javier baez aflKeep your eyes on the sky tonight! I know our little ones will …

  • You must read this piece from Carrie Muskat on Javier Baez and his sister, Noely. She has an amazing story, and, by extension, her brother does, as well. You will learn a whole lot about what kind of young man Javier Baez is by reading that article (not just his story with his sister, but his parents, his background, and his development). I am touched, impressed, and rooting even harder for him to succeed.
  • Among the 13 pleasant surprises in Chicago sports this year, per the Tribune, are Welington Castillo’s emergence as a dependable backstop and Travis Wood’s breakout year.


  • Howard Megdal writes about the December 25 to 31 week in the history of baseball, and notes that it’s actually been a fairly active week over the years. There have even been some notable moves/signings on Christmas Day. (And, with a Masahiro Tanaka announcement possibly coming today or tomorrow, it could happen again this year, too.)
  • Think I was just being an apologist by saying that the seven-year, $130 million deal the Rangers gave Shin-Soo Choo would have been a mistake for the Cubs? Dave Cameron writes that the contract may wind up being his least favorite of the entire offseason. A sample quote: “That said, even with the Rangers having ample revenues — thanks to their television contract — and being in a prime position on the win curve, this still looks like a pretty significant overpay to me, and a contract I think Texas will regret sooner than later.”
  • The Grant Balfour/Orioles drama (the O’s signed Balfour to a two-year, $15 million deal before backing out after checking out the medicals) has become even uglier, with Ken Rosenthal writing that it fits a pattern of behavior for the Orioles over the past 15 years. The implication is that the baseball side was into the signing, but ownership used the medical review as a pretext to kill the deal (outside doctors, apparently (grain of salt) say Balfour’s shoulder looks fine). Once again: say what you will about the Cubs’ current baseball side/ownership schism (and I’m not saying one actually exists), but at least we’re not seeing stories like this.


  • The David DeJesus Family Foundation and Chicago Cubs Charities are putting on a karaoke fundraiser on January 16th. Details here.
  • A reminder for those who’ve missed it: starting in January, you will be required to register and log-in to post comments on the site. You can register now if you’d like (the link isn’t all that prominent just yet, buried at the bottom right of the sidebar), but it won’t be required or prominent until next month. The rationale for this change is tied to the increasingly frustrating character of the comments for folks who used to enjoy reading them. A more complete explanation is here.
  • Check out the Christmas Day NBA one-day fantasy contest if you haven’t already.
  • If you’ve settled down from Sunday’s Bears debacle, you can read Jay’s thoughts on the game here. The loss just made this week more exciting, right?

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