The Wife’s dad is in town to visit the grandkids, and there’s a bit of divide-and-conquer going on, with he and The Wife taking The Little Girl to the zoo. Which is fine, because I like my time with The Little Boy. But I also like the zoo. That’s where all the animals are.
- Some of the local writers focused on an odd bit of Joe Posnanski’s long, interesting, effective piece on Theo Epstein. In the piece, Epstein shared an anecdote about Jeff Samardzija coming to the new guys, including Dale Sveum, soon after they took the reins, trying to convince them to let him become a starter. As part of that anecdote, Epstein told Posnanski that Samardzija said, “I will do whatever it takes to help this team. And I think the best way to help this team is by being a starting pitcher. I’m eliminating everything in my life that gets in the way. I’m dumping my girlfriend. I’m moving to Arizona. I just want the chance to show you that I’m a starting pitcher.” For whatever reason, the focus became that girlfriend part. As Paul Sullivan put it, “Samardzija was forced to clarify a story told by president Theo Epstein that he got rid of a girlfriend in order to commit to making the Cubs’ rotation.” I really don’t see how he was “forced” to clarify anything, especially not a fluffy bit of ephemera, but Samardzija explained that he’d actually broken up with his girlfriend six or seven months before that meeting with Sveum, but doesn’t say that he never mentioned the ex-girlfriend to Sveum or Epstein. So, what does that leave us with? Samardzija probably told Sveum/Epstein that he’d dumped his girlfriend (meaning months before as he started to focus on his baseball future), and Epstein misremembered that – or was just speaking colloquially – as “I’m dumping my girlfriend.” Why am I even writing about this? It’s late March? Oh. It’s late March.
- Phil Rogers also wrote about the Posnanski piece, highlighting some of Theo’s more interesting quotes. But he preambled that bit with this: “Joe Posnanski has gone from the Kansas City Star to Sports Illustrated, then to the start-up Sports On Earth website and now to NBC Sports, all since 2009. It’s clear he has talent in his field and has learned a lot about the business side of things. He’s writing a weekly Friday column as part of his new gig and is tackling the subject of Theo Epstein and the Cubs today. You’d be foolish to miss it if you care about the North Siders, although don’t tackle it until you’ve got some free time. Joe is not a tight writer, and the cost of cyberspace is still very low. The piece runs about 3,450 words, by my computer’s count, which means that with a few photos you could easily fill a wide open newspaper page with it. Impressive.” I really can’t tell: is Phil ripping Posnanski? Is he annoyed by the ascent? Is it a dead-trees-versus-the-Internet thing? Also – “Joe is not a tight writer” … well, I mean, duh? The expansive, flowery, filled-out language is kind of the point.
- Rick Morrissey does his part in trying to make a move out of Wrigley Field appear more realistic, which is fine with me. The more realistic a move seems – even if I can’t quite believe it (at least not until the April 1 deadline, and even then … ), it’s good for the Cubs if there’s at least a little collar tugging in Chicago and Wrigleyville.
- Aramis Ramirez says it wouldn’t have made sense for the Cubs to re-sign him when he became a free agent before the 2012 season. “It would have made no sense for them to re-sign me long-term,” Ramirez told Gordon Wittenmyer. “They’re doing what they have to do. They’re going young. And they’re paying the price. They lost 100 games last year, and that’s what happens when you’re trying to rebuild. But you’ve got to start over at some point. Obviously, what we were doing wasn’t working.”
- Kane County’s blog has been doing a “Meet the Cubs” audio series, and this week they had an interview with Cubs Director of Player Development, Brandon Hyde.
Carlos Villanueva, who had a great start yesterday against the Brewers, puts things as optimistically as possible. “I think it’s a good thing, because I think we’re ready to compete,” Villanueva said, per the Tribune. “It’s easy to say. If you ask me the question ‘Are you going to compete?’ I’m not going to say ‘No, we’re going to be in last place.’ But it’s one thing saying it, and one thing believing it. I really think that we do have a chance. There’s been a lot said about if we get to the All-Star break and we’re not winning we’re going to have a fire sale. We hear that. I don’t want to hear that, and that’s why I signed here for more than one year, because I don’t want that to happen. I’m not old, but I’m not young. So for me … I’m a veteran guy now and I want to win. I had a couple other choices where I could’ve been, and I chose here because I believe in what they’re doing. So hopefully I’m right about that as we can surprise a lot of people.” If you last until 2014, Carlos, I think you could be right. But 2013? I think we’re all going to need some more patience.