starlin-castro-batBest Christmas song? Even if you’re not into Christmas, you can dig the music. I’ve always been partial to ‘The Christmas Song’ (preferably the Nat King Cole version) and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ (The Carpenters).

  • Rick Renteria met with the media yesterday at the Winter Meetings and discussed, among other things, the plan for Starlin Castro and the leadoff spot. Notably, there isn’t yet a plan: “I know over the course of his career Starlin has led off quite a bit and has some significantly decent numbers in that spot, but as we put together the club … we’ll see where we’re at with that.” (ESPNChicago) That’s the right attitude to have in December, given that you don’t even know what the roster is going to look like just yet. Given that 2014 is probably going to be more about development than success, you just want to see the Cubs putting Castro in whatever position best allows him to be comfortable. If that’s the leadoff spot and there is no clearly better option? Fine. Go with it. If it’s batting 8th? Go with that.
  • Relievers are sometimes able to come back from Tommy John surgery more quickly than starters, so it’s encouraging to hear Carrie Muskat noting, after speaking with Jed Hoyer and RR, that Kyuji Fujikawa could be ready to go in May. That’s the very early end of the timeline, though.
  • Muskat’s notes also include an expanded quote from Jed Hoyer on why the Cubs might pick up more than one starting pitcher this offseason – it’s the expected mix of attrition, injury, bullpen usage, (and I’d add trades).
  • As I wrote yesterday, the Cubs will hopefully get final re-approval on the Wrigley Field renovation plan today from City Council, and we’ll hopefully learn more about the expected timeline and discussions with the rooftop organizations. If Tom Ricketts was simply waiting for the legislative approval before opening up, he didn’t let on when the media asked him questions last night in Orlando. You can see Patrick Mooney’s piece, but the gist was a protracted “we’re working on it, we don’t know when things will be finalized, no comment.” We know the Cubs want to get it done, and we know that they’re not just going to sit on their collective hands. Hopefully the reason for silence is that speaking out could disrupt a possible deal.
  • David Bell dusted himself off from losing his job as the Cubs’ third base coach, and is now the assistant hitting coach with the Cardinals.
  • The Days of Cubs Christmas contest continues over at the Message Board.
  • Hopefully you’ve made BN’s Bears Page a regular part of your perusing rotation, but if not, here’s a nudge to check out this morning’s Bears Bullets.
  • waffle

    the Roches have a great christmas album.

    Love “have yourself a merry little x-mas” but it always makes me tear up a bit.

    How many more days of winter meetings fun-ness?

    • wilbur

      Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ (The Carpenters). is good karen carpenter was a transcendent talent. If she was a baseball player they would have invented her own metric. But, I like silver bells, a good shopping song.

  • waffle

    roches – We Three Kings

  • jmc

    We have been told over and over that the baseball end is intertwined with the business end. So until they get more revenue apparently they won’t spend what needs to be spent to field a team that can compete with the Cardinals. Every year that they tank however they must know their fanbase shrinks if they can see their attendance and tv viewers dropping the last few years. So their revenue shrinks. I’ m guessing that their future revenue streams, in park ads and tv contracts have a lesser value than if the team was winning. Seems like and a rock and a hard place.

  • jmc

    Roches-Hallelujah Chorus

    • Edwin

      I do love me some Messiah. Nutcracker is nice too.

  • wilbur

    I don’t care where they bat Castro as long as he hits and keeps his head in the game. He is fairly versatile and can bat in many spots in a lineup, which would be of greater value on a winning team.

    We know the Cubs want to get it done, and we know that they’re not just going to sit on their collective hands. Hopefully the reason for silence is that speaking out could disrupt a possible deal. If that is true then gordon mittenminder is doing his best to muddy the water, the last cubs article he did was a laundry list of all the negativity his articles have covered for years. He must be the white sox fans favorite cubs beat reporter, he rips them every chance he gets. Hard to understand how the suntimes keeps him doing this,except his editor is the same way.

    As long as the cubs are redoing their plan approval, one thing they should revisit while they still can is adding another layer of club rooms/suites. Now they just have the one floor of them and they could put in another floor and really make some bank. This would be mostly unnoticable change from inside the park views, and even from outside you woould never notice the difference in 10 feet more height. Still be well below the height of the surrrounding buildings with the scaffolding on their roofs. Plus the reason for doing this would be to get rid of the CBOE seats that were shoehorned in behind home plate, then you could actually restore the old home plate wall and dimensions around the dugouts. Most of the fat cats sitting in those new seats behind home would probably rather be up in a luxury suite seat than starring on crane kenny’s center field crotchcam. You could move all these high price seats into the comfort of skyboxes and return the graceful and roomy foul territory to wrigley. More foul territory means fairer ballpark on wind blowing out days for pitchers, so you help your team win this way too. Dear Mr. Ricketts, Please make your money from skyboxes and not from jammed in seats that degrade wrigley and cause the team to lose more because of less foul territory. Cub fans would applaud you instead of wondering where your head is at.

  • Die hard

    Lead off is his best spot ….. if for another team

  • Tommy

    White Christmas – Bing Crosby, but certainly the Nat King Cole is right there with it. Also love Bruce Springsteen’s version of Santa Clause is coming to town and Burl Ive’s Frosty the Snowman.

    On a more contemporary note, Barlow Girl has an outstanding version of Carol of the Bells/Sing We Now of Christmas for anyone looking for something to download for the holidays!