Bad weekend for Chicago sports, eh? Feeling for the Bulls and Bears fans among you – more for the Bulls fans, obviously.
- Bruce Levine and Ben Finfer had Cubs GM Jed Hoyer on their new show for the Score this weekend, and it was a great listen. Hoyer talked about the coaching staff, an extension with Jeff Samardzija, targeting more pitching, and more. Finfer asked Hoyer, straight up, about the timeline issue – that is to say, are the Cubs really already planning to punt on 2015, when that was what many of us previously expected would be the first competitive year? Hoyer avoided a straight answer (if he’d given one, he was probably damned either way – “so you’re saying you’re giving up on 2014?” or “so you’re asking Cubs fans to wait another two years?”), but he generally rejected to concept of “going for it.” Instead, he suggested that the goal is to get to a place where you’re never “going for it,” you’re just good all the time, and supplementing as you need it (pretty much exactly what the Cardinals did this weekend).
- Hoyer also addressed the whispers of internally-imposed financial restrictions, and unequivocally said that he has not been frustrated by any lack of funds. Hoyer says payroll has come down, but that happened organically as the Cubs focused on accumulating young talent. The only frustration the front office has felt was the changes to the CBA when they first took the job with the Cubs, which dramatically inhibited their ability to quickly acquire young talent. That was just bad timing and bad luck (the only kind the Cubs ever seem to know).
- You can see a transcript of the interview here at the CCO (I can’t seem to find an audio file for those who like to listen (UPDATE: And BN’er Bobby in the comments is the man on the spot – here’s the interview if you’d like to listen)).
- Pitcher Brad Ziegler is pretty unhappy with the four-year, $53 million deal Jhonny Peralta just got from the Cardinals. In essence? He’s pissed that a player who was just suspended for PEDs is getting such a huge deal. Obviously Peralta served his time, but I think Ziegler isn’t arguing that the rules (to which the players agreed) are messed up. I think he’s saying there’s something inherently … icky about how Peralta’s deal (or pick your user) seems to reward cheating. Maybe that’s just me placing a personal gloss on Ziegler’s comment.
- Tony Andracki on the Cubs’ approach to accumulating power, with thoughts from Jason McLeod on Dan Vogelbach (yes, he has to keep working on the defense).
- Mike Olt, together with some other prospects from Connecticut around baseball, hosted a clinic for kids in Newtown, Connecticut.