- 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:
- 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 …
- 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.
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