The Giants staved off elimination for at least one more game, downing the Cardinals 5-0. They’ll play again on Sunday back in San Francisco. Thank you, Barry Zito.

  • A non-former Cub suggestion for Cubs color man? John Kruk, says┬áDave Wischnowsky. Kruk, whose on-air skills have always been good, has grown in his baseball accumen in recent years (he used to be a standard “the team with more heart wins” kind of guy, but it’s gotten a little better), and he’s fun says Dave. Not sure what I think about Kruk, but I do think we’re getting too locked into the idea that the next guy has to have some connection to the Cubs. Bob Brenly didn’t (other than a very brief radio stint back in the early 90’s).
  • The Ricketts family gets some love for its charitable work in Chicago from one of the heads of those charities. The letter comes in response to the nasty Rick Telander column last week, shredding the Cubs for their charitable causes.
  • Doug Padilla looks at right field for the Cubs in 2012 and 2013, and notes what a dead zone it was for production (relative to the rest of the league) in 2012. It’s a bummer to see how far down the totem pole the Cubs were in right field, because David DeJesus spent so much time there, and it felt like he was having a solid year. The truth is, his numbers play very well in center field, but not so well in right. At present, he’s going to be playing one of those positions to open 2013, and it’ll depend on which – if any – outfielders the Cubs acquire this offseason.
  • Vine Line does another player profile, this of James Russell, and it’s damn good (it goes into depth on his pitch mix against lefties versus righties, and his lack of a platoon split this year). I want to know who is writing these things so I can pass along appropriate plaudits. Good work, Mystery Writer.
  • A Ryne Sandberg profile that has almost no connection whatsoever to the Cubs. Maybe that’s how it should be for now. Sandberg, you may recall, was recently promoted to the third base coach job in Philadelphia, and is expected to take over as manager there after 2013 when Charlie Manuel’s contract expires.
  • Kane County Cougars tickets go on sale this morning, and folks were already lining up to get them last night. Think Chicago-area fans are excited to have the Cubs’ A-ball affiliate nearby?
  • I love that Ian Stewart is open, accessible, and candid on Twitter. He might well be the *most* open, accessible, and candid Cubs player I’ve ever seen on Twitter. But there are reasons why folks are usually more guarded – the primary of which is so that you don’t have conversations like this that are now a part of the Internet forever. I’m not sure I care for much of any of that, Ian – and, no, people using hurtful words to each other doesn’t simply have to be “how life is and will be.” Change always has to start somewhere.
  • Aisle 424

    I thought of this last night as a non-Cubs candidate that could be a ton of fun: George Brett.

    I doubt he is interested and his experience seems limited, but if we’re going to dream, I say dream big.

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      No ! George is a KC living legend and a legit HOFer, but he knows it too much. Also words get in his way sometimes.
      Someone who uses game savvy, intelligence, articulation, plus a bit of humility — Doug Glanville for example — would be light years better than George.

      • Aisle 424

        Personally, I don’t mind a few malaprops along the way as long as the speaker is engaging and Brett is extremely entertaining. But it won’t happen though.

        • Brett

          I agree – Brett is very entertaining. Let’s all day things we like about Brett…

          • Sircub

            Dude, you forgot to change your username to one of your many pseudonyms that you use when secretly praising yourself!

          • @cubsfantroy

            All day things about Brett?

            • Brett

              D’oh. I guess that won’t be one of the things…

          • MichiganGoat

            You just hope the rumor takes hold and WGN will confuse you with George Brett and they will offer you the job. ADMIT IT!

  • Carl

    I agree that it doesn’t have to be a former Cub necessarily. But God, not John Kruk.

  • Carew

    I dont think Stewart will be around next year

    • CubFan Paul

      I hope he is. The free agent market is bare. Stewart only sucked offensively the last couple years because he was playing hurt. He had the surgery. The medicals look good according to Ian, so there’s no reason not to bring him back.

      If he’s healthy and mashes the first half he can be traded in July with a year and a half of control remaining. Then Vitters or whoever can take over.

      • Evan

        I would like to see the Cubs take a shot on Chissenhall from Cleveland. He has fallen out of favor and theres no spot for him on Cleveland so he could be had for cheap. He has a ton of potential, along with the fact that he would be under team control for the next 4 yrs I think. Also, given his make he could be someone that we can move over to 2nd if we decide to move Barney.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Manny Acta didn’t like Chisenhall, in part because he was enamored with the “proven veteran” Jack Hanahan. Chisenhall is not quite a perfect Tito player: but he’s much closer to that than Hanahan is. So, I expect that Francona is going to want to keep Chisenhall around.

          Hanahan is probably going to be non-tendered. I’d hate to see him on the Cubs: but he might be the best of a lot of bad options.

          • Carew

            Personally I like Stewart, I really do but it just seems to be pointing in that direction…and why not try for Hanahan?

  • Tommy

    I wouldn’t be upset if it ended up being Kruk. He is very likable, imo, and I could handle listening to him all year unlike some of the other names being bantered around.

    • Karena

      My only concern with Kruk is how Len will handle having tobacco juice spit all over the booth.

  • Frank

    Sure, why not. No Cubs connection, but neither did Len and Bob before taking over. However, sometimes that passion takes a few years to build. Love him or hate him, you always knew that Steve Stone was a true Cubs fan, yet there he is now in the White Sox booth. Hell, Harry Carey, the biggest Cubs fan of them all was a Cardinals commentator.

    Bottom line is, a great commentator who takes time to build a passion for the team should be more important than grabbing the first ex-Cub who expresses interest. As long as we’re going to wait a few years for a good team to form, may as well do the same for the new broadcast team.

  • Clark Addison

    Telander’s column on Cubs charities was over the top snarky. Maybe he’s auditioning for Mariotti’s old slot as the paper’ designated a**hole.

  • Clark Addison

    If they ever make another Babe Ruth biopic, Kruk ought to play the Babe. At least he’ll look like a ball player swinging the bat.

  • Santos L. Halper

    What about Dave Otto? Has anyone mentioned him? I thought he should of gotten the radio job.

  • Mr. Cubster

    I wonder if Twitter is part of Ian Stewart’s wrist surgery rehab?

  • SoCal Cubs Fan

    What about Buck Martinez? He seemed very knowledgeable on the TBS broadcast.

    • Karena

      Not a bad suggestion.

    • Njriv

      He is a good broadcaster, I just HATE his voice.

  • Carne Harris

    Gay peeps who try to remove gay=lame from the english language are as bad as McDonalds trying to get McJob removed from the dictionary.

    • Brett

      What about straight people who try to do it?

      It’s not cool. “Gay” as a proxy for “bad” is as offensive and antiquated as just about any other slur.

      • Carne Harris

        No, it’s really not. Gay to mean lame is like gay to mean happy. It’s become so ingrained in our vernacular that people use it without connotation to sexual preference. It’s a definition 1, definition 2 thing at this point. Sure some dickhead anti-gay guy might use it that way, but dickhead anti-gay peeps are gonna use whatever they can.

        Buddhists have this great concept that says it causes as much pain in the world to take offense as it does to give it. The movement to rid the world of gay = lame is an attempt by well meaning people who just have absolutely no idea what it takes for different groups of people to get along. I was a white kid growing up in a barrio and I was treated like anyone else. Why? Because I walked around called everyone Mexican-Americans? Hell no. Because I fucked around with their differences, they fucked around with mine, and we treated each other like guys treat each other. I blame our thought policing popular culture for otherwise bright people not getting this rather obvious fact.

        People are gonna talk different than you do. If you can’t accept that… even when there’s no vitriol behind it… how are you going to accept other bigger differences, like say, their sexuality.

        • Picklenose

          There is a big difference between talking directly to friends and talking to someone you don’t know well. In high school one of my best friends was a very large, black football player (I was a skinny white kid). Somehow we developed a joke where I would see Bill, and say “Yo, Bro, how does your fro grow?” Bill would look at me sadly, shake his head and say. “It grow slow, bro.” The first time we did this in front of a lot of people there were audible gasps from people who thought Bill was about to kill me. And there was one black guy who probably would have if Bill hadn’t started laughing. Sometimes things you say to friends are okay, but not when you say the same thing in front of strangers who don’t understand your intent.

          • Carne Harris

            But what’s the solution there? To have everyone talk the way you want them to, or accept that everyone talks differently? It’s all contextual, but if there’s no ill intent, there’s no ill intent. In your story, the only one bringing intolerance into the equation was the other black guy who misunderstood. In the case where someone uses gay to mean lame with no ill intent, the only one bringing intolerance is the guy who characterizes it as a slur and chastises him. It’s funny in a sad, dumb sort of way – the people thinking they’re fighting intolerance are actually the ones perpetrating it.

            • Picklenose

              The solution is to consider your audience. If you are speaking with a group of friends use the slang and phrasing you are comfortable with. When you don’t know the audience speak more formally, don’t use slang and phrases that are not proper. It is not about intolerance, it is about politeness.

        • Tommy

          Agree or disagree – that was a pretty darn good argument from Carne.

    • ottoCub

      “gay” is extremely offensive when it means “bad”.
      “lame” is equally offensive.
      Please think about the words you use and how they can offend others.

      • farmerjon

        I rarely engage in these type of discussions, but since when is “lame” offensive?
        Is there a hobbling horse somewhere offended?

        • Brett

          I believe he meant using “gay” to mean “lame.”

          • Andrew

            Actually using the word lame for uncool or bad can be very offensive to people who are handicapped and people should avoid using that word. It’s something I learned recently too and now I try to avoid using the word lame although it is difficult. I’m glad that it seems that the majority of people are beginning to avoid the word gay as a slur and I hope Stewart gets a talking to over training camp if he’s with the Cubs about why that is not the attitude that the organization wants in their workplace.

      • Pat

        I agree. Anybody who says anything that offends anyone else should definitely be sent home without their participation medal.

  • Sircub

    John Kruk makes me puke a little every time he talks. I’ll admit that I haven’t noticed if he has improved at all recently, because every time he’s comes on TV, I immediately shoot the screen with a shotgun I keep nearby at all times to protect my brain from the ramblings of Kruk, Mary Carillo, or Skip Bayliss, should they pop up on screen.

  • cubs1967

    how did anyone think dejesus was having a good year???? this is the only site where i’ve seen that arguement. he’s not a corner OF……no power……can’t drive in runs…..bad OPS…man the standards have really been dropped if dejesus is any answer at all……
    kudos to padilla pointing out what the knowledgeable baseball fan already knew.

    funny how the cubs lower rickets prices 2 %………and everyone is like “ooooohhh”……and then the sox do it 20% and it’s like……..wait a minute??………….which team is again losing on purpose?……..nice try tommy……..but just like the garbage letter to fans about the charity BS……….no one roots for a team becuz of charity…….STOP insulting cubs fans intelligence.

    • Luke

      DeJesus had an OPS+ 106.

      Starlin Castro had an OPS+ 105.

      Does that mean Castro is also a terrible player?

    • Tommy

      cubs1967 – you’re under arrest for incoherency and overuse of ellipsis. Let’s go quietly, son.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        And as someone born in the 1960s, we were not taught to write, speak or otherwise converse that way, unless we were selling a punch line!

    • Drew7

      Padilla said nothing about DeJesus being a terrible player. You’re the only “knowledgeable” fan that thinks that.

  • dabynsky

    Leading the team in OBP is the reason why more than a few people thought DeJesus had a good year. DeJesus is capable of playing CF and he may very well be the CF next year. His numbers would look very good at that spot.

    • Carne Harris

      Second in the NL for leadoff hitters OBP too. Ideally probably a CF, borderline 4th outfielder, but totally solid year.

  • Stop Your Whining

    This insistence, by some, that Bob’s replacement needs to be a former Cubs player is childish. It reminds me of Romney’s “Binders full of women” remark. If being a former-Cub was a job requirement for every Cub’s job, Ryno would be the manger. Get over it people!!!

    • King Jeff

      I think there is some advantage to having a former Cubs guy in the broadcast booth. Not that it should be a prerequisite, but I can see where a guy intimately familiar with the Cubs’ history would be better equipped to relate with the Cubs television audience.

  • King Jeff

    I like Mitch Williams. I know it sounds crazy, but he is a really knowledgeable color guy. I think he has the same type of call-it-like-it-is style as Brenly.

  • MichiganGoat

    You forgot to mention in a bullet that Katie was in Chicago yesterday and the city didn’t burn down, but there was a incident with a wrench.

    • Katie

      The city of Chicago did survive. No fires. There was a wrench sighting or two, however.

  • Cheryl

    Maybe instead of listing specific people we should list the qualities we want in a cokor person, For me that would be straight-forward, call it as it is, knowledge of baseball (doesn’t matter if he’s knowledgable of the cubs at this point theres so many changes it probably doesn’t matter), good interaction skills, good voice, sense of humor (a must quality with the time it will take to get the cubs into contention), well-rounded and able to talk on various subjects

    • Kevin

      Good call Cheryl, “straight forward, call it as it is” is probably tops on my list too.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        But what does that even mean? I was not a huge Brenly fan (although I thought that he improved) in big part because of his highly subjective interpretations of players attitudes and thought-processes. Other people called that “straight shooting.”

  • RWakild

    I was a big Steve Stone fan and didn’t think anybody can be better but Bob Brenley was fantastic. His knowledge of the game and honesty was much appreciated. I hope the new color man is close to the same as I think nobody is better. Thanks for many good years Bob.

  • gutshot5820

    Wow, no fun Cubs news to talk about these days. Last few days were 4 blogs about the booth announcer and Bruno, Shoulder and Kirk. Yuck.

  • anotherjp

    Just say no to Kruk. Let the Phillies have him.

  • Stop Your Whining

    I don’t want someone who is going to reminisce about the last 104+ years of losing baseball. I’m ready to move on.
    I agree with Cheryl, give me a straight-forward, well-rounded baseball knowledgeable person. Give me someone who will be interacting with the players, the front office. Give me insight into how the Cubs are making changes to become a winning organization.

  • Dustin S

    On the Ian thing, besides being disappointed that Ian would say something dumb that reflects very poorly on him and to a smaller degree on the Cubs, I think a lot of athletes and stars of all types are guarded on twitter under direction of their agents.

    As we all know being famous does not always equal having good judgement. Personally if I were fortunate enough to be in their situation regardless of anything a fan said to me I’d have to think about 5 times before hitting send. Plenty of ways to respectfully disagree with people.

  • Drcub1908

    Did anyone play the Barry Zito drinking game? Anytime he says ya know in an interview
    You DRINK

  • Stu

    Why not give Stewart a chance at 3rd base at a reduced salary? Vitters is obviously not ready and will start in AAA and hopefully pulls a Rizzo and be called up mid-season when he figures it out. Then trade Stewart a little higher for some pitching prospects.

    Jackson is another story. Doing a major swing overhaul is probably going to take much longer and I am not sold on his ability to make contact consistently. I never heard of that happening.

    DeJesus should be the everyday centerfielder. I would sign a reasonable veteran RF for a contract length to match the timeline of Soler, etc. Soriano should be kept since replacing his production is going to be pretty tough and the Cubs will have to eat most of his contract anyway. In 2 years, the kids should be close to coming up. Sappelt will be the 4th OF for the next 10 years.

    The Cubs will have to show SOME improvement next year or Wrigley will start looking a little empty.

  • Jeremy

    Don’t know if this has been posted yet but Shohei Otani is deciding between the MLB and staying in Japan on Monday.

  • jmoore

    Brett, we all want to thank you for being sensitive to social issues, and the importance athletes play in them…..not. Are we talking sports here or not? Do us all a favor, a good blogger you are, Dr. Phil you ain’t. A wise man once said, get the log out of your own eye, before going after the log in anothers eye…………good advice to all!!

    • MichiganGoat

      Somebody is cranky

  • Jeff

    I also agree with giving Stewart a 1 yr deal for +/- 2M. There arent many decent free agent options at third base, especially left handed ones that could potentially hit 30 homers and play good defense. If Sevum and the FO’s plan is to trot Valbuena out there for 162, I won’t even bother to watch next year. Valbuena is a good bench player though.

  • Big Joe

    One guy, using therm term “gay”, in a derogatory way, is NOT a big deal. It’s been done by millions, for a long, long time. There are insulting slang terms for heterosexuals, used by homosexuals, and I don’t see any straight people all up in arms. People need not be so damn sensitive. And yes, I understand the other side. I see where the gay fan is coning from. But no, I don’t agree. I think he’s being a big baby about nothing.

  • Kevin

    I think Len Kasper is a wonderful play by play analyst but he needs a straight shooting color analyst to compliment him.