f the goat cubsYou’ve got just a touch over a day left to sign up for the BN fantasy contest and start putting your team together. The contest – which is free, and includes $300 in cash prizes – starts with the Cubs game tomorrow, so get on it. (Full details here.)

  • So, some yahoo delivered a package addressed to Tom Ricketts to Wrigley Field, the contents of which included a severed goat head. This story is everywhere. I don’t find it particularly funny or compelling, and neither do I find joking about it to be particularly funny or compelling. I barely even wanted to include the story in a Bullet, because I don’t think someone who does this kind of thing deserves the attention he’s so desperately seeking. But, it happened, it’s sick, and now I’ve done my duty.
  • I keep losing the opportunity to write about this separately, so, rather than keep the tab open on my computer for another week, I’ll just include it here: Baseball Prospectus did its organizational rankings a little while ago, and, in agreement with some of the more recent rankings, they had the Cubs’ system 12th. It now looks like Keith Law’s number five ranking is no longer the high end of reasonable, and rather is the outlier in the rankings. Every other service has the Cubs in the 10 to 12 range, so that’s where I’d say the consensus believes they fall. Obviously, because of their youth and good draft position (as well as anticipated deadline deals), the Cubs are probably better poised to rapidly rise than most other systems, and could easily be in the top 5 next year.
  • Here’s video of that Theo Epstein interview with Dave Kaplan, which we discussed yesterday. I didn’t like the part where he casually seemed to lump next year in with this year when it comes to the crappiness of the big league performance. I think most of us are ready and willing to throw out 2013, but can we at least wait until next Spring before we judge 2014 too harshly?
  • Patrick Mooney on the future for Starlin Castro, and for Anthony Rizzo.
  • BN’er Justin passed on a very cool story about a fan with leukemia taking in every Brewers game last year, which was apropos of a conversation Sahadev and I had on the newest episode of the BN Podcast. It sounds like our estimates were pretty good, but the Brewers fan’s story is much better.
  • Michael Romano had a little fun with fans at Wrigley this week, gauging their thoughts on a solution to the rooftop problem: move the rooftops to Wrigley’s roof.
  • Dale Sveum decided not to shake up his rotation in light of last night’s postponement. Scott Feldman was set to start last night, so he’ll start today instead, and everyone else just gets pushed back a day.
  • Ron

    Has anyone seen a post from MG since the goat incident? I mean is he ok. I dont think anybody got to Korean Goat but I sure would miss MG’s posts.

    • MichiganGoat

      Bah – you can check my twitter feed to see what us goats are doing to protect ourselves. But Brett’s point of not giving this tool anymore press is the right move.

  • JoeyCollins

    Well i had Shark for the fantasy contest but i guess i’m in the market for a new SP.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      CRAP! Good call.

      • JoeyCollins

        Almost didn’t post that because i assumed everyone else did also. Decided to be a nice guy though. Good luck everyone.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Same here.

    • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

      Woops. Thanks for reminding me, I totally would have forgot.

  • Cubbie Blues

    My take on Epstein’s comments about next year sounded more to be about August September rather than the year as a whole.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Right: but August and September are only going to be miserable next year if the team is crappy again.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Not necessarily, we could have shown a marked improvement, but still be out of the play-off race. (Can you talk in the past tense when you are talking about the future?)

  • MichiganGoat

    Damn it Brett i see that picture why you got to be hatin on us goats.

  • Webb

    Doing my best Paul Sulivan cynicism impression (I’ll drop it next week), here’s the at-a-glance summary of the Cubs 2013 so far:

    The top prospect in the system has 4 hits, 1 walk and 11 Ks for a healthy .207 OBP

    The second best prospect wanted to kill someone last night and will probably sit out a week for it. Yellow flag for being bat-shit crazy (no pun intended)

    The third best prospect had a section of his arm removed and won’t play for weeks.

    The second best international free agent from 2012 can’t get into the country.

    The player everyone liked most because he was short, fast and otherwise wholly untallented was traded for a pair of DSL pitchers who barely have drivers licenses.

    Matt Garza and Scott Baker are having setbacks.

    Carlos Marmol has less trade value than the afore mentioned player without talent.

    A renovation agreement is no where in sight.

    Goat heads are being sent to the owners.

    “We got no food, no jobs… Our pets heads are falling off!”

    It might be time to move to Aspen.

    • mak

      erg. thats pretty much all true.

      • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

        Mmmm, California. Beautiful.
        I moved there 8 years ago and unfortunately the beer DOES flow like wine…Damn expensive.

  • Jp3

    I was fine with mailing in this season, I’m ok with us not being playoff bound next year. However if you’re telling me I have to get ready for another season of SUCK next year I’m not cool with it. 90 wins after this year is unacceptable as we’ve been in the celler 3 years with Theo at the helm. I’ll have my pitchfork ready in ST. This is a week FA class sure but there are other ways to improve your team, I live in Atlanta so I see the Braves be competitive every year.

    • CubFan Paul

      “The Plan” is going to take longer than promised? Shocker.

      I think the 2014 team has to at least look like a 85 win team going into camp or it’ll get ugly. The beat writers are pissed now that team sucks. Next year if Theo&Co tank the beat writers will strike.

      • BT

        What would we ever do without Sullivan and Wittenmeyer?

        • CubFan Paul

          Add Mooney. He’s not part of the theo herd.

          • hansman1982

            To lump Mooney with Sullivan and Wittenmeyer is wrong, just wrong.

      • Jp3

        I realize that it takes a while to build a powerhouse but let’s not pretend these guys are working with zero resources to expedite this process. The NFL is built for parody but the MLB is a different animal. If you’ve got the $$$ you can buy a winner while you’re waiting for your farm system to develop.

        • OlderStyle

          I think you mean the NFL is built for parity and the Cubs are built for parody.

          • DarthHater


            • OlderStyle

              Hard to resist the low hanging fruit…

  • scorecardpaul

    I hope this goat thing turns out to just be a stupid prank.
    Is it just coincidental that the original goat in the curse was named Murphy?
    Is it just a coincidence that Tom Rickets biggest pain in the ass right now is a rooftop and bar owner named Murphy?
    Is there more to this than just some random prank?

    • CubFan Paul

      It ain’t random

    • Spriggs

      Another one…the organization has never recovered from that devasting 3-game sweep at Jack Murphy Stadium.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        heh, that was devastating, true: but in the subsequent 26 years, the Cubs have made post-season 5 more times than they had the prior 38 years. So, it was closer to the start of something than to the end of anything.

        Now, was the black cat at Shea named Murphy? Murphy’s stout is black and has milk sugar in it, and we all know how much cats like milk; so, who wouldn’t name a black cat Murphy?

  • Boogens

    “I don’t find it particularly funny or compelling, and neither do I find joking about it to be particularly funny or compelling.”

    Agree 100%.

  • CUB5

    I love the old stories of things like the goat as they lend an air of mystique to the game, but this was tasteless. Until the Cubs win a WS, though that curse story will prevail. (I don’t believe in that stuff, but fun nonetheless.)

    More importantly than a goat’s head or Cubs WS – hats off to Ben for making 162 Brewers games! I wish him the best in regards to his battle with leukemia. Props to the sister for scheduling her own wedding until after the final game of the season.

  • Good Captain

    Hey has anyone seen my missing goat head anywhere lately?

    • DarthHater

      Have you tried looking in a mirror?

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    Hooray, bullets shoutout.

  • Chris

    Epstein casually lumping together the fate of the 2014 season with the inevitable fate of 2013 season is a cold, hard pill many optimistic Cubs fans (especially on this website) are going to have to swallow

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wouldn’t call it optimistic to say it shouldn’t have been a lock that the team would suck each of the three first years of the new administration. First year? Absolutely, never had a chance. Second year? Almost certainly, barring crazy luck or a terrible long-term approach. Third year? Seems kind of crazy to have an approach that necessarily assumes the team will be bad in the third year.

      Let’s just get through 2013 before we start planning on a 2014 tank job is all I’m saying. I’d like to think that Epstein was just speaking hypothetically. 2014 isn’t likely to be a playoff year – you won’t see me making that argument. But I’m not ready to call it a loser yet, either. That would be kind of insane.

  • Dumpgobbler

    I wonder if the head could throw some BP or maybe play 3rd?

  • Saving grace

    I totally agree with Theo lumping in next year with this year.
    I hope next year is the same and 2015 is the target year for things to come to fruition.

    2012 was Theo’s first year of rebuilding.
    He has stated the Cubs are rebuilding.
    So 2012,2013 and 2014 are just 3 years of rebuilding.
    With high draft picks in those 3 years and high international pool money or draft slots the Cubs will have a real foundation to work from.

    Rebuilding was what he said he wanted to do in Boston but was handcuffed because of the feeding the monster mentality.

    I hope we don’t feed the monster here until the foundation is layed.

    The days of real free agency are over it seems with lean classes coming up because all the teams have money now and are locking up their young core stars.

    I think real fans want this to be done right.
    And younger fans want instant gratification.
    In Boston where i live every team has won championships within the last 10 years.
    A whole generation is being raised with expectations that their teams always win.

    I want a sustained long run where the Cubs are competitive for years.
    I see free agency as a roster filler,not a solution to being competitive.

    As the young kids come up there will be growing pains also.

    Theo was gifted with a solid core in Boston and just had to fill in the pieces to win.

    Here he is the savior of a broken franchise which takes time

  • dan

    will someone tell me why why do I stay a Cub’s fan ?