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wallet cashIt’s a travel day for me, which means typical-ish posting, but I won’t be around as much in the comments/Twitter/Facebook. Be good.

I’m headed to Wrigley Field tonight for Social Media Night (I’ll be wearing my blue BN shirt and wearing my beautiful and distinctive blue and yellow kicks), and I hope to see/meet many of you there. I’ll also be at the game tomorrow (bleachers, right field corner near the LED board), and hanging at Casey Moran’s after the game. Join, say hello, and be merry.

  • Although the Cubs’ official release on the David DeJesus trade didn’t explicitly say that the deal was of the dreaded “for a player to be named later or cash” variety (the universal signal that the return is going to be akin to bupkis), it sounds like it was. And, according to Bruce Levine, the Cubs will indeed be receiving a “nominal amount” of cash for DeJesus. If you needed any further confirmation that the move was primarily dictated by the cost savings ($2.5 million), as well as peripheral benefits (roster limitations, seeing Bogusevic and Sweeney, etc.), there you have it.
  • Dale Sveum and Anthony Rizzo talk about the first baseman’s sophomore struggles. (Although this is technically his third year in the bigs (partial), it really does feel more like his second, yes?)
  • Speaking of Rizzo, he tells Mark Gonzales that DeJesus being traded “doesn’t make the best sense, but it’s a business.” He shares some additional thoughts on the trade and on the nature of the business of baseball. Interesting thoughts from Ryan Sweeney in that piece, too, on his eventual return to the outfield.
  • Starlin Castro said he wasn’t happy about batting 8th, but it doesn’t sound like he’s angry with Dale Sveum for the decision, per ESPN. Castro says he just has to stop thinking so much at the plate, and go back to the guy he was before – i.e., before the Cubs worked with him on his approach – and be more aggressive early in the count.
  • Tim Baffoe with an interesting read on brain development and Starlin Castro.
  • An analysis at FanGraphs agreed with my assessment of that Donnie Murphy non-check-swing-strikeout call the other day. It was the most egregiously bad umpiring of a day full of egregiously bad umpiring.
  • Nats President Mike Rizzo remains complimentary of the Cubs’ rebuilding efforts.
  • Former big leaguer Gabe Kapler offers a long, thoughtful take on PEDs.
  • I won’t be able to dig into it until tomorrow because of the travels, but you should check out this CCO transcript of a recent MLBN interview with Theo Epstein. In short, the good news is, with TV deal changes and the Wrigley renovation, Epstein is expecting payroll to eventually return to the 2011 levels ($140 million) and climb from there. The bad news is that the various city/neighborhood/alderman/rooftop delays in the renovation approval process has probably pushed construction back another year (meaning, the Cubs probably won’t be able to start construction until after next season – maybe Epstein is just playing the game, but it’s possible that we’ve really now reached that point).
  • http://Bleachernation Oliver

    Keep screwing around with the good hitters.
    Change every good hitter to mgmt way of thinking,
    Take 50 points off their average.

    Sure is working well ?

    • wilbur

      How do you know the decline was due to coaching “screwing up” his approach? I think the league figured him out and Castro has been unable to make adjustments or to accept coaching. Don’t you think he would go back to what he was doing before the league adjusted to him if he could? I don’t see any evidence he ever listened to any coaching anyway.

  • Kevin

    I agree Rizzo’s OPS is higher than Castro’s. Are you happy now?

  • cubmig

    “Castro says he just has to stop thinking so much at the plate, and go back to the guy he was before – i.e., before the Cubs worked with him on his approach – and be more aggressive early in the count.”

    BINGO. I agree. Castro has been hurt by the advice to “change” more than helped. He’s a “free swinger” whose swing is dictated by instincts rather than perception + thinking. Imo, reaction time suffers when one is wrestling with the mental-body shift distinctive to each. It will be interesting to see if Castro can “go back”.

    • wilbur

      Where is Corey Patterson playing right now? If Castro doesn’t make adjustements and accept coaching , he’ll be joining Patterson etc.

      • willis

        Holy crap, I’ve never thought I would compare him to Patterson, but it’s unfortunately starting to sniff that territory, minus the knee injury of course.

        It’s far from that debacle as of now, but man oh man, that’s a terrible thought.

        • itzscott

          Patterson?

          I’m thinking more along the lines of Jerome Walton.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Wilbur, why would a guy need to adjust as he was showing progression?

  • cub2014

    309 .290 .340 .294 .324 Walton’s batting
    average last 5 years as a sub.
    His only really bad year was his 3rd at
    .219

  • cub2014

    Jerome Walton and Dwight smith…..I think Junior
    Lake and Ryan Sweeney could end up having a
    career like those two. Both career .280ish hitters
    with very little power. Lake could end up with power
    and then he would become a factor.

  • Chad

    WAR is the metric that gets you closest to truly understanding a player’s value to the the team.

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    This is getting to funny on figuring Castro’s woes. “I’m thinking to much at the plate” Well buddy I guess that’s no excuse for you definitely do not think on defense. Considering again he is a very talented player on a very bad team since he came up. It would be hard to stay focused. He’s uneducated intellectually playing with a free spirit for the game. He will continued to need disciplined tactics to keep him focused. We will be winning in a couple years so it needs to start with Stalin if he wants to be part of it or not. Management will not wait for him any longer at that time.

  • James

    Castro interview with Gordon a bit more involved than just the above statement. Yes, he is just a kid from the hard streets of stick ball but he at least realizes it. Too many hitting coaches but he will play for a long time and survive the Rob Dibbles of baseball.

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    I am a Castro supporter, I really hope this is just one bad year. Yes he is fessing up to his mistakes, which really gives more reason to pay attention to him, hot or cold tactics what ever it takes to keep him focused. This just cannot happen when we are winning and he goes air head in a close game. Not to mention Rizzo and Barney, really? pick it up!

  • JonnyRed

    I fully support our rebuilding effort, but I wonder what will come of the $13M we saved from this year’s trade off and future savings next season? There have already been rumblings that we won’t be a big force in the FA this off-season, but I have to ask “why not?” Most expect our top prospects to arrive by 2015, so I think it would be the perfect time to sign Ellsbury to be the veteran face of the club. We need a leadoff hitter, he is a Theo guy and would still be in his prime as our young core develops. Unless the Cubs intend to lower ticket prices, they need to reinvest in the club where it makes sense.

    • DarthHater

      Every team sets ticket prices by employing competent MBAs who do market research and figure out what ticket price level will generate the most revenue. The fact that you – or even you and a lot of your friends – might be pissed off about the ticket prices doesn’t matter, unless there are enough of you that your staying home will reduce ticket revenue more than it would be reduced by lowering the prices. But if the team does not reduce the prices, that means there are enough other people who are still buying tickets to justify the current prices.

      • JonnyRed

        I certainly understand the market dynamics and if people still show up to Wrigley there is no way that Ricketts would lower prices and turn down the money. My point is that we are getting close enough that I’d like to see Theo/Jed reinvest the savings back into the club by landing Ellsbury this winter.

        While I remain committed and excited about the Cubs future, it’s become a joke how weak this team is right now. If I were a season ticket holder dropping thousands a year, I’d expect to see a half-way competitive team put on the field, not a lineup full of waiver wire castoffs.

  • Bert

    Honestly, if fans will pay our prices now to see Triple A veterans–what worries should the Ricketts have for the future–which can only be better.

    • DarthHater

      There, you see? You just mixed yourself a nice pitcher of Kool-Aid! ;-)

  • James

    What kind of a team do you have when it appears your most popular player and his wife end up as wavier castoffs. Something is just not right and investigative journalist Carrie Muksrat needs to get to the bottom of it.

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