new years times squareLast night, The Wife and I curled up with a nice bottle of sparkling grape juice, watched a Dick Clark retrospective, and passed out at about 10:15. Fortunately I left the TV roaring loud enough that I could hear when the ball started dropping, and I dragged myself out of slumber just long enough to force The Wife awake, count down the final 10 seconds, peck a New Year’s kiss, and promptly pass back out. Hooray, age!

I hope everyone else had a safe and happy New Year. I look forward to another year at BN, and especially to kicking off the 2013 season with the Cubs Convention in just three weeks. I hope to see many of you there, both for the Convention activities and for a get-together Friday night at a local watering hole (and/or Saturday night). Details to follow, but if you’ve got preferences, start sharing ’em now.

  • Carrie Muskat takes a final look back at 2012 from her perspective, which makes for a very interesting read. I like this one, among many others: “July 4 in Atlanta. Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio reveals he has a deal with closer Carlos Marmol. The pitcher is not allowed to shake off his catcher on any pitch, and if he does, Marmol owes Bosio a case of wine. Marmol compiles a 1.52 ERA in the second half.”
  • And, on the flip side, Carrie looks ahead to 2013, and asks 10 questions relevant to the outcome of the season for the Cubs. The final question is the ultimate one, and a depressing one: Will the Cubs lose 100 games again in 2013. I’m thinking no, but I’m not sure I could go much lower than 90 right now on paper.
  • Speaking of 2013, I made some cracks on Twitter about the Cubs in 2013 (“Alfonso Soriano hits 45 homers, and surprises with a .415 OBP on way to MVP award … for the Phillies,” and “Tommy John Surgery re-named ‘Asset Accumulation Strategy Surgery'” as examples), and other folks joined in. You can check out the responses here.
  • Mark Newman writes about the unlucky – or lucky – number 13 in the history of baseball, which somehow ties back to the Cubs not winning the World Series since 1908 (something about how the 1907-08 Cubs were the first team to repeat as champions, and if the Giants don’t win in 2013, it’ll be 13 years since the last repeat … or whatever). How about Cubs in 2015-16?
  • Idaho Razorback

    Happy New Year to you Brett and Luke. Thank you both for the fine work you do! I work at a grocery store at nite and thankfully it was an uneventful nite. I did have a cop come in a little after 1 am and buy Similac??? I said, “No beer?” He said, “No. I have a keg in the passengers seat.” A rare, cool cop! Go Cubs!

  • @cubsfantroy

    Cubs in 2013:

    121 W
    41 L

    The losses will only happen because they don’t want the rest of the league to feel bad about them winning every game. Call it a ‘gimme’.

    Also, Mike Ditka will get hired as a motivational speaker.

    Anthony Rizzo/Starlin Castro/Ian Stewart/Welington Castillo/David DeJesus/Alfonso Soriano/Darwin Barney/whoever plays right field will all tie for the MVP award.

    All pitchers in the bullpen and starters will tie for the Cy Young award.

    They will sweep for the World Series win. It will get uncomfortable in the media room when Dale Sveum says he wants to face all of the AL playoff teams so the Cubs can sweep them as well.

    This will start a run of 20 straight World Series titles for the Chicago Cubs.

  • Spriggs

    Happy New Year, Brett and thanks for the dedicated Cubs site (yesterday notwithstanding)!

    Prediction for 2013: Cubs work out a position swap with hitting coach James Rowson and announcer Keith Moreland. The Cubs go on to win the NL pennant, led by a revitalized offensive machine. Or maybe the dream was that he replaced Mike Tice as offensive coordinator?

  • Fastball

    Hooray for the new post… Thanks Brett you the man…..

    It’s going to be a great year. 13 is my lucky number and the year is already off to a fast start. I hope everyone has good fortune on 2013. The Cubs won’t be as bad as many think. We will not finish in last place in the NL Central. We will play meaningful games in September. We have some home grown talent come up to ML and excel at a high level.

  • Louie

    I just learned about this website about 3 weeks ago and absolutely love it! Keep up the great work guys!

    • Brett

      Thanks, Louie. Love your TV show.

  • JR

    Happy New Years Brett. Great work this last year!

  • Tom

    I think that the Cubs are taking on the sensible rebuilding approach that you can never have enough pitching — at least not up to the point when they are a positional player or two away from a truly competitive team (which they are not). I fully support the notion of adding pitching and looking for the right mix of better poisitional players (as they become available) in 2013.

    As another thought, the only metric that likely matters to the Cubs is whether or not the fans buy the tickets. For example, I have three full-package season tickets — 243 sold tickets. Last year, I was able to use 83% of the seats — do you think that 17% really matters to the Cubs ? I would say that they care more about the fact that I bought all three seats again in 2013. And, by the way, I did not list those 17% for resale at a very low dollar amount. People that do such listings will destroy the resale market for everyone !

    • cubzforlife

      Hey Don where are your seats?

      • cubzforlife

        Sorry I meant Tom. Where are your seats ?

        • Tom

          218 Box

  • dan

    My prediction for 2013 that the Scott “s between them win 25 games

    • josh2

      We might need to add another scott

      • Andrew

        Scott Hairston’s still on the market!

  • cheryl

    Time for predictions. Garza won’t be traded until June, if then. Soriano will be traded. The cubs will make an effort to get Price. Cubs will win 85 to 90 games. And Appel will not be a choice of the cubs at the draft.

  • JulioZuleta

    Javier Baez tweeted last night “2013 el ano en que estare en la MLB si el papito dios me lo permite.” -2013, the year that Ill be in the MLB if Gods allows it. I like the confidence.

    • Kyle

      I love his attitude. If he can develop even an average approach, he’s going to be an all-time favorite. Though maybe for another team, who knows.

  • DL Huyck

    Baez is a stud!

  • Convention Jason

    Did someone say Convention is in a couple weeks? Perfect bridge between holidays and players reporting. Already ready to go!!

  • Kyle

    Feels like January is going to be a busy month for the Cubs. At the very least, I expect the outfield situation to resolve. They’ve had a lot of stuff sort of on the backburner waiting to see what happens with plenty of time left in the offseason, and eventually the dominos to fall together.

    The caveat being that Epstein and the front office absolutely revel in walking away if they don’t like the price in a deal, so they’d have no problems just letting nothing happen if need be.

    • Rich H

      I also think this month is going to be busy for the Cubs. They are hopefully going to get us a good end of the bullpen left hander (or maybe a LOOGY and lets see Russell step into the setup role?), a outfielder or 2 (Depends on a Soriano trade), and a big bat for 3rd base. Plus all the NRI players Brett and company are going to have some serious reporting to keep on track of in the next 3 or 4 weeks.

      And just a side not on Baez’s tweets. YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PLAY A POSITION TO MAKE THE BIG CLUB. Nice confidence but the kid is borderline delusional until he decides he is not a SS. Then let the fast track begin.

      Oh by the way Lake will be up by June or July as a 3rd baseman ( Prada type that has 8 gloves with him at the ballpark?) This is just my dreaming but man lets hope he puts it together.

      • Adventurecizin’ Justin

        I’m with you regarding Lake! If there is just one breakout position player from our upper minors, I really hope it is him. Wouldn’t it be something if Lake, BJax, and Vitters all took significant steps in the right direction? I can hope, can’t I?

        • Tom

          It would be awesome and I hope you are correct !!!

      • Voice of reason

        @rich h….

        I hope you think Stewart at third is a big bat cause he is your man at third this year.

        And, by an outfielder I hope you mean Nate schierholtz cause that’s going to be it.

        Cubs owners are in no way thinking they are going to win even half their games so cub fans shouldn’t get excited either. This team at best will lose 80 games but will probably lose 90 plus and could easily lose 100 games again.

        This was a terrible offensive team last year and theymdid nothing to improve the offense.

        Ownership is banking on starting to be competitive in two years. Until then they are plugging holes where they don’t have young players.

        • Rich H

          Yet is what you should be saying. They have done nothing YET to address the OF or 3rd base. They haven’t even announced Schierholtz yet so by your logic he isn’t even here. You wonder why they haven’t put him on the 40 man yet? I smell a trade to open up spots.

          This team today is not the same as the one that will show up in 46 days. You can count on that. There is still some movement to be done. The market for pitching came up early enough on the starters that we can get an idea of what our rotation looks like. Now we still have needs and the relievers are beginning to take shape. There are some moves that this FO is going to make.

          If this team shows up at the Cubs convention at the end of the month it will be a ghost town again. I expect some movement between now and then.

          • Voice of reason

            No, they signed Stewart For third and shierholtz for outfield. That’s it!

            Maybe a couple of non guaranteed contracts to some washed up outfielders, but this organization has made it clear what the plan is.

            Any team that thought they had a chance would have never considered bringing Stewart back and would never settled for signing just shierholtz in the outfield when soriano is the only productive outfield bat they have.

            Cubs front office is throwing this year away just like last year. They’re trying to develop the minor league system.

            They signed a bunch of end of the rotation starters and a bum third baseman and a bum outfielder. This should tell everyone that they are not trying to win this year. Plain and simple. They are taking a different path than they have in recent times.

            • baldtaxguy

              I believe the offseason is not yet completed. I think you are possibly taking an overly pessimistic view….you are assuming no other future transactions.

              • Tom

                Yes BTG ! This is about incremental and consistent improvement !

            • Rich H

              I really don’t see what the big deal is with Schierholtz to you. He is the kind of signing that makes sense in the short term. He is arbitration eligible for 2 years. 2.5 million is not a lot of money in baseball terms. He plays defense OK and hits .270 with a OB of around .320. That is not bad. He might give you 15 steals a year if given a full case of AB’s. His slugging at right around .409 is not good but neither is it horrible. You seem to look at him as a replacement for Soriano but I think he is more of a DeJesus lite when he is traded. Not a bad guy to have. Besides you really don’t know yet what the finished product will look like in our OF. We still have some moves to make.

              • Voice of reason

                Schierholtz has 1,275 big league at bats over 8 seasons and 20 steals total. What makes you think he would all of a sudden steal 20 in one season? He is a 4th outfielder.

                Along with no speed he has no power. He is known for his defense and that’s it.

                He was signed cause we have nobody else. He wasn’t signed cause he is any good!!

                Why not play Jackson instead of him? Jackson could be good, schierholtz has been given a number of chances and won’t be good!

                • Brett

                  This front office makes a point to sign only players they deem “not any good.”

                  • hansman1982

                    Duh, they want to lose. Or they suck. No other explanation.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Yup FO plan is like underwear gnomes:
                      1-collect not good players

                      That’s the Ricky Thed Guarantee

                    • hansman1982

                      Theo and Jed where guest contributors to the episode.

                • baldtaxguy

                  Its premature to think that there will be no other additions to the OF positions. Its premature to think Jackson has improved from what he displayed last season, and thus deserves a starting position not because of his ability, but because of your perception that 101 losses will occur once again, i.e. “nowhere.” I believe Jackson will get 500 PA’s this season, just not all of them in Chicago. I hope less than half of them occur in Iowa, but its up to Jackson to prove that he has improved his ability to hit. I like him, and I have high hopes for him.

        • Kyle

          If they lose 80, they’ve won more than half, unless they had a ton of unreplayed rainouts.

      • Kevin B

        Rich H I love what you said and I hope its not a dream.

        The should move Lake off SS now and start him in AAA. He has played CF and LF in winter ball. I would love to see both he and Vitters rotating between OF and 3B. 1 of them may wind up being our 3B’man by second half.

        Baez too. I would move him to 3B and start him in AA – then he may have a shot of at least a September call up and make his dream come true.

        I am really thinking Lake has a breakout in 2013.

        I believe they Cubs announced Schierholz deal officially a week or so ago? And great point on predictions … We do not even know how the team will look in Spring Training let alone April

        • Rich H

          You were right Schieholz deal is a Non-guarentee for 2.5 Million and already has a spot on the 40 man. I guess with the holidays and stuff I had missed it. I still smell a trade.

        • hansman1982

          Under no circumstances do you move Baez to 3B unless:

          A) He proves he cannot play SS (which he is proving that he can)
          B) he is ready for the bigs and not good enough, defensively, to push Castro to 3B
          C) You are an incompetant GM

          Sticking at SS keeps his trade value as high as humanly possible and if he can handle SS he can handle 3B. You might even look at him at CF during BP to see if he can stay up the middle. Odds are no and/or his value would be just as high at third considering the market.

          • hansman1982

            Same goes for Lake and any other prospect. You stick them at the hardest defensive spot they can handle.

          • BleedingCubbieBlue

            He could always handle 2nd as well. That way we can bring in a young 3rd base player in a Garza trade.

  • Tom

    I predict the opening day line-up with have Castillo catching, Rizzo, Barney, Castro and Stewart 1st through 3rd base and Schierholz, DeJesus and free agent right to left field.

    DeJesus (L) leads off, followed by Castro (R), Rizzo (L), free agent (R), Stewart (L), Schierholtz (L)/Sappelt (R), Barney (R) and Castillo (R)

    Bench to include Navarro, Valbuena, Sappelt/Schierholtz and free agent — 12 total positional players, unless can’t trade Soriano and/or Campana and then carry 13.

    Thant means Soriano and Campana are traded and Jackson, Lake and Vitters start at AAA.

    • Brett

      Can’t really see a scenario where they carry just four guys on the bench. 13 pitchers is pretty rare.

      • Tom

        I agree with your statement. Will be 13, unless they trade both Soriano and Campana and do not sign three free agents (1 outfield, 1 infield and 1 other) by opening day. I just think Vitters, Lake and Jackson will need some more time at AAA where they can play everyday.

        Thanks for response.

    • Voice of reason

      Why even have Stewart, dejesus or schierholtz on the roster? Sap pelt, Jackson and vitters should play everyday. Let’s see if they have a future. Well never know unless we give them a chance. We know what Stewart and dejesus and schierholtz will do and if they play everyday the cubs might win 75 games… Big deal! If we let sap pelt and Jackson and vitters play everyday we might lose 110 games or we might win 75 games. The bottom line is this team is going no where this year and we have to see what minor leaguers have a chance to be here the next time we in contention.

      The front office is making no commitment to winning this year. They are playing for the future. Cub fans need to stop worrying about winning this year. It’s about developing future talent.

      There should be rookies playing at as many positions as possible!

      • baldtaxguy

        Sappelt will likely be playing in a limited role. Vitters and Jackson proved last year that they were overmatched and need to work on their hitting at Iowa.

        • Tom

          It would be great if any of the 3 would take a big leap towards being good

        • Voice of reason

          What difference does it make if suppelt plays part time or everyday? Give him 500 ab’s so we know what we have.

          Vitters and Jackson should start the year in the bigs, too. Neither will probably makemit, but at least we will know.

          Dejesus and shierholtz are 5th outfielders at best on good teams so why would we let them play everyday for us? we are far from being a decent team.

          This season is going no where so let kids get experience.

          • Tom

            I hope you are right and Sappelt plays well enough to warrant 500 AB’s ! I agree to let kids play — but only when ready ! Playing badly and losing does not mean a better future.

          • baldtaxguy

            Sappelt is a 4th outfielder unless he proves during the season he deserves more at-bats. There is no scenario here on Jan 1 that suggests he should get 500 bats unless he proves it incrementally as the season progresses.

            Vitters and Jackson need to prove to us at Iowa that they are ready to be called up and be successful. I, too, am not optimistic, all the more reason for them to demonstrate that proof at Iowa, vs. Chicago.

            I think you are exaggerating that DeJesus and Nate are 5th outfielders at best.

            I hope we see rookies have success in 2013, maybe someone we do not expect. Let’s see how everything plays out the remainder of the offseason, who proves themselves this Spring, before we start projecting that the season is going nowhere – probably needs to start going, before it goes anywhere, such as nowhere, no?

            • Voice of reason

              You are assuming that sup pelt is a 4th outfielder at best. We know what dejesus and schierholtz will do and suppelt could do just the same and maybe even better. We don’t know what his ceiling is!!

              Why start dejesus or schierholtz when we could get the same production from suppelt and Jackson?

              Seriously…. We are going no where this year so why not let the kids get the at bats who are much younger than dejesus and schierholtz and who could prove to be part of our future. If they don’t make it then at least we will know. Well never know by letting dejesus and schierholtz get the at bats.

              • hansman1982

                Unless Sappelt is a 1-in-a-million prospect he is a 4th outfielder. Unfortunately some guys just aren’t as good as others at baseball. Scouts and front office types are able to (especially after 4-5-6 years in the minors) figure out a players talent level.

                Bryan LaHair is prime example #1. A guy who’d “never gotten a chance” finally does and proves the scouts and front office types right by performing like a 23rd-24th man/AAAA guy.

                Sappelts ceiling is that of a platoon mate/4th outfielder.

                • Voice of reason

                  So suppelt is exactly what schierholtz is…. A fourth outfielder at best.

                  Why wouldn’t the cubs play suppelt everyday on the chance that he is better than schierholtz? It’s a verymgood chance since suppelt is younger and has more speed……

                  What does lehair have to do with any part of this? He was older when he had a couple of good monthsmin the majors. Suppelt is still young and sherholtz has never had a good couple of months in the majors.

                  • hansman1982

                    The reason is that Schierholtz crushes righties and Sappelt does well against lefties. Therefore you get a platoon of 1 decent player. It’s up to Sveum to actually follow the platoon.

                    • terencemann

                      I wouldn’t say Schierholtz crushes RHP. He’s got a little bit better of a split vs. them but there’s a reason he’s never received regular playing time.

                    • hansman1982

                      2012 – .826 OPS
                      2011 – .801 OPS
                      2010 – .678 OPS

                      In 2010 and 2009 he had some success against LHP but in incredibly small sample sizes.

                    • hansman1982

                      Yes, he was terrible against lefties the last two years and just not that good before then.

                      My stance on Schierholtz has always been that he will be a good platoon-mate so long as Sveum doesn’t deviate from that. As your every day RF, not so much.

                  • hansman1982

                    Also, seeing that Sappelt will never (probably) be more than a platoon mate/4th OF, you put him in a position to succeed so that there is some trade value there.

                    Worst case scenario, you get a guy who performs well, best case scenario, you get someone to overpay on Sappelt and/or Schierholtz.

                    • baldtaxguy

                      X 2. Neither should receive 500 AB’s based on projection/past performance as 4th outfielders. But, projected as a RF platoon, 4 + 4 = 3.

              • True(ly) Blue

                Voice Of Reason??? Putting young guys in situations that they are not able to cope with does nothing for their development. It destroys their confidence and believe me, confidence means a lot when you play at a high level of any sport. You have to believe that you can “do it” even if you go “ofer” or you’re dead. Look at our most recent illustration, Rizzo. He had a terrible couple of months when up in San Diego. When he went back down and restructured his swing and had success he came back gang busters.

                • Voice of reason

                  Ryne sandberg…. Tom glassine… Jose Deleon…. Mike Schmidt…. All of them struggled when they arrived in the bigs. They all played through it.

                  Sure confidence is important, but so is coaching and we should have coaches working with them at the big league level and working them through thetough times.

                  I’m not suggesting you keep up suppelt or vitters or Jackson if they struggle this year. I’m saying let them start the year and see. Can’t do anymworse thank dejesus or schierholtz or Stewart! And if they do, then replace them with one ofmthenveterans.

                  • Voice of reason

                    Should be Tom glavine

                  • Rich H

                    So Mantle was treated wrong for being sent back down after his cup of coffee? No it got his attention (just like they are trying to do with Vitters and Jackson) and in later interviews he said that his career would have been over very quickly if he would have stayed after that first taste of the majors.

                    This coaching staff has said publicly that is what it has done with Jackson to get him to identify the hole in swing and work to fix it. Now the ball is in his court. Lets see him in ST before naturally anointing him the next anything. Jackson has to earn his spot on this club. I am hoping that his work this winter will open his eyes but until we see a finished product he is still a AAA player with a hole in his swing.

  • nkniacc13

    I fully expect the Cubs to sign an OF Scott hariston perhaps?

    • Andrew

      He fits the profile the FO is looking for in that his name is Scott

  • Craig

    Opening Day Line Up:
    Crisp CF
    Shierholtz RF
    Rizzo 1B
    Soriano LF
    Castro SS
    Stewart 3B
    Castillo C
    Barney 2B

    Garza, Smarja, Jackson, Feldman, Villenueva (Baker DL)

    Marmol, Japanese guy, Camp, Russell, Wood, Rondon, Bowden

    • Voice of reason

      Why even sign crisp or schierholtz? Just let sup pelt and Jackson play. They will do no worse than crisp and schierholtz and will hopefully do better, but we will never know if they start crisp and schierholtz! This year is about finding young talent for the future, not playing bums who have no future.

      • Tom

        Sappelt and Jackson may not be ready for the show !

        • Voice of reason

          If they are overwhelmed then send them down. Why give at bats to dejesus and schierholtz? Let the kids play.

          Vitters should be at third over Stewart.

          Id rather go see a bunch of young and eager kids than a bunch of mediocre veterans. The team is going no where this year anyhow. We need to evaluate the kids for the future to see what we have. What difference does it make if we lose 90 games or 100? It’s about the future andnthe future isnthe young kids.

          • Tom

            That was OK last year, but we must see year-over-year improvement this year. Losing about 90 at the most should be a goal for this season, then at least .500 and finally a competitive team in 2015 ! Lose another 100 this year would mean we are not getting better and that is key for the mental state of our Cubs players — a consistent winning franchise !

            • Voice of reason

              If we trade soriano for a minor league player or two and don’t replace those home runs at the big league level we will lose 100 games this year without question.

              Does that mean we are not improving??????

          • Picklenose

            Would you put a student in a calculus class when they are just barely ready for algebra? Would you throw a kid into the deep end of the pool just as they are learning to swim?
            There are very few players that can be thrown into a game with competition that is clearly over their head who will just rise to the level of the competition. Usually they just get creamed, and develop bad habits, coping strategies, or attitudes as they get creamed. Also you need some veterans around who know how to prepare themselves for a major league season around to help the kids grow into the majors. There are lessons the coaches just cannot teach.
            And baring a miracle recovery Valbuena should be at third, not Stewart. The only category (offensive or defensive) where Stewart is superior is in hitting for power, but those few extra homers and doubles don’t really offset the extra runs Stewart lets score. (per fangraphs, Valbuena is 9 runs above replacement, Stewart is 1).

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            The kids are playing in an environment where they can get constant one on one work. Just because they aren’t at the MLB level doesn’t mean they aren’t playing. Did you see Jackson’s swing? That is the ugliest swing I think we have all seen in years. Sorry, but your other examples are a little different. How many players were flash in the pans because they were brought up early? Detroit is good for ruining a talent a year for bringing them up and killing their confidence.

  • terry

    Tom, that’s a crappy bench but if you reread it you only are caring 3 guys on the bench.

  • terry


  • Tom

    Time for another session of predictions.

    The White Sox will in 2013 dip to less than 1.0 million paid attendance when their record drops to 75 and 87. The Cubs on the other hand will draw 3.0 million paying fans when their record improves to 72 and 90.

    The Cubs will see someone on their team win either a first time gold glove or become rookie of the year !

    • BleedingCubbieBlue

      Who would we see at rookie of the year?

      Arodys Vizcaino
      Junior Lake
      Josh Vitters
      Brett Jackson

      • Tom

        I would love it to be Jackson or Lake !

      • baldtaxguy

        I’m so hopeful for Jackson. I am not optimistic, but I would love to see him take the next step. He either can, or cannot.

        • Tom

          i agree with you completely — great guy and talent — let’s hope he succeeds at the major league level soon and for the Cubs !

          • cheryl

            Didn’t Jackson redo his approach to the plate? It would seem like he’d need a year in the minors to get completely used to it.

  • mudge

    tough to make predications before the off-season is over… and before the trade deadline is over.

  • Tom

    I think last year we went from Castro to now Castro, Shark, Barney and Rizzo. It would be awesome to identify 3 or 4 more core players this season !!!

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I’m going to make some bold predictions (mainly about our upper minor leaguers): 1) I think Lake will make us glad they didn’t deal him. 2) Alberto Cabrera’s conversion back to starter will be a brilliant one…Derek Johnson’s first feather in his cap! 3) Trey McNutt and Rafael Dolis will make us salivate about our 2014 bullpen. 4) Ian Stewart will have a breakout season and be a solid 3rd baseman for the foreseeable future. 5) BJax and Vitters will still have some of their flaws left over…but significant progress will have been made by both. 6) Logan Watkins will convince more of us that he can be a solid major leaguer.

      Yes, I am an optimist!! Happy 2013!

      • Tom

        If most of that happens, it would be a great 2013 season !

    • Rich H

      I don’t see Barney as a core player. We can’t have glove first core until we have enough offense around them to offset the lack of hitting.

      • baldtaxguy

        Just timing. If 3-4 more core “bats” are added or emerge during this and next season, then Barney becomes a core player under your thinking.

        • Rich H

          I think of Barney like Mark Lemke (I know I am showing my age). Great leader and a fine ballplayer. But those types seem to have a very small window where they are on a club because they can always be replaced and loose a little defensively to find a better bat for the line up. When you loose 100 games guys like Barney are expendable.

  • Tom

    Reminds me of Glenn Beckert of 60’s / 70’s. A .270 average with 10 homers and 50-60 RBIs would be just fine for 2nd baseman.

  • cubzforlife

    Picklenose, thank you for an intelligent comment on the use of minor league players. You my friend make sense and I can only hope the other posters get your message. Great analogy’s.

  • Timmy

    Theo’s new year’s resolution: work on the Cubs being a better team in 2014…maybe.

    • hansman1982

      He’s too busy sitting in his barcalounger playing Twisted Metal and drinking Pepsi Clear and reliving his glory days to build a competent team. Or he sucks. Either or.

  • Stinky Pete

    I LOVED Pepsi Clear!!

    • Internet Random

      Crystal Pepsi