javier baez aflBy the time The Little Girl was the age that The Little Boy is now (just about seven months), I had taken her to the doctor a half dozen times or more for non-routine visits. Nothing serious, mind you, but she had constant ear infections, terrible reflux, and inordinately sensitive skin. This morning, I’ll be taking The Little Boy to the doctor for the first time for a non-routine visit – again, nothing serious. I’ve taken The Little Girl to the doctor more since The Little Boy was born than The Little Boy, himself. It’s just funny. They really do come in all shapes and sizes.

  • Jim Callis says that, although the Astros have the best farm system in baseball (over the Twins and Cubs, it would seem), the Cubs are the last place team in the best position to turn things around and compete soon. His rationale includes not only the organization’s robust farm system, but also because, in his opinion, the Cubs are the most desirable destination of the last place teams for free agents, and the Cubs will have more spending ability (when the time is right) over the other five last place teams (Houston, Colorado, Miami, Toronto, Chicago White Sox). I think that’s probably right, but it’s obviously a limited pool of teams to be compared against. Callis confirms, by the way, that he believes no team has a better foursome of positional prospects than the Cubs.
  • The Cubs are better at watching clinching parties than any other team out there. They’ve already watched the Pirates and Braves celebrate (on consecutive days), and now they’re highly likely to watch the Cardinals do the same thing in St. Louis. The Cardinals are making the playoffs for the 11th time in 18 years. Jealous? Jealous.
  • Can changing a team’s logo actually help them win? A Time article kinda says yes, even if anecdotally (and in a piece ravaged by sports cliches). The classic “C” for the Cubs can never go away – don’t you do it – but maybe some other change is due. The problem is that a cub, by definition, is the weakest, most harmless form of a bear. Well, except maybe the zygote. “The 2014 Cubs: Fiercer Than A Zygote!”
  • Jon Greenberg writes about Old Style’s efforts to stay at Wrigley Field in light of the Budweiser marketing deal (which will see Anheuser-Busch become the sole beer sponsor of the Cubs, and will pay the Cubs $14 million annually, according to Greenberg). You may have noticed that I haven’t said much about the Old Style thing. That’s mostly because, as Cubs VP of Communications and Community Affairs Julian Green reiterates in the piece, Old Style hasn’t yet been excluded from the beer offerings going forward at Wrigley. That’s up to the park’s concession company, and there are indications that there will still be Old Style available in some capacity at Wrigley next year.
  • Carrie Muskat on Hector Rondon, Logan Watkins, and J.C. Boscan. I don’t quite get the connection between the three, but they make for interesting reads nonetheless.
  • ssckelley

    The Boscan bit was a great read. He sounds like a great guy to have in the organization working with the young pitchers.

  • Eric

    At this point, I stand to be the next member of my family to die without ever seeing the Cubs win the World Series. If I can avoid that by changing the iconic “C” or hell, even changing the team name to something more fierce, then by golly I’m all for it. Some of your traditionalists really have your priorities wrong (I’m my humble opinion).

    Chicago Grizzlies? Chicago Black Bears? Whatever. Just give me a World Series for the love of Pete.

    • Spriggs

      I think working to improve the team’s OBP would be time better spent than working on their nickname. But… we already have the walking bear logo, so how about that? The Chicago Walking Bears.

      • mr.mac

        The Chicago Walking Bears is too close to The Chicago Walking Dead which is possibly what we’ve been watching on the field for the last 5 years.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I don’t know that there’s any name change I would support … but The Chicago Zombies would be sweet. (For all serious, and ironic, reasons.)

          • cubsin

            Great minds think alike. I was going to suggest the Zombie Vampires. The way youngsters flock to see those movies, maybe that name would fill more seats.

          • mr.mac

            I would support the Chicago Zombies, for sure. Just think of the appareal possibilities.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              And “Ears Optional Night” would be a huge draw.

          • C. Steadman

            Zombies would be cool

    • C. Steadman

      i’d rather be a Cub than a Cardinal, Blue Jay, Oriole, or Padre(a monk i think based on their old logo)

      • MichiganGoat

        Or a farking Sock… How menacing can a Sox really be?

        • Wilbur

          If it came from my former father in law’s foot? Very!

        • Eric

          The only thing to note here is that the White Sox did experience a revenue burst when they changed their color scheme to black and white and their logo. That could be beneficial for the Cubs for sure.

  • Senor Cub

    $14M for Bud, maybe they can squeeze $20M a year for the rights. That’s a really, really good pitcher a year.

  • I love marmol


  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    What we should do is modernize the unis worn back in 1908. Number 1, it’d look awesome. Number 2, why not?

  • The Dude Abides

    Unfortunately when the Cubs decide they want to spend on free agents they won’t be competing against the last place teams listed they will be going up against the top tier teams if the player is desirable. Big difference…

  • cms0101

    Brett, can we expect a write-up on the young Cuban pitcher that just defected? He feels like the kind of prospect the Cubs should be all over, once he’s declared a free agent.

    • CubFan Paul


      • X The Cubs Fan

        Raciel Iglesias

    • Nick Nesler

      5’11” 165 is a pretty small frame but a good arm is a good arm.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’ll make it into a Lukewarm Stove later today.

  • Greg

    I hope this leads to a vastly superior beer selection

  • Jono

    I like the idea of changing the logo. Anything to seperate themselves from the past and move on to the future. I’ve also never liked the bullseye, target look. Get rid of that blue circle. It’s terrible. Get an image of a cub in there, maybe doing a pull up on the C

  • Cubbie Blues

    “The problem is that a cub, by definition, is the weakest, most harmless form of a bear.”
    You try having your tit sucked on by a cub and tell me it doesn’t hurt.

    Or, you can look at what they were actually named after and wouldn’t a rookie beat writer be a little hungrier than the wily vets and work a little harder?

    • Eric

      I’m all for changing the name back to the Chicago Colts if that’s what you’re aiming at. Definitely not the Orphans though.

  • Jono

    oh, better idea. Change the logo to a cub’s head with a red feather sticking out of its mouth….while doing a pull up on the C, of course

  • Tony

    All this talk about no renovations and not spending…I feel like a farmer waiting for his crop to sprout up. Every year we have horrible weather and nothing ever happens. Until they renovate Wrigley which is a dump in terms of players facilities, they will also be a bottom feeder. I say Ricketts should sell the team or move it to Rosemont.

    BTW-Who the hell would we joke about at the end of the season? The Cubs just have been a doormat for years. These jokes never get old…

    Things that have happened since the Cubs last won their last WS…it’s funny just because.

    1. Radio was invented; Cub fans got to hear their team lose.
    2. TV was invented; Cub fans got to see their team lose.
    3. Baseball added 14 teams; Cub fans got to see AND hear their team lose to more teams.
    4. George Burns celebrated his 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th and 100th birthdays.
    5. Haley’s Comet passed Earth… twice.
    6. Harry Caray was born… and died. Incredible, but true.
    7. The NBA, NHL and NFL were formed, and Chicago teams won championships in each league.
    8. Man landed on the moon, as have several home runs given up by Cubs pitchers.
    9. Sixteen US presidents were elected.
    10. There were 11 amendments added to the Constitution.
    11. Prohibition was created, and repealed.
    12. The Titanic was built, set sail, sank, was discovered, and became the subject of major motion pictures… the latter giving Cub fans hope that something that finishes on the bottom can come out on top.
    13. Wrigley Field was built and becomes the oldest park in the National League.
    14.Flag poles were erected on Wrigley Field roof to hold all of the team’s future World Series pennants. Those flag poles have since rusted and been taken down.
    15. A combination of 40 summer & winter Olympics have been held.
    16. Thirteen baseball players have won the Triple Crown; several thanked Cubs pitchers.
    17. Bell bottoms came in style, went out of style, and came back in style.
    18. The Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Florida Marlins have ALL won the World Series.
    19. The Cubs played 14,153 regular-season games; they lost the majority of them.
    20. Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and New Mexico were added to the Union.

    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      Also, the last time we won a World Series, the Ottoman Empire was, well, still an Empire.

      • college_of_coaches


        • Justin

          As hilarious as all those jokes are, I find myself instinctively getting mad reading them. Just imagining some asshole STL fan say it

    • Wilbur

      It is funny … well done.

      Also enjoyed the subsequent Ottoman Empire reference …

    • Funn Dave

      I found #s 7 and 8 to be particularly funny.

  • Tony

    The lowest of lows…in the last 2 years the Cubs have set franchise records for most road losses and home losses. It doesn’t get any worse than that. Working in Michigan the environment is complete torture this time of the year. Gut wrenching…

  • stevie

    i too would like a write up on the cuban pitcher that just defected. Is he a guy that can be signed and plugged into the rotation, or is he like Soler that had to go to the minors to develop. Either way I really would love to see us ink that cuban kid, if he’s any good, and add another promising arm to the organization. The Japanese pitch would be nice, however I think it’s gonna be an extremely high posting, and I just don’t see us making it thru the of the teams will be posting big number just for the right to negotiate with him.

    • cms0101

      The little I’ve read about him, I think he’ll need a little time in the minors before making it to the big club. I wouldn’t count them out on Tanaka. I know the budget has been a big concern for everyone this season, but they’ve shaved off so much money from the payroll the last couple of years, only adding Jackson for big dollars, that they will have money to spend on one big guy like that. Tanaka is young and major league ready, plus he won’t cost draft compensation. He’s the perfect target. The Cuban pitcher would require less, but still a nice sized contract. I could see a scenario they could go after both, but that would relegate them to buy-low free agent signings to fill the rest of the team. I’d be fine with that approach, so I’m hopeful they do chase both.

  • DarthHater

    What could be fiercer than this?


    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      I do remember there being rumors of the Cubs thinking about a new mascot…

    • Cubbie Blues

      This would be a little more apropo.


      • hansman1982

        Every time I see apropo or apropos I have a feeling the writer is being lazy and feels smug about being lazy.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Your insight is startlingly (if not surprisingly) impressive.

          • MichiganGoat

            Hey your bag of snark was revoked buddy

            • Cubbie Blues

              I have a whole other bag where that one came from.

  • MichaelD

    Interesting in the Callis link that the three teams they mentioned were the three that were rebuilding No one mentioned the three that were attempting to compete. If the question is who is most likely to compete next year, I would probably go with either the Blue Jays or Rockies as a a bounce back option (the White Sox probably have real problems).

  • AA Correspondent

    Old Style beer is a right of passage for Wrigley. My first trip last weekend was made even better with the introduction and consumption of Old Style!! Loved it.

    • MichiganGoat

      Agreed (even if it is a bad beer anywhere else but there is something magically that happens the closer it is to Wrigley) and when I first heard about the AB InBev partnership I thought it was an exclusive contract not just a naming partnership. Glad that Old Style will still be an option.

  • cavemencubbie

    For all the sabermath guru’s on this site, the one variable that has not changed in the past 100+ years of futility, has been Wrigley Field. We have had different owners, different managers, different beers (anyone remember the land of sky blue waters?), and different logo’s. Wrigley, unlike Fenway, is in a residential neighborhood with Chicago graft. The footprint of Wrigley cannot be changed without agreement from the politicians and the intellectual neanderthals of wrigleyville. For years while the rest of baseball had night games the cubbies couldn’t. I maintain the cubbies will not win, until they leave the ‘friendly confines’, no matter who they have playing, managing, beer or owners.

    Wrigley plays different during the season almost requiring two different teams. The player facilities are crap. Meanwhile, we ‘fans’ masturbate our minds with what beer is being served, changing managers and logo’s and keeping an ancient scoreboard. Well let’s change the logo to the KC Cubs, or the Arlington Heights Cubs or the Rosemont Cubs and turn Wrigley into a parking lot. The neighborhood needs more parking! Maybe the roof toppers can sell suds to people, who will get their joilies by watching cars being parked. We need a new ball park with modern player and customer facilities!

    Sorry for the rant. Just the end of another shitty season.

    • MichiganGoat

      The question of Wrigley is regularly debated and discussed on this site. And we have regularly discussed the impact day games have on the team which is directly related to stats. You can sort any stat by day/night games.

  • jt

    The Cubs have 3 good young position players on the ML roster. They have have 2 SP’ers capable of being at least of #2 quality and a 3rd of being a good #4. They have a least a few quality BP arms ready for ML service. They have a few players capable of being very good bench players. They also have 3 players nearing the level of being classed as ML ready who are scouted as being top prospects. They have 2 other players who are not quite as close to being ML ready but are not that far away.
    A MLB roster has 25 slots. Do the math. That is why The Cubs are in the best position to make the quantum leap from bad to good.

    • Cub Style

      We have two #2 caliber pitchers?

  • CubChymyst

    Anyone else that Cuba is going to start allowing its player to play internationally? Not sure what it means for Cubans to play in the US with the embargo an all, but it is a new wrinkle which could allow Cubans to defect easier.

  • North Side Irish

    BA released their Top 20 Northwest League prospects today and the Cubs had six players on the list, including Kris Bryant at #1. Of course they also posted the Top 20 from five years ago and Josh Vitters was #1, so obviously making the list offers no guarantees…

  • cubzforlife

    I feel the need to defend the Cubs clubhouse. It is not a “dump”. Small, yes. The workout area is also small. Take the Wrigley tour and you’ll see how nice and shiny all the stuff is. The hangout room across the hall has big screens and all the video games the youngsters play. Free agents sign for money not fancy clubhouses.

  • Cubbies4Life

    “…there are indications that there will still be Old Style available in some capacity at Wrigley next year.” Best news I’ve heard since the last bad news I’ve heard. Love the Old Style!

  • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

    Sadly, oldstyle is as good as gone. They won’t be able to offer same compensation that Budweiser will in terms of sponsorship.

    • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

      The Cubs VP of Communications was just doing lip service on the oldstyle situation. The Cubs will go with Budweiser bc it’s the best financial situation.

      • MichiganGoat

        The vendors and concession companies will decide what beer to serve, the deal is for advertising rights only.

        • Funn Dave

          True but Old Style will have less incentive to stay if they can’t advertise.

  • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

    Rumor: Peter Gammons reports, that Brad Ausmus will replace Dale Sveum as the Cubs manager. Very interesting. He’d be great for young players developing but I’m not sure he is experienced enough from a managing stand point. He’s currently with the padres right now and actually was interviewed by the Red Sox for their managing position last year. He’d be great with handling the media as well.

  • Kev

    As far as that whole logo thing goes, if there were ever a great example of Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc reasoning, that would certainly be it.

  • Funn Dave

    Ugh, if Budweiser trumps Old Style at Wrigley I will dislike them even more. Fun fact: Budweiser has been engaged in various legal battles for over one hundred years over the name Budweiser. The name comes from I believe the Czech Republic, where it is legally registered etc. They are already banned from selling their product under the name Budweiser in the European Union and, given the fact that they stole a regional beer name outright and repurposed it for a greedy worldwide company, shouldn’t be selling it uner that name anywhere, IMO.

    Also, their beer tastes terrible.

    • Funn Dave

      Then again, so does Old Style.

  • Funn Dave

    Let’s go back to being the White Stockings. Those dumb Sox fans won’t know whom to watch!

  • Tommy

    Thank goodness Old Style will still be available.

  • LER

    How often has Pete Gammons been right (even about the Red Sox)?