Black Friday deals netted: Season Three of ‘The Walking Dead’ for $10, a new tennis racket for 50% off, and some kind of jumping thingy for the kids at a price I’m told is ridiculous. And, if this is any indication, the kids might need something new to play with.
- Apropos of yesterday’s season ticket renewal discussion (though I happen to know that Josh has been working on his article for a long time), Josh Noel writes for the Tribune about his difficult decision this year with respect to Cubs season tickets. He got the call, finally, after years of waiting, but the struggles of the team in recent years (and projecting in the immediate future) make his decision not the no-brainer he once thought it would be. It’s an interesting read from the perspective of someone wrestling with the decision. Pay big money now for what might be a rough product? Or risk falling off the list and not being able to get back up to the top for another 5 to 10 years?
- I am quoted in the piece (about 1% of what I said on the subject, but a writer can fit in only so much, and I’m pretty verbose), basically for the proposition that, yeah, it’s a tough decision for folks right now. As you could tell from my post yesterday, though, I definitely fall into the “it’s probably worth sucking it up and buying now, rather than falling off the list and then trying to get season tickets when the Cubs are good again (and it’ll be very difficult to get the tickets)” camp. Some folks gave me grief for that position – PR shill for the Cubs, free advertising, whatever – but it simply happens to be what I think. I am beholden to no one and nothing here beyond my own sense of fairness, honesty and transparency. The wisdom of buying season tickets now to avoid the risk of missing out in a couple years is just, like, my opinion, man.
- Mike Axisa on the “All Returns” team (i.e., the poor free agent signings last year), which naturally features Edwin Jackson. I still think we’re going to like the contract going forward (because the Cubs paid an $8 million signing bonus up front, Jackson is owed just $33 million over the next three years – a bargain), though. Good thing the Cubs didn’t also sign Jeff Keppinger, Mike Adams, Josh Hamiltons or B.J. Upton, who also make the list, and who were theoretical targets last year.
- Bruce Miles, writing for Vine Line, with a profile on Nate Schierholtz.
- The CCO includes, among other things, the transcript of a Darwin Barney interview on MLBN Radio. He says there’s no way he’s going to arbitration, because the sides have a good relationship, and they’ll be able to decide on a fair number. Monday is the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players, which Barney is for the first time this year. Although he’s been mentioned by some as a non-tender candidate, I really don’t see it, given the relatively modest sum he’ll make in arbitration this first go around ($1.5 to $2 million, in my estimation).
- Speaking of non-tenders, a Cubs official tells Peter Gammons that the team isn’t giving up on Daniel Bard after his disastrous stint in Puerto Rico (in winter ball there, he essentially could not throw any strikes over three appearances). They may not be giving up on him, but I can’t fathom the team using a 40-man roster spot and nearly $2 million on him by tendering him a contract on Monday. Best bet? The sides are already negotiating a deal that would avoid arbitration, and might even involve dropping him off of the 40-man roster.
- NotGraphs on Theo Epstein hearting recently-acquired back-up catcher George Kottaras.