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).
  • Idaho Razorback

    Congrats Brett. May I suggest a name? How about Steve. Is today your birthday ?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks. And, yes, today is my birthday. 31. Huzzah.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke


        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          We can’t all be as spry as you at 85.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Geez, you are young! When I turned 31, the Cubs celebrated with a 5-3 victory over the Cards that raised their record to 71-69. The Wild Card was in sight! (Well, maybe not….)

            Happy BDay.

  • Jay


    Congrats on the new addition. I had a daughter first and then our son. Night and day. If you haven’t already been warned, here is your warning. Boys are just one big ball of destructive energy. That being said he makes us laugh so much that it takes away from his devious ways.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Awesome! Today is my birthday as well, 39 years young, forever. November 1, 1973.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well a happy b-day to you.

    • TWC

      There was quite a lovely Grateful Dead show played at Northwestern on November 1, 1973. I’m sorry you missed it.

  • hardtop

    nice work Brett. clearly your boys can swim. ill send you some frozen peas if you’ve decided 2 is enough. (one was my limit).

  • JulioZuleta

    Congrats Brett. Might I suggest the a topically relevant name: Hee Seop?

  • Idaho Razorback

    I did miss it TWC. Not a Dead Head, but a huge Doors fan.

  • farmerjon

    Congrats Brett! Let me tell you, you’re going to like that a LOT…the differences with boys and girls starts at birth, not one better than the other, just different. HBD bro, and may your next trip around the solar system be more stellar than the last 😉

  • Mick

    Brett, have you heard any rumblings or do you have any guesses who the Cubs’ next minor league hitting coordinator might be?

  • cas-castro

    Congrats Brett . My wife and I are actually expecting twins next April. Already got the cubs outfits ready for one. A hand me down from our son. We are not sure if the second will be a girl yet.

  • Jim

    Aw, I missed the free shipping!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      They’ll probably have some holiday deal around December, and I’ll keep my ears open.

      • CubFan Paul

        Please do. Or I’m going to make a bootleg BN shirt

        • Cubbie Blues

          Bleacher Nation is the proprietary property of The Wife Inc. you are notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying, or action taken in relation to the contents of said property is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. 😀