carlos-zambrano-angry-batIf you missed it, you can un-miss it with haste: yesterday’s fresh episode of the BN Podcast.

  • Carlos Zambrano visited the Cubs yesterday, but Paul Sullivan reports that the Cubs say they have no interest in re-signing Zambrano. So much for the lulz.
  • (On the balance, it’s still probably for the best that Zambrano isn’t returning to the Cubs. Here’s what I wrote when the two sides finally parted ways a couple offseasons ago.)
  • Last night’s rainout could help the Cubs’ rotation a bit: Carlos Villanueva will go today, and push everyone else back a day. That will not only give everyone an extra day of rest, it will give Scott Feldman an extra day to get over the back issue that’s been bothering him.
  • I like Will Leitch’s work. I think he’s a fantastic writer, and he’a almost always interesting. That said, his latest at Sports on Earth is an alarmist column about the renovation plan at Wrigley Field that somehow uses the veil of applause for Wrigley as a vehicle to rip the Cubs and Cubs ownership. It reeks of someone who hasn’t actually been following the renovation storyline, but felt compelled to write something eyeball-grabby about it since the national media finally got around to paying the story some attention in the last week. I don’t expect Will to have the same kind of foundational knowledge about the ongoing saga that the Chicago media does, but if you’re going to write a “save Wrigley from the horrors of modernization” piece, you should probably mention the words “falling concrete” at least once. Otherwise, you look a touch biased.
  • Geovany Soto still thinks Wrigley Field is special, even if his teammates like to dump on it.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer notes that the starting rotation has been great for the Cubs. The problem has been literally every other aspect of the team.
  • The weather so far has been a real problem for the Cubs, according to Bruce Levine. If today’s game is rained out, the weather is going to be a real problem for MLB’s schedule-makers, too. I assume the Rangers would then have to come back to Wrigley for a double-header on a shared open date in the future. What a pain for them.
  • Jorge Soler, already done with his five-game suspension, is expected back in the lineup for Daytona today.
  • MichiganGoat

    This rainfest is causing MLB many problems, this is one of the problems with inter-league play. Tough to make up.

  • Bill

    Why schedule inter-league games in Apr, especially in Chi? It’s not like rain in Apr is an unusual thing.

    • bbmoney

      The Chicago scheduling is unfortunate. But there is an inter-league series going on every day as both leagues have 15 teams now.

    • HCS

      Or snow.

    • MichaelD

      The Cubs only play more than one home series against teams in their division. The weather would also be a problem if the Cubs were playing San Diego or Atlanta. Given that the White Sox are in the same city, it might actually be easier to make up games against an AL team than a non-divisional NL team.

  • Kyle

    I can think of a few good reasons to bash Ricketts over the renovations, but none were found in Leitch’s column. Sometimes, columnists need to accept the fact that the mere fact that they have a column is not a reason to weigh in on a specific issue. I had no reason to care about Will Leitch’s notable downstate Cardinals fan opinion on the subject before, and reading it did not change my mind.

  • Drew

    When are the Rangers scheduled to be at the Cell? Day/Night doubleheader against the Socks/Cubs.

    • Brett

      Ha – great deal for the Cubs and Sox. I’m in.

  • fortyonenorth

    I don’t think Leitch’s column was overly critical. He’s a Cardinal’s fan, for God’s sake, of course he doesn’t want the Cubs to increase revenue. I personally think JumboTron’s are cheesy and would rather not see one at Wrigley. Does anyone know how much annual revenue it can generate?

    • Brett

      Depends on who you ask. I’ve seen estimates as low as $5 million annually and as high as $35 million annually. The truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    Julio Borbon was placed on waivers yesterday. In your opinion, would he make sense for the Cubs?

    • @cubsfantroy

      Sign ALL the released players!

      I don’t have a meme for it…

    • Brett

      Writing about him in a Lukewarm Stove right now. I just don’t see the fit.

      • John (ibcnu2222)

        Borbon looks like a moneyball player. Gets on base and steals some bases. Sappelt has not done anything to warrant being on the team. I’d rather take a look at this guy if he is healthy.

        • Cedlandrum

          The problem I think Sappelt is facing is playing the role of coming off the bench. He doesn’t play for a days and then gets asked to take 4 abs, then sits again. I think people underestimate how tough of a trasition this can be.

          • Melrosepad

            Same reason I think Adrian Cardenas had issues last year. First taste of the big leagues and you get stuck doing pinch hit duty. If they did pick up Borbon it would allow Sappelt to go down and pick up steady playing time as he has a lot more upside than Darnell.

    • wvcubsfan

      Don Julio and Bourbon make perfect sense for this team

  • savant

    Brett, you should start putting up a weekly column.

    • Cubbie Blues

      He puts up weak columns daily.

      • Brett


    • Brett

      I want to write more column-type things, but I don’t have the time right now. My focus is the daily coverage, and that more than fills my time. Someday …

      • wvcubsfan

        So you really want to switch from informing all of your readers and friends about things that matter to rambling about pet peeves of yours that no one cares about?

        • Brett


          • wvcubsfan

            /s (forgot that)

        • cubzfan

          There are good and bad columns. Opining on the events of the week would probably not add much to the site, but more in-depth analysis of players, statistics, Cub history, or even other teams (as they affect the Cubs) could be nice. Brett does a good job of not riding personal hobbyhorses in his daily recaps, and I’d expect the same inclusive approach to more sporadic, and longer columns.

          • Brett

            For an example of the kind of thing I would like to have more time to write, the Zambrano piece I linked above is the kind of thing I’m talking about.

      • Ash

        One thing I thought might be useful, is a Top 5 story line, with a link back to an original post. I can’t count the number of times I find something out, only to see that you wrote about it 4 or 5 posts before. I try to catch them all, but work and kids repeatedly get in the way!

        • Brett

          I’ve thought about doing that on, like, Fridays – top stories from the week. Something like that. Some people would love it, and some people would find it annoying clutter.

  • Jacob

    Need to know for my fantasy lineup… Chances the game is played tonight?

    • cubzfan

      It’s possible they’ll play tonight…since the game is at 1:20 and will almost assuredly be delayed, if not cancelled. Seriously, though, take Cubs off your team now because it’s a day game and the software won’t let you do it later.

      • Brett


        • Jacob

          Well the only one I have is Starlin, and as of right now he’s out. I just didn’t know if I should slot him back in or not.

      • Mak

        Can’t see how they play today — it has been pouring for 15 hours straight here with no signs of letting up. Can’t see how’d they play even if it stopped now.

  • Mak

    As a few of you have mentioned, Leitch is a notes Cards fan. Won’t pay much attention to anything he says about the cubs.

  • North Side Irish

    I generally like Leitch, but he clearly came in at the end of this story. He focuses more on the impact to the neighborhood, the rooftop owners, and the in park fan. He mostly ignores the upgrades to the stadium’s infrastructure and player amenities. More importantly, he harps on the Ricketts family wanting a tax break rather than the fact that very little tax payer money is being spent.

    Maury Brown wrote a much fairer article about the renovations today for Biz of Baseball. He focuses more on how the changes to player facilities should help player preparation and how the renovations should help improve the fan experiences. He also praises the Cubs for spending their own money rather than using tax payer money like the Marlins and Nationals did. Definitely a less biased version that Leitch’s.

  • cubchymyst

    Looked it up because I was curious, but apparently 6 games have already been postponed due to weather this season and probably more will be today. The lack of spring has been messing with a lot of games.

  • Grant

    I posted a response to Leitch. Without looking at names, see if you can guess which one is mine.