The deadline by which to set your roster for purposes of the Rule 5 Draft (with players currently in the organization) is tomorrow. Does that necessarily mean we’ll see a move or two to open up some spots by the end of the day tomorrow? No. But, let’s just say I’ll be monitoring things closely.

  • The Cubs’ color broadcaster search narrowed (and expanded) this weekend, with Dan Plesac reportedly dropping himself from consideration, and Doug Glanville also reportedly falling out.
  • The aforementioned expansion, however, is the first name to pop up with no connection to the Cubs – it’s Houston Astros color man Jim Deshaies, who was up to interview with WGN last week.
  • When Bob Brenly departed, because of the high profile nature of the Cubs’ gig, I expected more names like Deshaies to pop up – non-Cubs-connected broadcasters who just happen to be really good at their job. By all accounts, Deshaies is that. A particularly notable bit from the above-linked Patrick Mooney article, is a selection from Houston Press’s 2008 Best Commentator distinction: “Jim Deshaies had some tough shoes to fill when he took over the Astros analyst spot from Larry Dierker. But let’s just say, as J.D. settles into his second decade as the Astros TV analyst, that he has not only surpassed Dierker, he has perhaps surpassed every other analyst in baseball. The former starting pitcher knows the ins and outs of the game, from pitching to hitting to fielding to strategy. Best of all, he’s not a homer, and if the good guys goof up, he’ll let you know how and why. And then there’s his quick wit and his ability to throw out a Seinfeld reference or obscure pop culture trivia at a moment’s notice. Nothing gets past Deshaies, and, if you pay attention, you’ll learn more from him than just about any baseball geek in the country.” Knows the game, shares stories, calls players out for obvious screw-ups, pop-culture references. Sound familiar?
  • Astros fans sound like they would be very upset to lose Deshaies, which is always a good sign of a broadcasters ability.
  • So, how interested is Deshaies actually? It’s always hard to tell whether a guy is interviewing because he wants to shake a little extra coin loose from his current employer, or if he’s actually looking to jump ship. But if he’s willing to come to Chicago, WGN may have a fight on its hands. From the Houston Chronicle: “The Cubs job is among the higher-profile positions in baseball, so it’s no surprise that Deshaies would be interested. It would, however, be a shock if the Astros don’t move heaven and earth to keep Deshaies on board. Given his popularity, his competence and the fact that the Astros need to generate goodwill among fans in the wake of back-to-back 100-loss seasons and a potential TV carriage fight that could drag on into the spring and beyond, his departure would represent a significant loss to the ballcub and to the new new network.”
  • For the last few months, when I’m noodling around Google for Cubs bits, I come across two large chunks of noise among the signal: Bleacher Report articles and, now, Rant Sports articles. I wasn’t particularly familiar with the latter (I’d occasionally give them a look, but never found anything worth sharing), but, after the latest piece about “Snake Oil Salesman Theo Epstein,” I can confidently lump Rant Sports in with Bleacher Report as the kind of link-baiting, built-for-search filler that can always be safely ignored. (I wasn’t the only one recently taking note of Rant Sports this past week – the gents at ObstructedView have been excoriating them.) Indeed, perusing the site suggests that Bleacher Report is Rant Sports’ model. I’m not looking to dump on these sites just to dump on them, but when 80% of the available discourse out there about the Cubs is poorly-written, poorly-researched, poorly-thought-out dreck, it hurts us all. Do better, folks. Do better.
  • The MLBullets at BCB dig on the back-tracking nature of the hot stove season, as now Justin Upton isn’t expected to be traded, just weeks after everyone was so certain he would be.
  • hansman1982

    One thing to consider with Justin Upton, and I have to go back in and double check my numbers, but it appears that Chase Field is basically as hitter friendly (112 vs. 111 on a typical 100 scale) as Coors Field.

  • Mike

    PROTIP: Add ” ” to the end of your Google searches.

  • ichabod

    reading an earlier post, is to early to mention vogelbeast as an interesting trade chip to an AL team, for the obvious dh position that everyone sees his future as being, or is his value still too minute at this time? porcello for vitters, vogelbach, and another not so high prospect? maybe something sim adding barney, which i would hate to lose him, but for an est. SP, deserves a thought. i will know stop playing gm.

    • Norm

      If the Cubs think he’ll keep hitting, they should wait until AA at the least.
      If they think he’ll stop hitting once he hits full season ball, they should trade him.

  • Stinky Pete

    “Two silhouettes on”

  • abe


    I found this site in middle of this past season. It has totally changed the way I follow the cubs. I have been looking for a while for a site that I can read about cubs rumors and follow their prospects. I have found a home.. I don’t even go to espn anymore.

    • Seth

      I still go to ESPN but this is definitely my number 1 choice for Cubs news. You’ve been doing a great job for us Cub’s fans Brett. Much much thanks.

      • Brett

        Thanks, Seth. Too kind.

    • Brett

      Thanks, abe. Glad to have you.

  • Southern Cub

    Bleacher Report seems to have a bit of the East Coast bias to it. Some articles that feature ie Boston Celtics and other teams in that area are written and researched fairly well. No Pulitzer mind you, but not as ratty as when covering the Cubs or other geographies.

  • Sully

    What abe and Seth said Brett. Exactly right. This is the best place for all things Cubs.

    • Totally not Myles

      Also the best comments section, with superstar posters like Myles

  • Jim

    My two staples for my baseball fix is mlbtraderumors and here.

  • Internet Random

    Deshaies, you had me at “Seinfeld reference”.

    • leroy


    • Spriggs

      Of all the “opposing” team TV broadcasts — excluding of course the cardinals and White Sox — the Astros were my least favorite to listen to. Low on Deshaies.

  • leroy

    Does anyone know of a good non bleacher report esque site where I can write papers on sports that I like without any problems? I write stuff all the time, but I have no one to share it with!

  • Kyle

    “Do better, folks. Do better.”

    I’ve been toying with the idea of registering some variant of a Fire Theo Epstein domain name and just going to town. Someone’s got to do it eventually.

    So, challenge acceptance pending?

    • Brett

      It better be funny.

    • Myles

      You should do this.

    • Stinky Pete

      Googled “fire theo epstein” and found a site petitioning for the firing of Epstein from the Red Sox. One of the seven signees qualified his decision to support the firing of Theo Epstein with this, “He is ruining the whole team. Jason bay should be signed by now. get this 12 year old queer out of the front office.”

      Smart, classy folks.

  • North Side Irish

    Bleacher Report has some good NFL writers, but their individual team coverage is just horrible in all sports. Bleacher Nation is my first stop for all Cubs-related news. The addition of Luke’s minor league/prospect coverage has been a huge plus as well.

    The comments section here has become a bit hostile lately, but mostly it’s been a great spot for discussion and throwing around ideas. If everyone would just put away the rulers and debate without taking every disagreeing point of view personally, we would all have a much better time here.

    • Internet Random


      ?? Never heard of it.

  • Believe in 2015

    Found this on CubsDen

    Bruce Levine hinted during his Saturday Talking Baseball show that there is a big trade “on the horizon” with the Cubs involving young players. He didn’t mention names on either side, nor did he mention a specific team, but earlier in the show Levine had talked about how the Cubs still like Chisenhall and that the Cleveland Indians like several players in the Cubs system.

    • DarthHater

      Assman, where are you??? 😉

    • Brett

      Yeah, been writing that up, but didn’t want to bury it on Sunday/early Monday. Bruce talked about it on Saturday, but was very vague.

  • gary

    Cubs just signed Camp to a 1 year contract.

  • DarthHater

    I can confidently lump Rant Sports in with Bleacher Report as the kind of link-baiting, built-for-search filler that can always be safely ignored.

    One of the biggest problems with BN is that you never just come right out and say what you really think, Brett. 😉

  • Leo the Cub

    I agree with Seth. this is my number 1 source for inside info on all things Cubbies. Thanks Brett

    • Brett

      And another thanks to you.

  • Pingback: Lukewarm Stove: Blue Jays/Marlins Hold-Up, Upton, Upton, Greinke, and A Big Trade on Deck? | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

  • Boogens

    I really like the idea of Jim Deshaies as the new TV color man. The commonly known names floating out there just don’t do anything for me. To be honest, I haven’t heard Deshaies as a color man but am encouraged by the descriptions Brett provided.

  • Larry bitter

    Any Plans for bleacher nation app?

    • MichiganGoat

      I know it’s be requested before, but the question becomes what would an app add to the experience of BleacherNation. The site works great on my iPhone (in fact 95% of my time on here is on my iPhone) and an app would likely just be a mobile version of this site, which is useful, and the time needed to create and maintain an app would be time consuming for Brett, and this is a one person site outside of contributing writers.

  • ChicagoBearJew

    Thanks for linking back to my article. Keep being satisfied with the Cubs culture of losing. I’m as big of a Cubs fan as anyone and hope I’m wrong, but Epstein is a total failure to this point. And I backed it up. I’d be happy to discuss this further, but be enough of a person to come to me directly. But embrace another 100 loss season, and enjoy a Major Market team acting like the Royals.

    • MichiganGoat

      Just admit you are looking for publicity and hits by stretching the definition of reporting and journalism. Articles like this are the TMZ of sports media.


      Too bad Little Theo cant give the Cubs fans an Oct 31 encore of seasons past. Any GM that Quits on his team prior to the Winter Meetings should be blackball from baseball. But the Cubs have dum dum owner.

    • ChicagoBearJew

      Michigan Goat,

      Please read the following piece.

      I’m a bigger Cubs fan than you, and I don’t need things to create traffic. We do quite well without it.

      • King Jeff

        I always like the “I’m a bigger fan than you” tactic. Speaking to others in a condescending manner works wonders in life.

  • MichiganGoat

    Everyone repeat after me ignored, ignored, ignored- no more feeding of the trolls.

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  • Greg

    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be using? I’m having some minor security issues with my latest site and I would like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any suggestions?

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