Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Thanks to yesterday’s site problem ridiculousness (about which, more in the final Bullet), you’re going to get a bonus Saturday Lukewarm Stove later today. Hopefully it’s not too stale, as a fair portion of it is what I was *planning* to write on Friday afternoon. Grumble.

  • By most accounts, though it isn’t official, it was the freewheeling Dodgers who won the rights to negotiate with Korean pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu for a cool $25.7 million. If true, you are permitted to have mixed feelings: on the one hand, I want the Cubs to finally land a player with upside because they opened up the wallets on the big league side; on the other hand, $25.7 million PLUS the contract price is a lot of money to pay for a guy whom many scouts say can’t even succeed as a starter in MLB. I guess my reaction is a shrug of the shoulders and a simultaneous kick of the dirt. Oh, and also, my reaction is the urge to make a picture like the one I made there at the right.
  • Jed and Theo depart the GM Meetings having not made a concrete move (few teams did), but having laid a great deal of groundwork for the coming weeks, as they were expected to. “[The meetings] were really productive,” Hoyer said, per the Tribune. “A lot of good face time with teams, we talked to agents [of free agents]. We certainly got done what we wanted to do here. Hopefully that lays the groundwork for a really productive offseason.” Hoyer added that he expects a fair bit to happen in November, but things will really “bust out” after Thanksgiving.

  • The Cubs have hired a new athletic trainer, P.J. Mainville. From ESPNChicago: “Mainvile, 37, replaces Mark O’Neal, who will continue to work for the team in newly created role of medical administrator. Mainville worked in the minor leagues for Arizona before becoming assistant trainer in 2010. A Warrentown, Va., native, Mainville worked as minor league trainer for the Baltimore Orioles for 13 years before accepting a position with the Diamondbacks.” It’s actually a hugely important position, but it’s one about which there necessarily isn’t a whole lot to say. Let’s hope he’s good at his job. Note that the Diamondback connection continues – that’s where the Cubs picked up Assistant GM Shiraz Rehman and Director of Pro Scouting Joe Bohringer. I reckon they had a say in Mainville’s hire.
  • Take it for what it’s worth, but Junior Lake must love Winter/Fall ball. A year after killing it in the AFL, he’s now killing it in the Dominican Winter League (.360/.418/.580 through 54 PA – near the top of the league in all categories). If he could just do that with consistency in the regular season, there wouldn’t be so much consternation about what to do with him in the future.
  • Farewell to Justin Germano, who just signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays. Best of luck to him.
  • The Cubs were lucky in at least one way last year – they reached base via error 79 times, which was almost 10% higher than the second place team. That only reinforces just how bad the Cubs were – that’s a lot of free base runners.

  • Don’t forget to check out the latest BN podcast – now dubbed Future Considerations – from Thursday, if you missed it.
  • As it was peppered throughout the comments the last couple days, you may have noticed something wonky was going on with BN. Well, that’s because other people in the world are really awesome, and the site was hacked on Thursday. I worked with my host for eight hours yesterday ferreting out the impacted files and trying to figure out how it happened in the first place. It was a fun day. We *think* the issue has been resolved, but these hacks are sneaky. If you see the same issues today that you were seeing on Thursday/Friday (if you weren’t seeing any issues in the first place, then no worries), please let me know. It could just be, though, that you need to clear your cache/restart computer/etc. It could take a day or two for the visual issues to sort themselves out. You will also want to give your computer a scan with your favorite antivirus program, as you should be doing anyway from time to time (consider this a public service!). It seems like Internet Explorer was doing a good job of blocking, on its own, any attempts to do nasty stuff, but it’s always best to double-check. Sincerely, I’m sorry for the headache that this may have caused any of you, and I’ll continue to do my best to protect the integrity of the site. You can spend hours and hours on it, and think you have everything locked down, and all it takes is some jerk in Russia with too much time on his hands to create a nightmare day like yesterday.

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