Did you catch yesterday’s new episode of the BN Podcast? Did you subscribe to the podcast on iTunes (or directly via the podcast feed)? Do you love questions?

  • The Tribune’s march through the “things” of 2012 has them on the “unsung players” of 2012 for each of the Chicago teams. On the Cubs, you knew it would be a scrappy outfielder, you just weren’t quite sure which one … “Reed Johnson: The backup outfielder hit .302 with a .799 OPS and was the Cubs’ best pinch hitter before being dealt to the Braves. He also helped keep the clubhouse from turning into a morgue during a difficult summer. During superhero dress-up day, Johnson and Jeff Baker dressed as Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein, poking fun at their bosses by walking around with cell phones glued to their ears. ‘Dude, we are so traded,’ Baker said to Johnson during a photo-op for the media. Soon enough, they were.” Shrug. Johnson was a quality player for the Cubs, but, for my money, he was plenty “sung” in his time here. I would have considered going with his dress-up partner, Jeff Baker, who, before being traded, had a 104 OPS+ with the Cubs and has received very little love since then. He also netted the Cubs an actual prospect in trade (pitcher Marcelo Carreno), so there’s that, too.
  • MLB teams are busting out new caps for Spring Training and batting practice this year, and you can see the full line here at ESPN. The Cubs’ new caps, together with the old look:

cubs new bp spring training caps

  • Within the context of the other caps, the Cubs’ version is fine. On its own merits … meh. On the one hand, I am an irrepressibly diehard fan of the classic blue, red button/red C. On the other hand, I recognize that you’ve got to have something a little different for BP/ST. The red bill, when the Cubs used it, was a fine look, so this is close. I don’t even hate the white/gray C. I think I just don’t like that stitching. It looks like it’s trying to be classic … but I can tell it’s trying. It’s universal to all the caps, though, so I’ll swallow it. And, hey, it could be worse …

braves new cap

  • The Cubs’ annual toy drive collected 30,000 toys for children in need during the holiday season.
  • Some details on the DeJesus family’s fundraiser – a fashion show, which goes on Thursday, January 17.
  • Crain’s offers the 10 biggest Chicago sports stories of 2012, and you should expect this to be the big one for the Cubs: “Amid the backdrop of the worst Cubs season in nearly a half-century, the Wrigley Field renovation saga hit turbulence in May when word got out that Joe Ricketts, patriarch of the family that owns the team, considered bankrolling a $10 million anti-Obama ad campaign, derailing public subsidy talks with City Hall. In the meantime, first-year team President Theo Epstein did some rebuilding of his own, while the Cubs reduced ticket prices only slightly despite the team’s attendance falling short of 3 million for the first time since 2003.” That whole thing has been quiet as a mouse lately, hasn’t it?
  • The MLBullets at BCB look at a variety of things, including the new TV deals for MLB, and some other things that will be discussed here later today.
  • Carne Harris

    I like that Braves hat. Looks like an Indian Ed McMahon.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett


    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think it looks horribly ugly, even setting aside what one might think about the mascot.

      • Carne Harris

        Eh, at least it’s different. I get tired of all the cookie cutter ones. Here’s ours for winterball:


        • CubFan Paul

          i want a traditional blue one like that.

          when was christmas?

  • Rcleven

    The grey C on the new cap? Ugly.
    Won’t be buying a new cap this year.

  • EQ76

    we need a hat with DeJesus’ wife Kim on them… daaayyyuummm!

    • Soler Power

      And shirts and pins and posters and calendars…

  • Curt

    Don’t care for the new hats they look like the wide billed fancy hats the kids wear more for kids thn adults their not ugly just blah I guess.

  • frank

    That’s why any DeJesus trade has to have a “Kim stays” clause . . .

  • Spencer

    I guess I don’t really see what the fuss is about…it’s just Spring Training. The Cubs wore red-billed hats for like 15 years, and it was fine – I actually wouldn’t mind them going back to it for their road unis. I’m ambivalent about the white C. I think the hats they wear now are sorta boring.

  • OlderStyle

    A ST cap with the Cub bear on it would be cool. Not a fan of the red bill.
    Of course, I’d be pilloried for it, but I would ditch the pinstripes. Only the Yanks can pull that look. I like the early Ernie Banks unis best.

  • Internet Random

    Any hat design without that goofy piping is an improvement.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Improvement, absolutely.

  • MightyBear

    By the way, I listened to the podcast yesterday which was excellent. Love the information on the young Cuban left hander who didn’t throw his change up. Don’t count him out yet Kyle. Anyway I listened to the podcast and hear Brett talk about his favorite holiday movies and he mentions Love Actually. I had never seen that before so i don’t think much of it. I go home last night and lo and behold, what’s on the movie channel? Love Actually. So I sit down and watch this thing because of Brett and my reaction after the movie is…..

    Brett needs to have his Man card revoked. That was the biggest chick flick in the world and the sappiest movie ever. I had to turn on Moneyball quickly so I wouldn’t lose my Man card. Even my wife said, “This is a big Chick Flick, isn’t it.?”

    • Carew


    • Internet Random

      I’ve only seen it once, but I recall having been pleasantly surprised.

      • Internet Random

        Having said that, Better Off Dead is where it’s at.

        [Ed. – I think you keep forgetting to close your italics, unless something in the formatting is jacked from the most recent site update (earlier this week).]

        • Internet Random

          I’m closing them… or trying anyway. I could be flubbing the HTML. I’m not getting the buttons over the comment box any more. (Chrome, iPad)

          • Internet Random


          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            They should still be there, but this is what happened when the famed edit button went away. Sometimes stuff just doesn’t work anymore.

            For your purposes, btw, use em /em inside sideways carrots as your tags. (Couldn’t demonstrate, or it would just turn to italics.)

            • Internet Random

              Not getting them with Safari either.


              Some of this sentence should be in italics.

              Some of this one should too.

              • Internet Random

                Note to self: “em” tag works; “i” tag doesn’t.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Bah. How much did you actually watch? It is undoubtedly a … lighter movie, but it’s not a chick flick. It’s not even really a rom-com. It’s just a very light comedy-with-drama-elements-and-an-acceptable-level-of-sappiness. There’s lots of nudity and cursing, too, so at least there’s that.

      • MightyBear

        I watched the whole damn thing, 2 hours and 30 minutes. It did have some funny moments and lots of good actors (mostly British but some good American actors as well). It actually wasn’t too bad a movie but lots of predictable happy endings. Makes me want to cry. Baw wah wah wah (Loud sobbing sounds – hard to do in written form)

        • Picklenose

          Ring . . . Ring . . . . “Hello Mighty Bear, this is the man office calling. Your card is suspended until such time as you are able to play 3rd base with above average defense, hit for more .240 and double digit homers and doubles. Good luck, the Cubs need you.”

  • ZachCubs82

    I love the Cubs home pinstripes, but have not been a fan of the Cubs roady grays nor the alternate blues for years. I think Rickett’s and Co. should redo the Cubs uni’s. I am more of a Navy, Red, and White guy than a Royal Blue. I also love the logo from the 1914 team….maybe the uniform change can change the Cubs ways of winning!

  • ISU Birds

    The cubs spring training hats are our lead discussion today. Must be a slow news day in the baseball world.

  • Spriggs

    Really, really low on the stitching. I never buy those kind of hats. Look like they’re inside out kid’s hats.

    • Internet Random

      I’m with you there. Even so, it’s a marked improvement over the predecessor.

      • Spriggs

        I was never interested in buying the predecessor either. Kind of a back handed compliment to say it’s better than that one. Sort of like, “she don’t sweat much for a fat girl”.

  • Segal27

    I really dont like that hat, the white/grey C really bothers me

  • rick gubitz

    Let’s try to be original with these BP hats/ Texas Boston Pitt Stl and Cubs all are the same hat! Blue with red visor…