theo epstein thinkingIt’s birthday party day around the Taylor household. Although today isn’t technically The Little Girl’s second birthday – that’s later this week – it’s the party day. I’m happy for her, but I’m at least as happy about the taco bar and the giant cake. This “having kids” thing has its perks.

  • In the interests of buttoning up Curt Schilling’s mouth that Curt Schilling PED story, MLB released a statement about what happened back in 2008 with the Red Sox, when Schilling says a member of the organization suggested he try PEDs to extend his career: “At the time of the incident in question in 2008, the Boston Red Sox immediately reported the allegations to Major League Baseball as required by our investigative protocols. Once the Red Sox reported the matter, Major League Baseball assumed sole responsibility for the investigation. The Club handled the matter consistent with all MLB rules and requirements and in a manner that was above reproach. Major League Baseball thoroughly investigated the allegations and considers the matter closed.” The person reporting the matter to MLB was Theo Epstein, then the GM of the Red Sox, so you can read this statement as a compliment of how Epstein handled the situation. Once he turned it over to MLB, they took over the investigation (which is why others in the Red Sox organization didn’t know much about it), and seem to have determined it was mostly molehills.
  • Carrie Muskat says basically every pitcher is already in Cubs’ camp, together with a huge number of positional players. Some guys aren’t there yet for travel/work visa related reasons, but it’s great to see so much enthusiasm.


  • Keith Law spoke to Waddle and Silvy, the audio of which is available here, and Law says there are reasons to separate Javier Baez from the Felix Pie’s and Corey Patterson’s of the past. He has unbelievable raw power and has a chance to stay in the middle infield, which separates him from the former two uber-hyped Cubs prospects. The farm system is in good shape in position players, Law says, but there isn’t much pitching close to the majors. Law say Juan Paniagua has an unbelievable arm – top 10 in the draft kind of arm – but he’s a few years away. Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn, and on and on – Law says he could list a bunch of super young arms that he really likes. They’re just really far away.
  • If you’ve got a drink handy and 20 minutes to kill, here’s a long-form piece on where Mark Prior is today, and where he was in the past. Every time I see the words “pitch count” appear, I cringe. And, as they should have in his career, the words come up a lot. The piece also includes a recounting of the first time Prior watched Game Six on TV. He regards the hanging curve to Ivan Rodriguez as the biggest disappointment from the ill-fated 8th inning.
  • Dave Cameron continues to kill over at FanGraphs, this time writing about signing homegrown superstars to massive extensions (a la Felix Hernandez), and the “frictional costs” associated with constantly selling them off instead.


  • Bernie Pleskoff scouts Javier Baez, and comes away impressed.
  • Jesse Rogers held his first chat as the Cubs’ beat guy at ESPN Chicago, and he does things … differently than Bruce Levine or Doug Padilla. Setting aside the text-speak and casual grammar, I just didn’t think there was a whole lot of insight. I’m not into ripping a guy just to rip him – especially the beat writers, because I really do believe they have a tough job and generally do it well – but let’s hope Jesse was just getting his footing.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer offers a Spring Training primer piece, with some stats and dates.
  • We’re getting a very good reception on our BN Podcast this week, which featured Cubs prospecting time with Baseball Prospectus’s Jason Parks. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I’m told you should.

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