There’s a fresh podcast on the way later this morning, which Sahadev and I completed recording just before the Scott Hairston signing news broke. That was convenient for me, but a part of me wishes it had happened in the middle of the podcast – could have made for an interesting mid-sentence reaction from one or both of us.
- John Sickels took a look at Brett Jackson yesterday, and among his thoughts on the talented, but contact-challenged outfielder: “His whiff rate was simply obscene last year, especially after he was promoted to the majors. He seemed to go backwards with his swing at Iowa, having problems with breaking stuff outside the zone, but also with fastballs that would tie him up inside. As stated, he makes a serious effort to work counts, but he just swings and misses so damn much. Jackson’s other skills are strong enough that he could be a productive and useful player even if he’s hitting .230, but what if he can’t break the Mendoza Line? That’s a legitimate question. Pacific Coast League sources are quite split on him. Some think he will still be a valuable regular player with a few adjustments, others think he’s destined for a reserve role. Some believe he’ll never solve the contact problem and is doomed to wander the Quadruple-A borderland for the next decade. What do I think? I think he’s the bastard son of Rob Deer and Andy Van Slyke. If I were the Cubs, and I’m not trying to contend in 2013, I would stick him in the lineup, let him hit seventh or eighth, and just see what happens.”
- As the 2013 season approaches, and you’re thinking about the Cubs’ place in competitive landscape, you can check out top online sportsbooks, if your confidence in the Cubs should swell.
- Fergie Jenkins on Sammy Sosa and the Hall of Fame (Sammy said yesterday that he belongs), from CSN: “It’s hard to say. Maybe after 15, 16 years, the Veterans Committee might vote him in. I’m not sure if we’ll even be around to really know. Unfortunately, those guys had great beginnings to their career and then the latter part of their career – when numbers should be declining – they kept building for those guys. And it’s due to whatever they were putting in their system. He was an outstanding player here. People remember what he did. Hitting 60 home runs two years in a row, that’s a feat Ernie Banks, Billy Williams or Ron Santo couldn’t do. He was a strong athlete. I knew him when he was 16 years old. He had pretty good lower-body strength, but his upper body got bigger. I don’t know if it was just lifting weights or how he got bigger, but he’s just a strong athlete. He just had a grooved swing after a while. And he was just going for it most of the time. He really didn’t care about strikeouts. He just wanted to put that ball out of the ballpark.” So … that’s a no?
- An editorial from the Sun-Times is strongly in favor of letting the Ricketts Family fund the Wrigley Field renovations on the back of eased restrictions.
- You know my stance on posting Steve Rosenbloom’s brutally obvious trolling efforts – which is to say, I don’t – but he wrote something that, like, isn’t just baiting hostility. I know. I can barely believe it myself. The short version, albeit in Rosenbloom’s unique style, is the same as the Sun-Times editorial: if the Ricketts want to pay for the upgrades, give them to the leeway they need to generate extra revenue to pay for it.
- A profile on minor league pitcher, and former undrafted free agent, Matt Iannazzo.
- Carrie Muskat answers questions, noting that the Cubs’ interleague slate will be the AL East next year, which could make for some interesting series.
- Valentine’s Day dinner at new A-ball affiliate Kane County? Sure, why not.
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