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 …