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.





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