The Wife and I are headed on a mini-vacation to Nashville today/this weekend, so I’ll likely be in and out. You should see normal posting, though.
- As expected, Bob Brenly is headed to the Diamondbacks’ booth, where he’s been before, and where he was the team’s manager when they won the World Series in 2001. Who knows the precise reason for the move, but hopefully Bob is happy, and has a good experience in Phoenix. He’ll once again have a heck of a play-by-play man by his side, with ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume heading to the booth.
- A great piece on Cubs prospect Stephen Bruno, who won the Northwest League’s batting title (he crushed the field) in his professional debut after a successful career at Virginia. The focus is on his versatility, which now includes some time behind the plate (in practice). He is among the most intriguing prospects going into 2013, not necessarily because he is one of the organization’s top prospects, but because it’s difficult to know just how high his ceiling might be. Although he was a college draftee taken in the latter half of the top 10 rounds, the Cubs paid him above slot to get him to sign. His numbers in college were huge, but his stature is not. College hitters, in particular, tend to do well in short season ball right out of school, but Bruno absolutely killed it (of qualifiers, he led the league in average, OBP, and OPS … by more than 50 points!). Bruno played all over defensively, which is both good and bad (versatility is good, but it suggests that he isn’t a quality defender at any one position). He turns 22 next month, so you can expect that he’ll start 2012 at least in High-A Daytona. It’s possible the Cubs could even challenge him all the way up at AA. Like I said – just an intriguing kid to watch in 2013.
- Paul Sullivan continues the positional review with a look at the Cubs’ bench. It’s not the most important area on the roster, but, man, it looks grisly.
- Doug Padilla looks at center field, and notes that he’s not expecting the position to be addressed this offseason, given the presence of David DeJesus and Tony Campana, with Brett Jackson in the waiting. I mean, I guess he’s assuming right field is going to be the spot explored for upgrade, but, whether it’s DeJesus in center and an addition in right, or vice versa, something needs to change.
- And then there were none: the Tribune is the last major Chicago publication to go behind some kind of paywall, which will happen on November 1. They hinted at it when they started requiring folks to sign up for a free account to read certain articles a few months ago. The system is similar to others – a handful of free views per month, after which you have to pay ($15 per month, or free if you get a dead tree subscription) – though some of their content will remain free. It’s kind of hard to tell what exactly remains free and what becomes premium, but I guess we’ll see in a couple weeks. I’m sure I’ll still read, but I’d be lying if I said that the paywalls at the Sun-Times and Daily Herald didn’t negatively impact the amount of time I spent on those sites. That said, I’ll never complain about companies charging for their product – it costs money to investigate and report the news, and I promise you, we don’t want these enterprises going totally out of business. They are important.
- The MLBullets at BCB try very hard not to revel in the Yankees’ sweep (but are openly bummed about the Cardinals’ 3-1 NLCS lead).