Don’t forget: today is the last day to take advantage of the 20% off deal at the BN apparel shop. Use the code “EARLY20” when you check out, and you’ll get 20% off of everything. And then wear your BN shirt everywhere, and tell everyone you meet that it’s your favorite shirt. And then buy hamburgers for them.
- Robert Feder reports that WGN has compiled a list of nine candidates for the open radio color position (since Keith Moreland’s departure), eight of which are former Cubs players: Rick Sutcliffe, Kerry Wood, Todd Hollandsworth, Mark DeRosa, Ryan Theriot, Eric Karros, Doug Glanville and Dave Otto. The ninth named candidate is Andy Masur, who previously broadcast with WGN before leaving to announce for the Padres.
- There are no surprises on the list outside of Theriot (and DeRosa, who’s actually under contract with the Blue Jays next year), but it’s hard to see most of these guys willing to take a relatively grueling radio gig. On the bright side, Feder says WGN – presumably with the Cubs’ authorization – will be able to sign the candidate to a deal that lasts beyond 2014, even though that’s when the Cubs’ radio deal with WGN might end (Feder says the person would simply be carried over to the new station). I’m not sure how that would work, practically, given that any station acquiring the rights to Cubs games is going to want to pick their own guy (of course, if the guy is a fit with Pat Hughes, no one would argue). Maybe the Cubs are agreeing to backstop the signing? As in, they’ll pay to cover the rest of the guy’s contract if the Cubs leave WGN and the new station wants to fire the color guy? Or maybe the Cubs would make the new radio deal conditional on accepting the color guy? The Cubs do have input on the hiring decision, so either could make some sense. In any case, who do you like from the list of candidates?
- At the GM Meetings, Jed Hoyer told the media (e.g., ESPN) that an announcement on the coaching staff would come all at once (boo for reducing the news!), and it could come soon. He added that the hitting coach was likely to come from outside the organization.
- A reminder that the negotiations to re-up with WGN on the TV side might not be so easy: the Tribune Company reported a decline in revenue from their broadcast division thanks to “significantly lower ratings” for their baseball broadcasts.
- Scarborough Research attempted to quantify what percentage of Chicagoans were fans of each of the local teams. You’ll have to read this Crain’s piece for the methodology, but if I could try to simplify the conclusions: the Bears were on top, with 58% of Chicagoans being fans; the Cubs were next at 45%; then the Bulls at 42%; then the Blackhawks at 39%; the White Sox were at 38%.
- The Mesa Solar Sox won yesterday thanks to a huge game from Albert Almora (3-4 with a double, plus a sliding catch) and he gets some special love here. Almora – at 19, and the second-youngest player in the league – is hitting .318/.357/.515. That’s such an Almora line. I love it.
- Dallas Beeler started that game and threw five scoreless innings, allowing five hits and no walks. He struck out two. Kris Bryant went 2-3 with two doubles and two walks (ho hum).
- Jose Fernandez won the NL’s Rookie of the Year award, and Wil Myers took it home in the AL. Each wasn’t a particularly close contest, nor should they have been. Myers’ emergence, in particular, is notable: think the Royals wouldn’t mind still having him around? He’ll be in Tampa now for five more years at least, and James Shields will be a free agent after this season.
- Jacoby Ellsbury is the Carl Crawford of free agency. Great piece by David Schoenfield.
- MLB and MTV are partnering up for some kind of bullshit. (I kid, of course, because trying to capture a younger demographic should be a heavy focus of MLB for its long-term viability. Illustrating the divide between the organizations, though? Both of the player quotes in the press release talk about how much they’re into music. Cool. But what does that have to do with MTV?)
- Random note: we had over 800(!) comments yesterday on the site, and I’m reminded that this place is going to be rocking over the next couple months. You are reminded to speak thoughtfully and kindly, and to ignore people who are simply here to stir up trouble. Those types expose themselves very quickly, and, time and time again, it has been proven that the only way to deal with them is to not respond.