The family and I are in Louisville for the weekend, checking out some Christmas-y things and visiting with additional family. I’m thinking about checking out the Louisville Slugger Museum/Factory today. I’ve heard it’s pretty cool, and I’ve never been.

  • So, the Cubs’ break from StubHub was a short one, as the Tribune reports the Cubs are signed back on with the ticket reseller service, as are all other MLB teams except the Angels and Yankees. The Cubs briefly considered trying to set up their own service, but, apparently upon the concession that Cubs ticket sales will end six hours before the event (in theory, reducing some of the superduper low prices), the Cubs came back to StubHub. And there was much ambivalence.
  • The Cubs have signed first baseman Brad Nelson to a minor league deal, per Matt Eddy. The soon-to-be 30-year-old was a top 100 prospect in back-to-back years! … in 2003 and 2004. Since then, he’s languished in the minors – mostly AAA – with a career line (.269/.350/.451) that is pretty reflective of how he’s performed. This doesn’t look like a Bryan LaHair situation where a veteran masher finally gets a shot and shows what he can do (for a very brief time). Instead, it looks like Nelson is true first base depth, and will play a lot of first base at AAA this year, with an occasional start in a corner outfield spot. He might not even get a look in the event of a serious Anthony Rizzo injury, as the Cubs could instead opt to go with someone already on the 40-man roster.
  • We’ll get more formal word from the Cubs at some point, but Jesse Rogers describes Nate Schierholtz’s role with the Cubs as one where he will “compete” for time in right field. I really think it’s going to depend on the caliber of additional outfielder the Cubs bring in, and on what the Cubs do in the trade market with Alfonso Soriano and David DeJesus. I don’t think they signed Schierholtz with a certain feeling that he’d be THE guy in right field, but they probably had an inkling that he might be.
  • The Pirates signed Francisco Liriano to a two-year, $12.75 million deal, which makes me feel even better about the Cubs’ pitching signings. I’m fairly certain I would choose Carlos Villanueva (two-years, $10 million) and Scott Baker (one-year, $5.5 million) over Liriano (maybe even if the money was the same), and possibly Scott Feldman, too (one-year, $6 million). There were rumors early in the offseason that the Cubs had made a two-year offer to Liriano, and I bet they weren’t willing to go over two years and $10 million, at the most. And, once they gave that money to Villanueva, Liriano accepted his (probable) highest offer.
  • A profile on third base prospect Jesse Hodges, a 2012 undrafted free agent signee.
  • This is random, but, for those of you regular commenters who wish you had one of those nifty pictures with your name, here’s how you do it: go to, and set up an account there using (1) the email that you use here when you comment, and (2) the picture that you’d like to appear here when you comment. That’s it. Gravatar is a service that basically displays an image for you wherever you comment on the web with that same email address, so it’s a convenient way to do things.
  • scorecardpaul

    Did any of you guys get this email from the Cubs about season tickets? I wish I had the cash, but I guess my timing isn’t right. My number on the list is about 14,000. I see this as a move to kick lots of people off of the list. I can’t believe they have 14,000 seats available, so I’m guessing that by not going up there I will simply loose my spot on the list?? This just seems like a way to take people off the list. I am not going to take a day off work and go up there without a chance to get some affordable tickets? The timing financially is just all wrong for me. Any thoughts??

    Important Chicago Cubs Season Ticket Waiting List Update

    Dear Paul –

    Congratulations on receiving an invitation to participate in the next Chicago Cubs Season Ticket Holder Waiting List Event!

    Your assigned appointment time based on your Waiting List number is Saturday, January 12, at 3:00 p.m.

    Please click on the link below for the Waiting List Event and Proxy Form if you would like someone to act on your behalf or if you would like a Cubs representative to make your seat selection.

    Chicago Cubs Season Ticket Holders who received an invoice to renew their seats for the 2013 season had until November 12 to respond to purchase seats for 2013. Returning Chicago Cubs Season Ticket Holders had the opportunity, through Saturday, December 1, to relocate and upgrade into seating locations that were not renewed. After December 1, we identified Season Ticket inventory for individuals at the top of our Season Ticket Waiting List. Based on your place near the top of our Season Ticket Waiting List, we hope to have seating locations to offer you and would like to invite you to view and select available Season Ticket locations at Wrigley Field Saturday, January 12.

    At your assigned appointment time, please check in at the Budweiser Bleacher entrance at Wrigley Field on the corner of Sheffield and Waveland Avenues. At check-in, you’ll be asked to show a government-issued photo ID. Beginning at your assigned appointment time, you’ll be given access to Wrigley Field to view and select seats available for purchase.

    Although we hope to have seats available Saturday, January 12, please note availability will vary based on our Season Ticket Holder Relocation Event, so we cannot guarantee everyone who receives this email will have the opportunity to purchase tickets. If there are no remaining season ticket locations available at your appointment time, you will retain your position near the top our Season Ticket Waiting List. If seats are available and you decline to purchase, you will be removed from the Chicago Cubs Season Ticket Waiting List.

    If you would like to purchase seats in the Budweiser Bleachers please contact us today. Waiting List members purchasing Budweiser Bleacher seats will not be required to attend the event on January 12, as all seats in the Budweiser Bleachers are general admission.

    Thank you for your continued support and patience as a member of the Chicago Cubs Season Ticket Waiting List.

    View your Wait List status

    For more details on the event, FAQs and instructions in the event you are not able to attend at your assigned time, please download for the 2013 Chicago Cubs Season Ticket Waiting List Information and Proxy Form. You can also download the 2013 Season Ticket Pricing Sheet and Seating Diagram.

    For additional questions, please contact the Chicago Cubs Season Ticket Sales Staff at 773-404-4242.

    We look forward to seeing you at Wrigley Field Saturday, January 12.


    • King Jeff

      Nice, I think Spencer was having an issue with this on the message board, you should check it out and see if you guys can figure this thing out. It would be awesome if both of you guys jumped onto the season ticket list like that, well, if you could afford it.

  • Carew

    I really hope the Canadian 3baseman becomes a member of top prospectdom. Sounds like he’s got the motivation

    • baldtaxguy

      Agree, nice story

  • AndyRussell299

    The Louisville Slugger factory/museum is a cool place to check out if you’re in Louisville. Especially for a baseball nut as yourself.

  • BD

    Definitely recommend the Louisville Slugger museum. It was awesome about 14 years ago, so it’s got to be even better now, right?

  • Chad78

    I went to the Louisville Slugger museum this past summer and it was a lot better then I thought it would be.

  • Cub2014

    Does anyone know about FA Mike Gonzalez(lefty reliever). He Would be a good fit, I see he has lifetime 2.62 era in NL

  • mattm

    Guys this is a little off topic but I had to ask some knowledgable folks here…… I was just on baseball reference and it looks as though Starlin Castro’s WAR rating is the SAME as Elvis Andrus? AM I missing something? Seriously, I can’t find anything really in the numbers that tells me Andrus was as good as Castro!

    Not only that but some wierd things show up as well. Starlin’s OWAR in 2011 was 4.0 and his DWAR was -.02 now how does that put him at a 3 War overall? I’m thinking someone is playing with the stats somewhat.

    Also this year the difference is BIGGER Starlin’s numbers on his DWar were actually positive 1.2 and his OWar was 3.0 so how does that equate to 3.5? Seriously last year the DWar really hurt his overall War numbers but this year because he was positive DWar it didn’t help as much as it hurt him last year? I do not get it!

    I still can’t for the life of me believe that Andrus has as much value to his team as Castro does. Unless the caliber of replacement playing in the NL is higher than the AL?

    Somebody explain this please because I would take Castro at ss over Andrus any day of the week!

    • Kyle

      Andrus is an insanely good defensive SS. Castro is average-ish. That matters.

      • mattm

        I would agree however, according to their dwar for this year Adrus is only .4 better than Castro.

        My thing is if you have a 4.0 OWar how could a -.02 DWAR drop you down a full win?

        That doesn’t make sense to me. Basically this year from what I’m seeing Castro should have had a 4.2 WAR.

        He is still a better all around playing than Andrus in my opinion.

        • Kyle

          This is explained if you scroll over the stat on

          Baseball-Reference’s OWar and DWar listings both include the full positional adjustment (i.e. the credit each player gets for being a SS, in this case). Adding them together would double-count it.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Something is wrong with the arithmetic because WAR = OWAR + DWAR. I cannot even see any obvious scaling error: it looks like their calculator simply is doing it incorrectly. Ultimately, this should simply reflect (extra runs created + extra runs prevented)/X, where X is the approximate number of extra runs scattered throughout a season to create an additional win (usually about 10).

      • mattm

        I totally agree. I dunno I think it makes them over value Andrus. I’m not saying he isn’t worth 3 wins or so, but in my opinion he is nowhere near as valuable as Castro, and the offensive numbers really back me up there. Slugging, Ops+. I mean there is not one offensive stat that I believe Andrus to be superior than Castro in besides on base percentage which Castro just had a down year at that….

        • DocPeterWimsey

          I would add that DWAR has always struck me as misleading. On most teams, the best fielders are on the bench: and the minors has lots of slick fielders who never get past A-ball because they cannot hit. If you took, say, the Yankees, then you almost certainly could find better fielding guys to play SS, 3rd, 2nd and CF. Most of the time, they guys on the bench for whom that is true. But obviously the Yanks don’t do that because those fielders cannot come close to the offensive output of ARod, Jeter, Cano and Granderson.

          So, this is a case where the outs gained/lost should be scaled to the average starter at that position (based on 400 PAs or something like that).

        • mattm

          Actually, I dug deeper and I don’t know if I can even use them anymore. They SEVERELY under valued Soriano last year. In addition they have him at a negative dWAR which does not make any sense and somehow his War was only 1.8 games better than replacement? I find it VERY hard to believe that we could come CLOSE to find a replacement that would lose us just 1 game less than he provided. Some of their stuff does not make sense at ALL!

          • mattm

            So…. Soriano compares favorably to Nick Swisher yet Swisher earned a 3.5 War. Hmm…..

  • cubzforlife

    It looks like the Cubs are trying to purify the list.

  • Spencer

    I’d rather have Liriano over Villanueva

    • King Jeff

      Even at 7 million a year for Liriano?

      • Kyle

        I don’t see why that’s a major problem. Liriano’s got way more upside.

        I’m not a huge Liriano fan, but I don’t think he got overpaid by any stretch.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    If you are a horse racing fan also, the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill is tremendous.

  • justinjabs

    Hooray nifty pictures. Be sure to tell us about your trip to Batland.

  • Line Ranger

    Are the chances of Marmol being traded still high?

  • Timmy

    In theory stubhub should ruin ticket prices by jacking them up over demand. That was the intent by privatizing otherwise publicly available tickets.

    However, I’ll only be using stubhub this year because I can’t imagine tickets going for more than $10 even for prime seating. Sometimes supply and demand does work!

    • Westbound Willie

      Supply and demand work perfectly in the cubs case. They sold 2.8 tickets last year but probably barely 2 million showed up so there was a glut of tickets on the resale market which was reflected in the cheap prices on stubhub.

      I’m sure this year there will continue to be tickets at 3-5 dollars for most of the season with the exception of weekends.

      The trend for the cubs is down.

      • Timmy

        Definitely, I may actually go to more games on nice days if I’m off work because I can’t imagine it would be anything but super cheap for any tickets except against the Cards or visiting American league teams.

  • dreese

    You should go to the museum Brett, I remember going when I was younger and it was awesome. Also you get a mini bat you can hit people with.

  • ISU Birds

    Brett you are gonna love Louisville Slugger awesome history there. Also if you are staying at the Galt House the Kalightascope Christmas thing will be enjoyable for children but you will be thinking I paid how much for this?! 4th street is awesome for adult time. Many drinks were drunk.

  • calicubsfan007

    Hey Brett, thanks for the advice on how to put a pic with the posting here. Hopefully, this works. (=

  • calicubsfan007

    I am kind of glad that we didn’t overpay for Liriano. I kind of wanted him for the Cubs, but not at that price.

    • Voice of reason

      Instead of overpaying for liriano we overpaid for Jackson. And, we gave him twice the nu ber of years that liriano got.

      And, that’s why they’re the cubs.

      • calicubsfan007

        @Voice: I can see what you mean in terms of overpaying for Jackson. I am not crazy about him, I am just glad that we got someone who knows how to throw the ball. But yeah, I am not one of those big Jackson fans.

      • MichiganGoat

        Um comparing Jackson and Liriano is ridiculous. Jackson has been consistent and steady for years Liriano has gotten progressively worse. As for overpaying for Jackson, I would agree with you 3-4 years ago but salaries are dramatically increasing and 12-15M for a consistent veteran is a good deal.

        • Voice of reason

          Jackson is consistently average.

          He eats innings, but when you’re going to lose 90 plus games who cares about that?

          Questions to ask… Why hasnt anyone committed to him for more than a year? Why did it take so long for this “great talent” to sign? Why didn’t the nats at least make him an offer to get a draft pick when he signed elsewhere?

          • mudge

            Average is a huge improvement over last year. I’m all for making improvements. E Jackson is a good signing.

          • Richard Nose

            You should blow it out of proportion a little more. I haven’t heard anyone refer to him as a “great talent”.

          • mattm

            This shows me how little voice of reason knows. Even though it’s a waste of time to argue with you I will invite everone to go to which is under FanGraphs and they take a high level look at the Jackson signing using sabermetrics and he indeed gives great value and is worth well more than we paid.

            In fact they used sabermetrics to break down what they think the cubs record should be and it sits at 79 wins.

            What cursory information can you give to back up your statements? Probably dumbs stuff like wins and losses right?

            • Voice of reason

              Answer my questions about Jackson and then I will answer yours!

              Why hasn’t any team signed him for more an a year? Why did it take so long for him to sign? Why didn’t the ants make him a qualifying offer to stay so they could get a draft pick once he signed elsewhere?

              • MichiganGoat

                Okay here is why he hasn’t signed a big contract last year- Scott Boras. The hope was that Jackson would have a breakout year and sign a massive contract this year, instead Jackson dropped Boras and had another solid and consistent year but not spectacular as he might have hoped. He along with every other pitcher waited until Grenkie signed and set the market. The deal with the Cubs is affordable considering the rise in salaries and still give us the option to flip him if we desire. It’s just a good signing. Did that answer you questions.

                • Brett

                  Also, keep in mind: before this year, Jackson had been a free agent exactly once. It’s not like he went years and years and years in the open market with no team willing to give him a long-term deal.

                  Also, what does the timing matter? Prince Fielder didn’t sign ’til late January last year. Was that because he’s a crappy player?

                  • MichiganGoat

                    I was just looking up when Jackson entered FA, so all the other moves were because 1-he was a top propects that never became that Ace so teams kept trading him (becsuse thry thought he still had value for that potential and fidnt think he’d ever live up to it) or trading for him (because they thought he had upside to become that ace).

                • Voice of reason

                  @Michigangoat….. You don’t really believe that’s the reason why, do you?

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Okay please enlighten me…

      • another JP

        “And, that’s why they’re the cubs.”

        With a $105M payroll they’re paying less than half to their players than what the Dodgers are. In fact, everyone and their dog have been whining about how cheap Ricketts is because he hasn’t signed Pujols, Fielder, Greinke, Darvish, etc. It’s as if Cub mgmt. can just snap their fingers and acquire any player for the price they want and all the other 31 teams are going to sit on their hands and let it happen.

        If you’re so smart how about detailing just who you’d sign, why, and at what price/years that would give us a WS championship at less than $100M/yr. payroll.

        • Richard Nose

          Finally. Thank you.

  • Ryan

    Definitely do the museum! I shot an auction and helped out with the Silver Slugger award ceremony there a few years ago, such a rad place.

  • Jeff1969

    The Cubs didn’t over pay for Jackson. Look at the other signings around the league, that should show you what established pitchers, especially average ones can get paid. Anyway, I think it’s obvious the FO wants to put a decent team out there as they develop their future team. Losing 100 games every year would take it’s toll on the younger players. Unless Jackson gets hurt, when it’s time to trade him, he’ll bring some interesting pieces in return as well. Also, does the Ross signing make Soriano any more tradeable? Philly? Yankees? Mariners? Tigers? Is it that teams aren’t interested or is the FO asking for a ton?

    • Voice of reason

      The cubs didn’t overpay for him, he got what he was worth and he’s a solid number three.

      My problem with the signing is the cubs didn’t need to do it. They are going to lose 90 plus games again.

      The cubs need to let kids play and sign veterans for one or two years that can be traded for prospects if they are pitching well. That’s what rebuilding teams do. The cubs need numbers in the minors. They have a terrible farm system.

      That’s how teams rebuild. Not by signing a number 3 starter for a big salary.

      Jackson was a bad sign.

      • Tommy

        Why don’t you at least wait for the season to start before declaring the Cubs a 90 loss team.

        • OlderStyle

          would agree this is a 90 loss team, and judging by the direction of FO will be by start of season… Marmol will be gone, bullpen should be average, rotation might be average, if healthy, but offense will be poor and Soriano may be gone by ST. It’s not a stretch to call it a 90 loss team.

          • Oswego Chris

            Really hard to say they are a 90 loss team on Dec 23…I am not saying they are contenders…just too many variables
            1. Samard could be an ace, only Verlander had a higher avg velocity amongst starters…he is only 28…and yes he could throw out his elbow

            2. Depending on the growth of Castro and Rizzo…the offense may be decent

            3. Still moves to make

            I have been impressed with moves this offseason…

            • OlderStyle

              I’m making my own projection but it’s still pretty reasonable. We’re still hoping a lot guys grow in to their potential this year, (Castro, Rizzo, Shark, etc.) Garza still has pitch healthy, we’re relying on Stewart’s wrist health and assuming he’s talented enough to produce. We’re counting on an as yet unproven platoon in RF. We’re also counting on a TJ rebound from Baker, 2 swingmen and Wood to consolidate his place as back end rotation arm. We desperately needed an arm like Jackson to help stabilize the rotation.
              I wouldn’t count on Alf repeating his year from ’12 at his age and knee health.  Castillo is basically a rookie so he could have a sophomore dip. When Marmol, Soriano and Garza are traded we will get minor leaguers so nothing but immediate net losses there.
              It may be a bit pessimistic but if we’re following the “plan” I think @90 losses is realistic. We may approach .500 by 2014. As a Cubs fan I reserve the right to not be optimistic until after the fact.

      • Brett

        Rebuilding teams frequently sign free agents to multi-year deals in anticipation of being competitive within a three to four year window. Happens all the time, and frequently with some success.

  • The skootr

    BRETT! Hey man- I live in louisville. What are your plans on Sunday? I work at a really cool restaurant called proof on main right by the slugger museum. I’m behind the bar. You should come in- it would be awesome to meet you!

    • Westbound Willie

      I’m pretty sure that Brett is really Sammy Sosa using the fake Brett name. I doubt he’s in Louisville since Sammy is not allowed in this country any longer. Sammy does have a pretty good blog going on here but I can’t believe everyone hasn’t figured out that this is Sammy.. There certainly have been enough hints out there.

    • Brett

      Hey man, sorry – we’re heading out early this morning (as soon as I finish writing) to visit additional family. Next time I’m in this neck of the woods.

  • Njriv

    With the singing of Cody Ross the Diamondbacks are loaded with outfielders, the Cubs should definitely look into that.

    • nkniacc13

      Sounds like they want to trade Kubel. Im not interested in him. Id like to see them look at parra if making a trade there. (I don’t see anyway they have enough to get Upton without Baez,Almora or Soler)

  • legen wait for it dary

    i think Schierholtz could end up being a steal

  • JoeyCollins

    Just checking if i have an image.

  • Mr. Ashley Chavez

    I wonder when/if we are going to get the edit button back.

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