I keep meaning to mention here, and keep forgetting that I haven’t already, that The Wife and I are expecting another kiddo in early March, and this time it’s a Little Boy joining The Little Girl. Obviously we are super excited, but I suppose the reason I was reminded of it this morning is because The Little Girl had a now-uncommon rough night, which means I’ve been up since around 3am. I’d forgotten how … swell that is. Looking forward to The Little Boy reminding me.
- Another of those outrighted veterans from last week has elected free agency rather than accepting an assignment to AAA Iowa. This time it’s Joe Mather, which means that we’ll have to retire “Super Joe” for the time being. He, like Justin Germano and Manny Corpas, will try to land a minor league deal (because, again, I don’t see big league deals forthcoming – possibly for Corpas) in an organization where he thinks he’s got a good shot of breaking through to the bigs again. I think departing the Cubs was probably the right move for Joe at this time – Dale Sveum was going to short Joe’s career from overuse if he stuck around.
- After Gordon Wittenmyer said the same, Steve Stone apparently has now also suggested strongly that Eric Karros is going to be the Cubs’ next color commentator, joining play-by-play man Len Kasper.
- An extensive interview with the Cubs’ new minor league pitching coordinator, Derek Johnson. The whole thing is worth a read, but here’s an interesting quote from Johnson: “I’ve had other opportunities with other jobs and I felt like … I’m an Illinois guy and I grew up watching the Cubs on WGN just about every day in the summer. I considered myself I Cubs fan growing up. That was part of the appeal. On the mature side of things, it was along the lines of I just felt good about the vision they have for what’s upcoming and what’s next for the organization, and I felt like they were going to give me the opportunity to be involved in that. That’s probably the main couple of reasons the Cubs appealed to me in the first place.”
- Starlin Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer, has been fired by his firm after a protracted dispute dating back to his midseason 2011 failure to file a no-trade list with the Mets on behalf of client Francisco Rodriguez. (It was a pretty embarrassing oops, and the details are here.) How that might impact his relationship with Castro remains to be seen. Players tend to be loyal to their agents, rather than their agents’ agencies, but, then again, we’ve all seen ‘Jerry Maguire.’ (Flash to Castro telling Kinzer to show him the money, to shout “I love Dominican people!”, and then Castro catching an important touchdown on Monday Night Football.)
- Brett Jackson will be opening 2013 back at AAA Iowa, which we knew – but here’s some more on that decision, and on Jackson’s take on the ups and downs of 2012.
- A friendly profile on Matt Szczur from Arizona, where Szczur is still playing in the AFL. It is, like so many Szczur profiles these days, replete with non-baseball-state reasons to be excited about his future. I’m not saying those reasons aren’t legit – his athleticism, his heart, his effort, his passion, his unselfishness – but he’s reaching an age and a professional experience level where that stuff needs to translate itself into “great numbers.”
- Speaking of the AFL, Javier Baez and Tony Zych were named as participants in the AFL Rising Stars Games, which is played Saturday night. Obviously Baez can’t play, but it’s a nice honor. And it is notable for Zych, who’ll be shooting for a bullpen spot with the big club as soon as Spring Training.
- And speaking of Baez’s thumb injury, Logan Watkins has been plucked from his offseason to head to Mesa and join the Solar Sox in Baez’s place. I thought of it as a nice reward for Watkins’ great season, but apparently he thought of it as bear on his already-feeling-awful arm. (I kid, in part – he also said he was blessed by the opportunity.)
- In case you missed yesterday’s Episode 2 of the podcast Sahadev Sharma and I are doing.
- Today only, there is free shipping on ALL BN apparel orders. Just use the coupon code “GIVETHANKSSHIP.” I’m truly not trying to “sell” you on the t-shirt thing – I’m just a fan of free stuff/coupons, and I know that if I’d been thinking about getting a BN shirt (holidays coming?), free shipping would be something I’d be hoping to land.
- And in case you are desperate to see my Halloween costume (unshaven, unkempt, food-stained t-shirt, X-Box underwear and pajama pants … I was a blogger).