be on the field either. Game never should have been played.

  • Rizzo 44

    Angels have said on MLBtraderumors.com that they will decline the options on Haren and Santana. I think the Cubs should make a 3 year offer to Haren and Santana. I would give them each option years with it being a club option. Santana is 30 and Haren is 32. I think they would both do well in the NL and would give the Cubs some much needed depth. Both haven’t had great years so they will not be as high priced as they would have been a few years ago.

    • willis

      I’m down with that.

  • Eric

    Brett you really should care about people’s politics. Because one party is corrupt, and another is evil and destroying america. Gotta side with the people who are only somewhat evil less America go down the shitter.

    • DarthHater

      Brett you really should continue to strongly discourage political discussion here. Because political opinions are like assholes, as are the people who think theirs is the one that doesn’t stink.

  • SoCal Cubs Fan

    I don’t see the Cubs giving Haren and Santana 3 year deals. Maybe a 2 year with another club option year. I think there will be a few options, this guy Stults has pitched fairly well for San Diego, and I still like Anibel Sanchez. The Cubs need to be active though as other than Wood we don’t have any options after Shark and Garza.

    • Earl Cunningham

      I;m thinking guys like Marcum and Villanueva would be good pickups.

      • Southern Cub

        I’d put Liriano on that list as well, of course there will be some competition for his services I’m sure

  • Jeff L

    SoCal I would like to see the Cubs going after Zach Greinke. I think Matt and Zach being 28 going to be 29 are a good young number 1 and 2 starter and you add a stud outfielder like BJ Upton for center field… You are right back in the mix for the playoffs…. Just add a few back end starters on par with Malhom

    • Ted

      in b4 “we’re rebuilding why would we want a decent team with avg. $40 bleacher seats”

    • Chris

      If Greinke comes without a no trade clause and the contract is not over the top, that would be fine. I just don’t think they are going to get him very cheaply though. And Garza is still going to get traded. It’s more when than if. If BJ Upton doesn’t get a qualifying offer, he might be a guy they should consider. Still, anybody they sign in 2013 has to be ready to get traded at the deadline if this team is not contending. Don’t overspend on guys you won’t be able to move quickly, and don’t sacrifice draft picks for a free agent that won’t be here or contributing when the team turns things around.

      • cubchymyst

        I think only considering the 2013 trade deadline only might be a little short sighted. When the cubs are in contention they are likely going to need to make trades then as well. Signing a piece this winter now that will likely still has trade value 2 or 3 years down the road is not a bad idea even if the contract makes it hard to trade him next year.

  • swaz46

    For what it’s worth, I went to the game Sunday and say right near the Cubs bullpen. When Bowden got up, the girls I was with all talked about how hot he was.

    So Theo, Jed, and Dale, three college girls are counting on you to make the right roster decision on Bowden this winter.

  • Jeff L

    Brett,
    I remember you saying that you are 95 percent sure Theo and Ricketts are making the right decision on how to build this team. I was wondering if you can come up with 1 team in the last 10-15 years in the modern baseball era… That was built from the ground up like this the way the Cubs are building there team?

    Before you answer the question know that the only Championships Theo won with the RedSox they had the highest payroll in baseball.

    • TWC

      Ace said that he’s agreed with 95% of the decisions made by the FO so far. That’s different that “saying that you are 95 percent sure Theo and Ricketts are making the right decision on how to build this team.”

  • Sparks

    Eric,
    I agree with you 100%. However I must say that I have never been convinced of anything when the idea was presented with rants and raves. Most political submissinons seave me cold. I have NEVER been convinced of anything political (or anything for that matter) unless it was presented rationally and logically. Most often when i am presented with a political argument, I am mor convinced that I am right and the other guy is nuts.
    I feel that this website should not contain anything political unless it pertains directly to the Cubs– as the renovation of Wrigley.

  • willis

    Agree with others that have said that probably at least half or more of these guys don’t need to be clogging up and wasting a roster spot. For pitchers that are safe…Marmol, Garza, Wood, Russell, Shark and maybe Chapman. For position players…DeJesus, Castro, Rizzo, Castillo, Barney, Soriano (if not dealt), Jackson. That’s 13 by my count. God willing there are a lot of decent pieces added, if for anything just to see a rotation be able to go out on a nightly basis and not get shelled.

  • jim

    Daddy jo runs the “trust” that owns the cubs. Stop viewing things as you want them to be as opposed to reality. As far as team on field, tho, suspension of reality recommended ;-)

    • Crazyhorse

      Yet, the Head of the Serpent Is …… daddy. And although this a baseball site not all Chicago voters are Cubs and or baseball fans. This IS Obama home territory the voters decide what they want in this city. I am sure after the election a solution will present itself that will save face for all. but that Super Pac talk had consequence.

  • Fastball

    Since the Wrigley Field Renovation is nothing but politics it should be discussed elsewhere. It’s not about baseball games, players, stats or any of that. I don’t care if the fix the place up or not but I do think the owner should pay for it. After all he bought the place. I can’t go ask my mayor for money to renovate my house. It’s all about politics. So leave it out. I don’t ever read those posts anyway.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Fortunately, as you said, you can just ignore the posts altogether, because they’re clearly labeled.

      As for your opinion that the renovation of Wrigley Field doesn’t impact the Cubs’ baseball team … I’m not sure I can respond to that without making it seem like I’m being a dick. Suffice it to say, I disagree. It has miles and miles to do with the Cubs, from revenues to free agents to fan experience and on and on. It’s arguable THE most important Cubs story going on right now. Like, literally the most important one.

    • Pat

      Where does this idea that people shouldn’t discuss politics come from? You’re talking about issues that effect every one of us everyday. I don’t care for people discussing political parties, because that’s usually used to place blame rather than suggest solutions. Nothing wrong with discussing issues. I get that this is a baseball site, but sometimes those two worlds collide.

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