Ah, it was a nice day off(ish). Although the Masahiro Tanaka posting news forced me from my long winter’s nap, it was early enough in the morning that it didn’t interfere with any Santa-related fun. We had a very nice time yesterday, and true to cliche: (1) The Little Girl wanted to play only with The Little Boy’s gifts, (2) The Little Boy wanted to play only with boxes and wrapping paper, and (3) The Wife and I struggled the night before to assemble a stupid-idiot-trampoline-thing-with-stupid-idiot-directions-that-were-impossible-to-follow-and-I-swear-to-God-those-holes-are-not-in-the-right-place …
- The Cubs put together an interesting video highlighting the folks who work with the team and at Wrigley Field, and it’s a mechanism to let folks know how to apply to work for the team. It’s a sweet little piece, if nothing else … but I guess the Cubs are hiring:
- Although there are no details, Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs will be bringing “some young players” to the new facilities in Mesa after the first of the year. The advantage of having a top tier facility in Arizona? You can more easily entice young players to get back to work – in a controlled environment – soon after the holidays.
- Carrie Muskat on the 10 questions facing the Cubs in 2014.
- The Chicago Tribune’s list of the 13 biggest busts in Chicago sports this year features not one, but four Chicago Cubs: Starlin Castro (fair), Anthony Rizzo (unfair), Scott Baker (fair), and Edwin Jackson (kinda unfair, but mostly fair).
- Mike Axisa looks at Sammy Sosa’s Hall of Fame credentials.
- A profile on quietly successful Cubs pitching prospect Michael Hamann. The big righty turns 23 on New Year’s Day, and put up a 1.84 ERA and 3.25 K/BB over 29.1 relief innings split between Boise and Kane County last year. It’s tough going for older relief prospects at lower levels, even ones with numbers as excellent as Hamann’s – he’ll have to dominate at Daytona next year to remain modestly relevant.
- In case you checked out for family time over the past few days, you may have missed big Masahiro Tanaka news, some candor from Jeff Samardzija, the Cubs’ interest in reliever Jesse Crain, and the Cubs signing another top international prospect.